While some real estate columnists fear Facebook, real estate professionals on the ground can feel the tangible shift of consumers congregating online in various forums, blogs, Twitter and other social networks to a mass flocking to Facebook.
This week, eMarketer reports that of American adults with internet access, 42% use Facebook Facebook claims that it has 250 million daily visitors and 500 million account holders with eMarketer projecting 132.5 million being in America.
In contrast, less than ten percent of America is on Twitter and less than 25% of those make up for nearly 90% of all activity.
Facebook is not fueled by “power users” in the way Twitter is and finding “influencers” is less relevant than finding specific, targeted consumers which is possible not only through passive marketing such as professional Facebook pages and activity of a Realtor, but through direct marketing via Facebook ads which can narrow the pool of consumers from that 500 million down to 500 or even 50 funneled consumers. In the past, Realtors would pay thousands upon thousands to reach the precise buyers for their specific buyer, and Facebook ads allow agents to pay much less to reach consumers based on their exact profile information.
Facebook is big, so what?
Unlike other networks where size means more volume, Facebook ads allow agents to break through the noise by targeting specific consumers and allows you to break through the noise by being allowed into consumers’ networks via Pages or Groups as they get to opt in or opt out.
Last fall, Facebook and Microsoft partnered, and we’re starting to see the results of this major partnership roll in. This week, Microsoft search site, Bing.com announced they will now show you who of your Facebook friends have “liked” any of the links displayed in search results. Given that the “like” button is on 2.5 million websites already, the social graph is growing at an unprecedented rate and make for richer search results.
Facebook likes as a part of Bing search results reaffirms our assertion that consumers desire to validate their choices by their social graph whether they’re looking for a Realtor, a specific property, a contractor, a lender, a title company, a neighborhood, a restaurant, a church, a doctor, or anything.
We don’t recommend shying away from Facebook, rather reading the terms of service and knowing what you can and cannot do (as with any website or social network) and always encourage others to do the same. We encourage real estate professionals to know how to communicate on their clients’ terms, back up their Facebook activity, and employ an actual strategy other than posting about kitty cats.
Real estate professionals can tap the insanely amazing power of Facebook through Facebook ads, Facebook pages and groups and while others are scared away by technicalities, others are expanding their business in an environment where others are closing up shop. The size of Facebook and “likes” showing up in search are huge- don’t pass it up.