Lead Generation with Facebook

I get asked all the time:  ‘What kinds of things should I post on Facebook to generate leads?’

The answer is:  ‘I don’t care.’

OK.  That’s a little over the top.  My answer is supposed to unfreeze the questioner, to get them off the notion that posting on Facebook will somehow magically generate leads.  It won’t.

If you are a Realtor, you can use your personal Facebook page and/or your Facebook business page to keep in touch with people who know you – at least a little – and to remind them that you are in the business.  Of course this is important!  We want everyone who knows us – even those who know us just a little – to know we sell real estate, are active and successful.  That’s why we post our new listings on Facebook, our photos of happy clients after closing, our open houses and relevant articles about the market.

But the audience here is people who know us.  It’s not strangers.  Leads – which are the things everyone wants to generate with Facebook – are strangers who call us to help with their home buying or selling process.

If you want to generate LEADS with Facebook, you’re going to have to go about it the old fashioned way:  you’re going to have to market on Facebook.

Marketing is the careful planning, creating, executing and monetizing of a strategy aimed at reaching a specific target audience with potential for needing your services.  With Facebook, your tool for accomplishing this is Pay-Per-Click advertising.

When you open your Facebook page, you’ll see a column to the left of your Newsfeed that contains Pay-Per-Click ads that have been targeted to you based on your profile and Facebook behavior.  That’s where you want your ad to be.  The small teaser ads lead to a Landing Page of some kind that gives the clicker the information hinted at in the teaser.  Sounds simple . . . and it would be if we were in the giving information business.  But we are not.  We are in the real estate sales and marketing business, so that simple process of Facebook Teaser ad and Landing Page becomes a little more complex.

At Help-U-Sell, we market for one thing:  Sellers.  So your teaser ad needs to appeal to home owners who are thinking of selling.  That part really is easy.  The logo, all by itself, speaks to them.  But so do phrases like:  ‘Never pay 6% to sell your home again!’, ‘You paid HOW MUCH to sell your home?’ , ‘How to save thousands selling your home,’ ‘Sell your home for $4,950!’ and so on.

But once a potential seller sees your ad and clicks on it, where do they go?  To you Help-U-Sell website?  I don’t think so.  Your website is geared toward buyers (and it should be).  Your website is a place where we connect with them via home search and other tools.  Instead, you need to send people who click on your teaser ad to a very specific Landing Page, absolutely focused on your offer to home sellers, sizzling with just enough information to motivate the clicker to contact the office.

That’s really important, so I’ll repeat it:  You need to send people who click on your teaser ad to a very specific Landing Page, absolutely focused on your offer to home sellers, sizzling with just enough information to motivate the clicker to contact the office.  

Your landing page should say nothing aimed at buyers, mortgages, credit repair, or any other aspect of the business.  It should be short, simple and razor focused on what you do for home sellers and how much they can save.  It should also be packed with Help-U-Sell credibility boosters:  Sold and Saveds and Testimonials.  In other words, your Landing Page should look like an ETM . . . because that’s what it is:  an electronic ETM, delivered via Facebook as opposed to the old fashioned one delivered in the mailbox. It should have the same structure and encourage the same event:  a call to the office to find out more about your program for home sellers. Click HERE for an example.

I love Facebook pay-per-click for Help-U-Sell brokers for several reasons:

  • It is highly targeted advertising and fits perfectly well with our own geographical targeting strategy.
  • It is surprisingly inexpensive.  And effective campaign can be mounted for $200 a month, more or less.
  • It is wonderfully flexible.  You can change up your campaign in mid stream, start and stop it at will.
  • It is trackable.  Facebook keeps track of the clicks so if you install office systems to track resulting inquiries, you’ll know what the program produces.

I have created Facebook pay-per-click campaigns for my Blogging clients (you know, I create, manage and feed blogs for a handful of Help-U-Sell Brokers).  This past week I offered the same service – which includes creation of the Landing Page, the Teaser Ad and managing the setup process – to Help-U-Sell brokers in general.  I’d be happy to help you jump into this exciting process, too.  Just send me an email (jamesdingman@gmail.com) and we’ll explore the possibilities.

We know that today’s consumer of real estate services is online.  We know he or she is into Facebook almost daily.  THIS is how you find that person.  THIS is the next step in the evolution of Help-U-Sell marketing and I urge you to get on board.


How to Use Facebook to Generate Leads

Forget about spending hours posting fascinating real estate information, looking for people to ‘Friend’ and creating an online persona. I know: that’s what all the ‘Gurus’ are telling you to do. And I’m sure it can work.   But I’m too impatient for that.  I want instant gratification.  I want to start a marketing effort today and see the results this week.  You can do that with Facebook and the following steps will show you how.

  1. Go to your office website content management system (CMS), or to your tech person if you have one, and build a great landing page for customers.  What kind of customers?  Well, the page could be directed at Buyers or Sellers, but since every real estate website is directed to Buyers (search, search, search) and since listings are the name of the game, I’m going to suggest you build one for Sellers.  What should be on it?  A brief description of what you do and why you’re better than anyone else in the business, testimonials from real people you’ve helped with happy photos, and a contact form that ties directly to your cell phone.
  2. Go to your Facebook page.  Look for the gear icon in the upper right corner and click it.  You’ll get a drop-down menu and you should select ‘Create Ad.’  You’re going to create a little sidebar ad to run on Facebook that will drive people to the landing page you just created.
  3. Locate a good duty free graphic that will draw the eye and craft an intriguing statement in the space allotted.  Tip:  put your phone number in the ad.  It is remarkable how many people will phone you rather than click the link in your ad – and, since this is pay-per-click, if they don’t click, you don’t pay!
  4. This is the fun part.  Target your ad to hit the Facebook pages of the people you want to reach.  Maybe you’ll choose a geography:  say, a 5 mile radius of your office.  Maybe you’ll choose an age range:  25 – 55.  Maybe you’ll choose any number of other criteria.  Each time you select a criteria, you’ll see the size of your potential audience shrink.  That’s a good thing.  The best marketing is target marketing and as you fine tune and shrink your target audience, the effectiveness of your ad will increase.
  5. Set a click-rate.  How much are you willing to pay when a consumer clicks your ad?  Facebook will suggest a range and it will often be fairly large, say:  $1.50 – $10 a click.  Whatever you choose can be edited at any time, so I suggest starting in the lower half of the range, ideally just south of the mid-point.  What you’re really setting is the MAX you’ll pay for a click because the click rate varies depending on how many other ads are competing for the same audience at the same time.  Maybe you’ll bid $3.00 a click.  When you check your stats,  you’ll discover you’re only paying, on average, $2.05 a click.
  6. Set a campaign duration and total budget.  I would suggest your first campaign should run 1 – 2 weeks and have a budget of, oh . . . $200.  That will be enough for you to see some results and make adjustments.
  7. As the campaign runs, check your stats daily, even two or three times a day.  Are  you getting enough clicks to exhaust your budget in the time allotted?  If not, maybe you should up your click rate.
  8. Meanwhile, meticulously track your results.  Of the clicks that get to  your landing page, how many fill in the inquiry form?  How many call you?  And what about the people who never click, but call the number in the ad?  How many of them are there?

You see, this is how you develop leads using Facebook:  you treat it like any other advertising medium . . . because that’s what it is.   I love Facebook pay-per-click advertising because it can be so highly targeted.  $2.00 might seem like a lot to pay for a click, until you recognize that it is a click originating within your target market, from a person who fits the description you chose, who was sufficiently motivated by your teaser ad to investigate.  It’s a bargain!

Here’s the key: What can you offer in your teaser ad to get viewers to your Landing Page?  If you are Help-U-Sell, that ought to be easy.  (Picture of house ‘thinking’) Headline:  Thinking of Selling?  Body: See how much you can save!  (555) 543-2109.  

And, by the way: though I dissed Facebook’s ability to build your business in the first paragraph, truth is: it’s a great tool for staying in touch with past clients. Please exploit that aspect to the fullest. But try a little pay-per-click to generate NEW business.

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