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Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®

(Updated September 2014)

With over 1.1 billion members worldwide, Facebook remains the largest social network site. However, according to the 2012 Realtor Technology Survey Report, 20 percent of REALTORS® don’t use social media for their real estate business. Concerns range from security to a lack of quantifiable ROI. Are you using Facebook as part of your real estate marketing? Beyond the basics, how are REALTORS® using Facebook in their business? This updated field guide goes over the basics, reviews current security settings, and explores how REALTORS® are using the social network to build their brand. (D. Shumaker, Senior Library Information Specialist)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

Social Media Statistics

According to the 2011 CRT REALTOR® Technology Report, 78% of brokers use Facebook for real estate business purposes, the highest of the major social networks.

The Basics

So many "getting started" guides were written so long ago that most of their info is not relevant anymore. For the basics, visit the help section of Facebook itself.

Kicked Off Facebook, and Wondering Why, (New York Times, Sept. 19, 2014). It’s not always apparent.

Marketing with a Facebook Business Page, (realtor.com®, n.d.). Some basic tips.

Facebook, Still Dominant, Strives to Keep Cachet, (New York Times, Nov. 17, 2013). Despite the site’s primacy in the social media market, some numbers suggest that Facebook addiction has given way to Facebook fatigue, at least among some users.

How to Customize Your Facebook Page, (PC Mag, Nov. 6, 2013). Over a billion people actively use Facebook, but we're all stuck with the same interface. Check out these tricks to customize the look and feel of your Facebook experience.

10 Ways to Make you Small Business Social Media Activities Rock, (SBA, July 15, 2013).

Setting Up a Facebook Page, (Facebook, n.d.).—A Facebook Page is a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with Facebook users.

Protect Your Privacy

The Private Information Facebook Now Makes Public, (CNET, Nov. 12, 2013). The social network's recent privacy recalculation prevents excluding your profile picture, cover photo, and other formerly hide-able information from search results.

11 Ways to Protect your Privacy on Facebook, (The Telegraph UK, Oct. 11, 2013). Facebook is making it harder to hide by removing a feature that prevents your profile from appearing on searches. Here we look at how else you can maintain your privacy.

Controlling How You Share, (Facebook, n.d.)—The settings you choose control which people and applications can see your information. You can share your information with friends, friends of friends, everyone (yikes!), or you can customize your settings. Take a few minutes to go through each of the sections and customize your privacy.

Facebook's Privacy Policy, (Facebook, n.d.). – Facebook's privacy policy is actually pretty straightforward and readable.

Facebook & your privacy, (Consumer Reports, June 2012). – Who sees the data you share on the biggest social network?

How to Handle a Cyberstalker, (CNN, July 2010)—Here's what to do when someone goes from pal to parasite.

How REALTORS® Are Using Facebook

Vanity Metrics vs. Success Metrics: Which Facebook Posts get the Most Engagement? (Inman, Nov. 13, 2013). Facebook Insights helps cater your content for maximum impact, even among 'silent' fans.

REALTOR.com Facebook Application, (realtor.com®, n.d.)—Display your listing from REALTOR.com on your Facebook wall. Here's a step-by-step walkthrough (PDF).

Small Retailers Open up Storefronts on Facebook Pages, (New York Times, July 25, 2012). – It’s not e-commerce, it’s f-commerce. Small entrepreneurs are having more success than the big players on Facebook.

Facebook Marketing: How to keep your brand liked, (InformationWeek – online, July 23, 2012). Q

5 Best Practices for Real Estate Pros on Facebook, (Mashable, Nov. 14, 2011). – In addition to offering cost-effective methods of promoting properties, Facebook also offers a range of new opportunities to grow and cultivate a robust community of prospective buyers and sellers.

The Ultimate Secret Sauce for Facebook Pages, (InmanNEXT, Feb. 7, 2011)—Less about you. More about them.

When Marketing Through Social Media, Legal Risks Can Go Viral, (Intellectual Property and Technology Law Journal, Aug. 2010)—The viral quality of social media makes it an appealing way for businesses to market products and services, but it is not without legal risks. Q

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business (Adobe eReader)

The Accidental Billionaires - The Founding of Facebook (Adobe eReader)

The B2B Social Media Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Building Facebook Applications for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook (Adobe eReader)

Creating Facebook Applications - 100 Success Secrets to Creating Awesome Facebook Applications and Leverage Social Media (Adobe eReader)

Facebook Marketing: an Hour a Day (Adobe eReader)

The Facebook Marketing Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

l'm on Facebook -- Now What? (Adobe eReader)

Online Social Networking (Adobe eReader)

The Social Media Sales Revolution (Adobe eReader)

The Social Network Business Plan (Adobe eReader)

This is Social Commerce (Adobe eReader)

The Truth About Facebook (Adobe eReader)

The Writer's Guide to Self-Marketing Using Social Networking Sites (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Social Networking for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Twitter

Field Guide to Using Privacy & Security Features in Social Media

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.