Facebook has made some significant changes to their platform over the past few months—everything from privacy settings to content in your news feed. Here is a list of the ones that could have the most impact on real estate agents’ online presence:
News feed. Facebook announced that they have tweaked their algorithm so that the news stories a user’s friends have commented on will stay closer to the top of their news feed in an effort to generate more conversation (and more outgoing clicks) about topics each user is interested in. For agents or brokerages this can be a way to keep the “buzz” alive about a specific property or news announcement. For example, if a brokerage’s Facebook page links to a property listing page (or a news article) the more that friends comment on it, the longer it will stay toward the top of the follower’s news feed.
Professional Skills. A few months ago Facebook expanded the possibilities for the content each user could include in their individual About section. Now users can add their professional skills which means that they can be found via a keyword search. So if someone is looking for “real estate agents in southern Maryland” anyone whose About description includes those words will show up if they are somehow connected to that user’s friends. We covered more about how Facebook’s search feature works here.
Privacy Settings. Facebook is in the process of removing the option to block people from being able to look you up by your name. In Facebook lingo this means you can no longer make yourself “unsearchable”. For real estate professionals who have a public Facebook page this is no big deal. But if you also have a private Facebook page that you don’t want clients to find make sure that you have updated your settings so that all of your past posts are only visible to your friends. People will still be able to see that you have a private Facebook page, but they won’t be able to see what is on it.
Embeddable Posts. Before if someone wanted to share a Facebook post in a place other than Facebook (say on their blog or website) they could only link to it or create a screenshot that they pasted into the text. Now you can embed that very post directly onto your website and it will show up as it appears on Facebook. The main difference between this and a screenshot is that the post is “active”—i.e. people can “like” the post directly from your website. The biggest advantage is it makes it easier for a post to get more shares and increases the chances of something going viral.
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