The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Custom Facebook Business Pages-Looks vs Function

Social media. It’s E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! You cant even watch the local news or dare I say-CNN-without being prompted to “connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!”.  I have good news and bad news.  The Good News: If you like social media, you are going to see more of it in 2011 than any past years.  Large corporations are getting on board, finally realizing the importance of connecting, rather engaging with the consumer.  The bad news, with everyone jumping into social media, you are bound to be hit up by one of the emerging social media companies.  Some of them know what they are doing and have great products at a reasonable cost, others…. ehh, not so much.

I am a business development manager for a national title insurance company in Phoenix Arizona, I help real estate professionals get “found” on the Internet where over 90% of consumers start their home search.  Social media is an integral part to any marketing program, simply put-it’s where the fish are!  Many real estate professionals were slow to adapt to social media, believing it was mainly for “friends”. Some jumped on the bandwagon right away choosing to use facebook as a launching pad for their latest and greatest listing, sale or whatever.  Hey, To each their own.  Real estate professionals have started embracing the concept of a facebook business page or “fan” page.  This shift to business pages has put them smack-dab in the cross hairs of people/companies just waiting to provide custom facebook fan page solutions. Custom facebook business pages are great, I have one for my brand, MyTitleGuy. I had one made about 2 years ago, I wanted a place within facebook to engage with my clients, or potential clients, introduce my brand and give them information-“why you should work with me”.  That’s why I got it-engagement.  I know what fan pages do and don’t do.  But many real estate professionals don’t.  This ignorance has made them easy victims for some people/companies that make exaggerated claims about the value of a custom fan page.  So, I figured I would take the opportunity to dispel or debunk some of the claims being made right here in good old Arizona.

First lets address the issue of cost. How much should a custom fanpage cost?  Like I said, I have had my fan page for about 2 years, back when they were relatively new.  As with all technology, wouldn’t you expect it to cost more on the front end?  Look at plasma or LCD televisions for example.  When plasma and LCD TV’s first hit the US market they cost close to $8000.  Today it’s easy to find these same TV’s for under $3000.  I paid $400 for my fan page.  But I know some real estate agents that are being charged over $2000 for what amounts to the same thing.  Why?  Because they don’t know any better.  Maybe they think a fan page should cost $2000 because of those exaggerated claims some people/companies are making.  Claims like:

“A large image pulls YOU up in all Facebook searches and gets you chosen 90% of the time”  Really?  I wonder if I have been more likely to become a fan of a company or even better-choose a person/company because they had a large image.  I don’t think so, what about you?

“Get rapid top Google placement.” Really?  Yes, a facebook fan page will land on the 1st page of google for your name, the problem: what if your target market doesn’t know your name? I highly doubt you will see a fan page on the 1st page of Google (or any search engine)  for keywords like Phoenix Real Estate, Short Sale Process Arizona etc. These are competitive keywords, you will need an optimized website to rank for these terms, not a facebook fan page-custom or otherwise.

SEARCH: “Google used to dominate 100% of the search, now it’s 50/50 between Google and Facebook”  Really?  1st of all, Google never had 100% of the search, as you can see from the graph below, in December 2010 Google had 84.65% of the GLOBAL search compared to Yahoo at 6.69%, Bing at 3.29% and at 0.56%.  Nowhere do we see  If anything, it’s in the OTHER category at 1.44%.

2010 Search Engine Marketshare

There are certainly benefits of having a fan page though, they include:

  • No limit to the amount of fans you can have (not limited at 5000 like a personal page)
  • Add custom applications
  • announce events
  • explain your business, values, mission statement, VALUE to the consumer
  • Engagement
  • Build your brand
  • Drive Traffic to your website
  • Use as a back link
  • Price-ITS FREE!!!
  • Community building
  • Content Syndication
  • Analytics

Custom facebook fan pages are great but they don’t need to cost and arm and a leg.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how “Pretty” a custom facebook fan page is or how much it costs if the consumer doesn’t see value in your product/service or you don’t do your part to drive traffic to it.  Don’t fall for any of the claims that companies can get you fans either.  If there is any claim that is just plain stupid, it’s that one. The only fan that matters is the one that see’s value in you, your product or service. Here are some great ways to get more fans:

  • Invite your friends/family
  • Encourage your friends and family to invite their friends to your fan page
  • Offer incentives/prizes/contests (FREE iPad!)
  • Include your fan page widget in your email signature, blog or website sidebar,
  • Update your page with new, intriguing, valuable content
  • Purchase targeted ads on facebook
  • Leverage your existing marketing (business cards, print, radio, TV, etc..)
  • Purchase Google Ads to push consumers to your fan page

Facebook is a fantastic tool for engagement, with over 500 million users it is where you, my, our customers are.  Getting fans is great but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will do business with you.  Don’t forget: The ultimate goal of a facebook fan page is to get your fans and as many consumers as possible to your website.

And now you know-and knowing, is half the battle.

And I’m Out!


Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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