Though it faces countless questions and concerns about its future, Facebook remains the social media network of choice for most Americans. The platform has changed a lot over the last few years, and it’s made it even more difficult for homebuilders to compete for the attention of potential homebuyers with organic (see also: free) content.
But even as Facebook’s ever-expanding array of advertising opportunities continues to generate impressive returns for homebuilders on the platform, it’s important not to overlook the value of a strong organic presence with content published on your Facebook page. And here are five ways you can maximize your efforts:
Let Facebook Advertising Do The Heavy Lifting
Rather than relying on the robust advertising opportunities available to them on Facebook, too many homebuilders get caught up in the temptation of using the content they publish directly on their page as some sort of digital billboard. While Facebook does represent an incredibly cost-effective opportunity for homebuilders to reach potential buyers, it’s a mistake to use organic content (i.e., posts published directly to your page), instead of traditional Facebook advertising, for your primary sales pitch.
Most new home shoppers aren’t going to follow you or buy into your brand if all you seem interested in doing is selling them something. Instead, you should focus on building a balanced organic Facebook strategy that’s comprised of content designed to inspire, engage and inform.
The main idea is that you need to give your fans and followers something of value before you can ask for something in return. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to do business with someone who’s shown a genuine interest in making your life better?
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon all of your promotional content on your page altogether. You can still sprinkle it into your content calendar where it makes sense, and it’ll be all the more impactful if you surround it with less “salesy” posts anyway.
According to a recent study conducted by Sprout Social, 45% of consumers said that social media is one of the first channels they turn to when they have questions or issues. Furthermore, 21% of consumers said that they would rather reach out to a brand on social media than through a phone call.
What this all boils down to is that Facebook is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” opportunity for your marketing team. You need to be prepared to answer questions through direct messages, respond to inquiries or feedback through comments and handle any negativity that comes through reviews.
In other words, you need to be ready to meet consumers where they want to meet you. It might be a puzzling concept that someone would consider eliminating you from their shortlist of homebuilders just because you didn’t respond to a message on Facebook, but that’s the reality of doing business in 2019.
Leverage High-Quality Photos and Videos for High-Quality Engagement
If you’re only making use of your photos in printed collateral or videos on your website, you’re missing a big opportunity to generate valuable engagement on Facebook. In fact, 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content, such as model photo albums or community videos, and 74% of consumers regularly share video content from brands on social media.
But just because you have photos and videos doesn’t mean you can throw them into a post and expect for them to work. The Facebook algorithm doesn’t prioritize video or photo content just because of the media itself; instead, it rewards content that users like, comment on, share or watch. That means your visual assets need to be high quality and your accompanying text needs to be succinct.
Track, Test and Revise
One of the unfortunate realities of social media is that most content has a relatively short lifespan compared to other sources such as print media or direct mail. But this is also one of its greatest strengths if you embrace a strategy that’s designed to adapt to the trial-and-error nature of the format.
If your Facebook page posts aren’t driving the type of engagement you expected or you’re not seeing the results you wanted, change it up. The only thing you have to worry about is not adapting to what the data is telling you.
With that in mind, it’s important to have an effective tracking and measurement structure in place to understand whether or not your content is working. Without it, you’re just guessing.
Don’t stop short by just using Facebook Insights or a third-party social media management platform, either. Those are undoubtedly helpful for measuring metrics such as impressions, reach and engagement, but they often don’t tell the full story about how people are interacting with your content. Use an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to measure website engagement from attributable users to determine whether or not your Facebook audience is truly engaged with what you’re posting.
Build a Better Presence with Instagram
Thanks to Facebook’s ownership of Instagram, the two social media platforms are now more integrally linked than ever. Sharing posts and even Stories content from Instagram to Facebook is a breeze, and there’s even a unified inbox in Facebook Business Manager that will allow you to respond to Instagram comments and messages directly from Facebook.
Make no mistake, your strategy on Instagram should be vastly different than on Facebook, but there’s never been a better time to build connected profiles on both platforms. You’ll not only be able to reach potential customers who’ve shunned Facebook altogether, but you’ll also benefit from added functionality and even have the opportunity to streamline some of your social media work.
Not sure how to build an organic Facebook strategy to reach and engage your potential customers? We’re ready to help. Get in touch with our team here.