What the recent Facebook feed changes mean for agents

by Rincey Abraham

According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Member Profile, 69 percent of Realtors report having a Facebook page for their business. But agents who use Facebook to market themselves may be concerned about upcoming changes to the site’s News Feed.

Mark Zuckerburg announced in January that in an effort to prioritize more relevant content and information, the News Feed algorithm was adjusted to favor local publishers.

According to the announcement post, Facebook defines local publishers as those with links that are clicked on by users in a specific geographic area.

“If a story is from a publisher in your area, and you either follow the publisher’s page or your friend shares a story from that outlet, it might show up higher in News Feed,” the announcement said.

The impact that these changes will have on agents’ accounts isn’t completely clear, but there are specific steps to take in order to continue to reach clients through Facebook.

Prioritize local news

Carefully consider the information that you’re posting and make sure it’s relevant to the people who are following you. It might make a big difference in your Facebook presence.

“People consistently tell us that they want to see more local news on Facebook. Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives,” Zuckerberg said.

Whether it’s the latest events in your area or updates on housing developments, people care about the news that affects them directly. Sharing these kinds of posts also shows that you know the area where you are helping buy and sell homes, which is a benefit that only a local agent can provide their clients.

Spark a conversation

One of the ways Facebook will decide which business page posts make it onto your followers’ News Feed is its analysis of what prompts conversations between friends. Hootsuite recommends including questions in your posts and writing about relevant topics that will encourage people to comment on and engage with your posts.

However, don’t use “engagement bait” in order to force a discussion. “It might be tempting to try and hack the new algorithm by asking your audience to ‘COMMENT on this post if you like ice cream!!’ or something similar. But don’t be that brand,” Hootsuite advised. “It’s spammy and users don’t like it.”

Facebook said it will not consider that type of post a meaningful interaction.

Encourage users to follow you

One of the steps individuals can take is to choose what their favorite pages are and opt in to prioritize those accounts in their News Feed. Users can choose up to 30 people or pages to see first in their News Feed.

Don’t hesitate to encourage your followers to check their settings and choose the “See First” option on your Facebook page. Users may not realize that this is an option, and it’s good to let your loyal followers know they can ensure that they’re seeing what you’re sharing.

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