Share on Facebook, Don’t Sell
I’m sitting in my office and the phone rings. The number on caller ID looks vaguely like one of my friends’ … I answer with anticipation and bam! It’s a telemarketer. Here I was expecting to share something fun and worthwhile, but I get wacked with a sales pitch instead.
If you’re like me, you go to Facebook with a positive feeling, ready to read something fun and worthwhile for your business or personal life. And then you come across a hardcore sales post and that feeling takes a dive. And so many times it’s a real estate friend, someone who thinks he/she has to post every new listing … and nothing else.
Are you guilty of being a Facebook telemarketer?
A recent blogpost from Constant Contact reminds us you can make your Facebook fans “hang up” if you make it look like you’re being social just to make a sale. In fact, it notes an ExactTarget survey found the top two reasons people stop being fans of business pages are that 1) the brand is posting too frequently and 2) it’s doing too many marketing pitches.
Instead, Constant Contact recommends you position yourself as an expert in your field, business or organization so when customers/potential buyers want to purchase, try a service or contribute, they will think of you. That is, you should share instead of sell on Facebook.
So how do you share yourself on Facebook?
Share an experience
I’m totally enthralled with how The Corcoran Group makes New York City come alive on their Facebook page. Especially with the new Timeline for business pages with larger-format photos, the page makes me feel like I’m an integral part of the city scene – and I’m 1,600 miles away! The firm also shares videos of local restaurants, key in a market where both locals and visitors seek out unique and delectable cuisine. “Sharing helpful or entertaining content” is the way to market yourself, says Constant Contact.
And every Saturday, the page shares the story of a New Yorker. On Feb. 18, there are photos of an immigrant family living in a 350-square-foot apartment with a bathtub in the kitchen – not of a 3,500-square-foot penthouse the firm is trying to sell.
I profiled Corcoran’s social media guru, Matthew Shadbolt, in the February Pond Report about his innovative use of Foursquare, so this is just another example of his ability to use social media to build an experience.
If you want to know about Austin, Texas, you’ll find it on The GoodLife Team’s Facebook page. Yes, the firm posts the occasional listing but that’s far outnumbered by the posts on the Austin economy and housing market, the city’s walkable neighborhoods, what to plant in an Austin garden, as well as great restaurants and bars (generating lots of comments).
And as an Inman-awarded innovative firm, The GoodLife Team also posts technology news such as a recent Evernote seminar, in addition to and broker Krisstina Wise’s Coffee Chats on team-building, management skills and more.
Of course, Wise and her team also post their videos highlighting tools that assist sellers and buyers, such as staging and 10 commandments for buyers. In addition, they spotlight the Austin Modern Home Tour, born in their own office out of their love of modern architecture.
Wise and The GoodLife Team have become a resource for the buyers and sellers in the Austin area as well as for real estate agents and brokers across the country, leading to listings, sales and referrals in an organic way.
Sharing a cause
In April 2010, a family’s beloved dog escaped from its back yard. While Bella showed no aggression and was surrounded by neighbors and children who knew her as a harmless pet, because she was a pit bull, she was shot by an animal control officer. And despite having a chip implanted, Bella was cremated without her family being notified.
This heartbreaking story has spread from North Carolina all across the country due to the power of outrage and love for animals – and the Justice for Bella Facebook page. In less than two years, the page has grown to more than 24,000 fans.
How? It has expanded its geographic reach by partnering with “no kill” movements and highlighting animal-related injustice nationwide. As Constant Contact said, “Nonprofits have a cause that people are already interested in. [They] can become the go-to place for fans just by helping them stay in touch with the latest developments and resources.”
At the same time, the page’s love for all dogs comes through loud and clear, as evidenced by this recent photo.
Facebook is still very personal
“Share, Don’t Sell” reminds us that Facebook is not a traditional marketing space. Use photos, headlines, videos and helpful links to connect with your fans – be real. Here are some more insights on how to act like a person on your Facebook page.
Think about it … are you selling or are you sharing? Here’s hoping your Facebook page is engaging and fun for your fans!