By Kim Rempel
Facebook can be a fantastic marketing tool for your business – if you’re using it properly. Many real estate agents, however, misuse it and hurt their business.
Many make the same mistake as my friend, for example, who launched his own business on Facebook. Unfortunately, every article, chart and link he shared led people to someone else’s site. He worked for that traffic and then instead of leading people to his own website (which doesn’t exist) he was leading them away.
“Have you ever considered having a blog?” I asked him one day.
“Well, what’s a blog?” he asked.
After I explained how a blog can educate and equip readers, and ultimately sell your own products or services, he said, “I already do that!”
“No, but the idea is to drive traffic to your site, not –“
He stopped me. “This is working just fine, Kim.” To him, Facebook was a blog.
Facebook is not a blog, so stop using it as one.
You don’t own your stuff: Technically, whatever content you share on Facebook becomes theirs. Well, you “own” it, but they can “use” it however they want and “relicense” your content to whomever they please. Here’s how that looks in Facebook’s terms:
“Sharing your content and information – You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook and you can control how it is shared through our privacy and application settings. In addition: For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).
Sure, they open with assurance of ownership and control, but later we find out you “grant” them a broad license (“sub-licensable” and “transferable”, by the way) to “use any IP (Intellectual Property) content that you post on or in connection with Facebook”.
If you had your own website though, you would own and control your content.
The bottom line is this: on Facebook you don’t fully own and control your content, but on your own website you do. Use Facebook to drive traffic to your site where you have full control.
You can’t control visibility: Have you ever unfollowed a friend or opted not to see certain posts? Yeah, so has everyone else. Your posts are not necessarily visible to everyone.
Posts can also become lost in the newsfeed. If you post at 2 pm and some people don’t log in until 4 pm, will they scroll through two hours of newsfeed to find yours?
Then there is the ever-changing algorithm that decides who sees what. At any time they can also reconfigure or delete the very features you’re using (and the content you created). They are in control and their decisions have a direct impact on your visibility and reach.
The Social Media Examiner (www.socialmediaexaminer.com), in a post about how to use Facebook Notes, makes this disclaimer. “Before you decide to use Facebook Notes in lieu of a blog on your website, there are some important points to consider. First, you never know when Facebook may change its mind and take out the Notes app, in which case you could lose a lot of content. Even if you could back up the notes, you’d still lose all of the engagement.
“Second, all of the benefits of your content marketing (traffic, backlinks, social shares, etc.) would be directed to Facebook instead of your website.”
The smart way to blog using Facebook: One agent, after consistently blogging for two to three years, noticed a definite increase in web traffic, engagement and Google ranking.
“People have hired me because of my blog,” she said. “When people look for a Realtor, I’m there. I’m very visible in a Google search and it’s because of my blog.”
Here’s the thing about websites: they are findable and give you full control over your business.
As Daniel Miessler puts it in his article, If You’re Blogging On Facebook, Stop It, “Quite simply: if it’s worth saying, it’s worth saying in a more visible and lasting medium.”
If you want buyers and sellers to be able to find you online, your Facebook posts won’t top their Google search. Blog on your own website. Then share a link to your blog post. Get them to your site and steer traffic from there.