3 Considerations in 2019 to Say, Start Packing Your Bags, Facebook!

Also featured in Inman News here.

2.2 billion people.

That's how many users are still on Facebook despite all of the baggage of 2018.

What baggage you ask? Well... there were privacy concerns, more privacy concerns, government inquisitions, political meddling and them being SUED by HUD for Fair Housing Violations, showing that 50 years of something does not mean we have graduated beyond needing education and reminders.

With all this baggage, is it time to let Facebook go and say, "Out with the old" for the new year? Let me repeat, there are still 2.2 billion users on Facebook. There are ONLY approximately 8 billion people in the world, meaning over a quarter of the world uses Facebook. For many real estate pros, if we just had a small sliver of these users work with us, we would see complete financial freedom. So yes, Facebook has some redeeming qualities, and, arguably, it may not be time to totally abandon Facebook but I believe it is time to get it's "bags packed and placed near the door" since it is not irreplaceable.

Here's what to keep an eye out for in 2019:

Don't Turn a Blind Eye
You may not be "up in arms" over all of Facebook's scandals but your prospective clients may be. Over 42 percent of adults have taken a break from Facebook for several weeks or more. And, the rule of business growth is to go where the eyeballs are. At one point, that was the newspaper (and it still is for certain generations). Over the last 10 plus years, it has become social media. Although Facebook is like the "granddaddy" of social media, there are "new kids on the block". Some of your prospective clients may not actively shout, "#DeleteFacebook" but they may have resigned to stay off it due to privacy concerns or perhaps they have just grown tired of drama, whether with Facebook or with their own "friend" list.

Case in point: I remember when MySpace was the place to be. I was even personally discouraged by a "business guru" from migrating my business from MySpace to Facebook back in 2007 because I was told Facebook was just for kids/teenagers. In my mind, the handwriting was on the wall in 2007 for MySpace so I sought greener pastures on the then-new Facebook. It was seen as a crazy more to leave MySpace but now, when I talk to tweens and mention MySpace, they say, "Don't make up words!" That is how far the "mighty" has fallen. The moral of the story: when in business, do not marry a platform. It was MySpace then, it may be Facebook soon. Instead, follow the eyeballs and keep up with where your clients give their attention.

Coaching Tip: The new year is a great time to reconnect with past clients, your SOI, and leads by wishing them a prosperous year. While doing that, poll people to find out where their eyeballs are and take note of what is most popular for your target market.

Don't Stay Because of "The Way We Were"
If you have felt like it was harder in 2018 to generate leads from Facebook then ever before, you are not wrong. Facebook, undeniably is in business to make money from its marketers, which includes us real estate pros. As the savvy business person that I know you are, it is vital that you always assess the return on investment you currently receive when marketing. If you start to personally notice that there is little to no "bang for your buck" from the 'Book, then it's time to tell Facebook, "thank u, next".

Coaching Tip: Closeout 2018 by assessing where you have spent your marketing dollars (and time), how much was spent, how many leads were generated, how many of those leads are current clients, how many of those leads got to closing and how many of those leads are "dead". What in your marketing mix was the most profitable in 2018? Do more of that! What in your marketing mix was least profitable? Do less of that.

Also, make sure you are a Facebook Messenger one percenter. What do I mean? Facebook Messenger Chatbots "receive about 80 percent better engagement than other channels like email" but less than 1% of businesses use this feature. That is staggering and means we can absolutely work smarter and not harder with chatbots by being in the 1%.

Here is a video example of a chatbot:

Make This An Open Relationship
For many of us growing our businesses on social media, Instagram is our new love. Yes, Facebook owns Instagram and may eventually ruin it. But when young almost billionaires, like Kylie Jenner, can attribute her "self-made" start-up business' insane grow and wealth to the 'Gram, then it truly becomes a critical component of anyone's marketing mix. Instagram has become the new happy medium between Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where you can share photos and videos in a way that is less self-conscious than YouTube, less political and text-based than Twitter, and less intrusive than Facebook.

Coaching Tip: Get familiar with other platforms that allow you to get in front of both people you know and people you want to know. Instagram is one source to start with but keep your eye out for others.

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  

Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithLee
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