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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