Facebook has more than 1.31 billion active users. According to NAR (the National Association of Realtors), 90.5% of real estate agents and brokers use social media to some extent. In a study of traffic sources conducted by Properties Online, using Google Analytics, single property websites received the most referrals (50%!) from Facebook.
Changes to Craigslist in late 2013 mean that referral traffic from the site can no longer be measured. This gives Facebook a boost in ratings, so to speak. And the social networking giant is doing all it can to maintain its place at the top.
Twitter has been growing, but hasn’t had the impact on real estate professionals that Facebook has. Still, at more than 645 million users, the social media site is a significant force, with a lot of potential. One problem for real estate listings is that Twitter is home to A LOT of information. Tweets can easily get lost and end up unseen. But there is something to the platform – something that has had Facebook on alert for a long time.
You may have noticed the subtle integration of some of Twitter’s features into Facebook this year. Actually, just before the New Year, Facebook began by renaming its ‘subscribe’ and ‘hide all’ options with ‘follow’ and ‘unfollow.’ Facebook is using an algorithm—based on your usage—that then controls the content that appears in your newsfeed.
Another Twitter-ish update was the move to ranking link posts from publishers higher in the newsfeed. This seemingly small change led to big things for Facebook, with publisher content referral traffic from Facebook rising 50%, to account for over 15% of all social referrals. At the same time, mind you, Twitter referrals decreased four percent.
Now, as we know, Facebook is great for sharing photos and videos (and this is great for real estate professionals). But Facebook saw Twitter’s edge when it came to user-generated content and changed its algorithm to rank text-only status updates from users higher in the newsfeed. Their research showed them that users respond positively to these types of updates, and that they prompt more of the same. So, that that and run with it – share your thoughts about a listing, the market, anything of interest, with your Facebook followers.
Facebook may never replace Twitter when it comes to real-time news, but it doesn’t need to. And while a full-blown social media presence is great, if you can pull it off, you don’t need that, either. Facebook is a fantastic option for busy real estate professionals, and it’s gotten even better in 2014.