There has been a lot of hype surrounding visual storytelling because it works. No, it’s not a new trend like many people think. Visual storytelling has been traced back to early humans who shared their hunting excursions by painting on the walls of a cave that none of us have ever heard of. Yet these images have lasted over 40,000 years and have told millions, if not billions of people the story of their lives. At this point you’re probably wondering where this is going, right?
Imagine if they had Facebook. With over 1.5 billion active users worldwide, Facebook gives brokers an obvious advantage over the cavemen. Unfortunately, many have yet to take advantage of it. Photos are liked 2X more than text updates and videos are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined on Facebook. Homes.com wants to highlight the ways Facebook promotes visual storytelling that can better connect you with clients, tell your company’s story and ultimately improve your business.
Facebook has gone through a design change that has put pictures and video as top priority. Newsfeeds allow for larger and more prominent photos, cover photos can include links to your website and the timeline feature allows you to share pictures that document how your business has progressed. To fully benefit from Facebook, brokers need to know how to maximize each of these features. Here it goes!
For those of you little behind on your Facebook lingo, the cover photo is the large horizontal image displayed at the top of your page. As the first thing users see when visiting your page, this is your chance to make a good first impression and it should represent what your company is all about. You will want to make your cover photo as visually stimulating as possible, try combining pictures of listings or popular points of interest within your local market. The cover photo is also an opportunity to include call to action links. Here you have an opportunity to share any products, events or downloads that you want to promote. To keep people interested, you’ll want to change this photo periodically.
Forget the Text, Use Pictures
Posts with photos account for 93% of the most engaged posts, they attract 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than posts with text. Think about when you’re scrolling through Facebook on your own time, are you more compelled to click on a post with text or one that has an interesting picture? When you’re sharing content, think about whether you can use an image or video to illustrate the message instead of using text. If you can, do it!
Facebook Tools You Can Use
Despite popular belief, Facebook isn’t all about status updates or a place for your vacation photos. Facebook offers tools and features that can make brokers use of this social channel more worthwhile. For example, have you ever heard of the Milestone feature? It allows you to highlight key moments in your businesses history that you want consumers to know about. Brokers can use this tool to strengthen your brand image and highlight different properties you’ve sold throughout the years. Pinned posts are also an important asset for brokers, here you can select specific photos or updates that you’ve previously shared to display prominently at the top of your page for a week at a time.
Engagement is Key
You can’t just post pictures or statuses and expect to establish a presence on Facebook. In order to make the most popular social channel work for you, other users must interact with your content through shares and likes. Google provides higher SEO ranking to Facebook pages with profiles that are well connected or in other words, pages that have a lot of likes or content that is highly sharable. This is especially important for real estate, where it’s all about being local. When a consumer is searching for a real estate professional in your local market, whoever has the highest SEO ranking in the area will appear at the top of the search results. Ninety percent of Facebook users only see the content that shows up in their news feeds, so when you are creating content be sure that it’s something your followers will want to share.
Create Photo Albums
Do you have a bunch of photos just sitting on your camera or smartphone? If you are like most people, you probably do. Photo albums can be valuable assets to brokers because they serve as a home to all of your digital media content. Organize them to promote contests, listings, or even create an album that introduces all of your agents. Make your picture and video assets more valuable by including your brand logo or try to include a little real estate humor. Photo editing tools like Piktochart or PicMonkey allow you to add a creative touch of your own, these easy to use programs can give your pictures and videos a little something extra that can make them more shareable.
The pictures and videos you share probably won’t be your claim to fame, but they provide you with opportunities to get your content seen. Communities tend to interact with each other more so than with real estate professional, so crowdsourcing and allowing other people to share content increases the chance that your message will be delivered to potential clients. Don’t worry if you aren’t the most tech savvy broker, visual storytelling is so easy a caveman can do it!