For many of us, including social media as part of a marketing strategy can still seem a little daunting. Despite most businesses opting in to use Facebook, knowing what to post, how often and how to keep your business site different from your personal site can be downright confusing. Then there’s that faint voice – ‘Will using Facebook be good or bad for my business?’

Having a social media presence is indeed a fantastic way to talk to potential buyers and vendors as well as current clients in real time. It’s a fast and easy way to share relevant articles and your personal sales updates. Plus it helps build your reputation within the local community and gain trust with a much wider audience. What’s not to love about that?

So if you’re ready to go social, we’ve got 18 Facebook marketing tips to get you started. And whilst all of these aren’t revolutionary; they’re undoubtedly what every real estate agent should know:

1. Don’t mix business with personal. Most companies agree it’s best to keep your business site separate to your personal site. By creating an alternate site for yourself as a real estate agent, you’ll come across more professional and keep content focused.

2. Take the time to plan. Before jumping in, spend some time thinking about what you hope to get from using Facebook for your business and how much time you can realistically spend on posting and updating.

3. Post regularly, avoid bombarding. One of the main reasons people stop following someone is because people post too frequently. About four or five times a week is a good number to aim for.

4. Timing is everything. Studies show that midweek posts between 1-4pm get higher click through. Grab people’s attention while they’re at lunch, with the morning rush over.

5. Keep it interesting. There’s rarely a dull minute in real estate, so there’s lots to talk about. Keep followers coming back by posting about current listings, recent sales and real estate articles you think are share worthy. Events happening in the local area or personal tips you may have for vendors and buyers are also fab.

6. A little about you. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so be proud as punch. Show off your personal achievements and any glowing testimonials you’ve received. It will help people get to know you.

7. Love being a local. Showing you are proud of your local area and you have strong local knowledge will help build your name and your reputation. By posting regularly on local suburb pages, area Facebook pages and local council pages you’re engaging with the local community.

8. Show you care. Has your business supported a local school fundraiser or charity? If so, let’s hear about it. It’s another way to build trust and tells prospective clients more about who you are.

9. A picture says a thousand words. People always gravitate towards posts with inspiring images so take the time to include these. Even better, upload your property videos to Youtube and link to them to your Facebook page.

10. Be in the know. Update your followers on interest rates, local house prices and real estate legislation changes – any real estate news you think may be of interest.

11. How many words? Online reading habits are very different to printed material. A Facebook study showed posts between 100-250 characters get about 60% more likes than those over 250 characters. Keep it short and punchy.

12. Take the time to respond. It doesn’t have to be long replies, but acknowledging those who have engaged with you helps build trust. Showing you care will attract more followers.

13. Don’t overshare. Remember this is your business page, so your content and commentary needs to stay focused. Showing some of your sparkling personality is great, but don’t cross the line.

14. Professional at all times. Spelling mistakes, over using abbreviations and emoticons will make you stand out for the wrong reasons. Before you post make sure your content is proofed. Same goes for your photo – keep it professional.

15. Time for a refresh. Keep your page interesting by changing your cover photo regularly. Think about updating with a snap of you and the latest property you’ve sold. It’s another way to draw people to your updated posts.

16. Positive and inspiring. Sure the market might be going through a tough patch but no one wants to read about doom and gloom. Share positive insights, and your followers will want to stick around.

17. Promote your page. Once you’ve created your business Facebook page, it’s time to add it to all your marketing material – including property ads and any other promotional pieces. These are golden opportunities to increase your followers.

18. Follow-up with Facebook. Use Facebook to start up new work relationships. Once you meet a new prospective client, remember their name then follow up with a Facebook invite. This can be a softer way to say ‘hello’ than by email.

Facebook is a perfect additional channel to include in all your marketing campaigns. It will increase your marketing exposure and help you reach an even wider audience – all without breaking your budget.

Ready to start using Facebook to enhance your real estate business?