Facebook for Real Estate – Why the Changes Are Good
Many people are upset with the recent changes to Facebook and I can understand why (see How Facebook Updates Affect Real Estate for a list of changes). People have invested countless hours into learning how the site worked and interacting with others only to have everything they knew ripped away over night. What’s more is that these changes are just the beginning. Facebook has some massive plans that are going to make these changes feel even more drastic than they already do. And you know what? This is a really good thing and the Facebook of today is much better than the Facebook of last week and I’m about to tell you why.
Some of you may have noticed that lists are now available. Lists are essentially a way of categorizing your friends list so that you may share information with only a select group of people.
This is a great Facebook update for real estate because it removes the fear of using the social network for business while at the same time using it for pleasure. Let’s say that you would like to use Facebook for real estate but are hesitant because you already have 300 personal friends and family members on there and you don’t like the idea of your clients or potential clients seeing your posts about how upset you are over last night’s reality show. Maybe you don’t like the idea that pictures from your birthday party are being shared with clients. In the past you’ve been somewhat out of luck as you could set it to only share with friends but if all your clients were on your friend’s list then they would see it anyway.
With lists, you are able to have all of your family on a “Family” list, while your friends are on a “Close Friends” list and clients can be on their own list. You may even want to keep buyers and sellers on separate lists. Now when you go to post your birthday pictures, you can select to share it only with “Family” and “Close Friends”. Of course you still have the option to share things with all of your friends or to share things publicly, but Facebook has just made life a little easier when trying to do business and pleasure on the same site.
Lists also make life easier when you want to follow what is going on. If you click on your “Family” list on the left hand side your news feed will change to display only things that have been shared by family members. So if you are trying to relax and want to use Facebook but avoid all of the work related topics, you can now browse only personal stuff or if you are at the office and want to avoid all the gossip among your friends you can do that as well.
Remember how I said that you can organize your friends into lists? Well what if Facebook could organize those lists for you? Introducing smart lists. Let’s say you would love to connect with your old high school friends or are trying to find all of your co-workers. Facebook can use a smart list to automatically add any of your friends that lists the same high school or place of employment as you to those list for you. This makes it very easy to suddenly share something with co-workers or perhaps update people you went to school with on an upcoming reunion.
The ticker is probably the most hated feature added to Facebook. Many of the notifications that used to appear in your news feed are now streaming endlessly on your ticker. Believe it or not the ticker is actually a good thing and helps keep everything organized. As we add more and more friends, we don’t want our news feed to get bogged down every time someone likes someone else but we do want to know that information. Now everything is neatly shared with you in the corner of your screen. If you scroll over the notification or click on it, a pop up box appears allowing you to interact with the comment. So if for example you see that I “Like” a post, you are able to see what the post is and also click “Like”, share it or comment on it while keeping the most relevant information front and center. This is also helpful if you are browsing around Facebook looking at various pages, your ticker will remain on screen allowing you to continue to keep track of what is going on without the need for you to be looking at your news feed. In a way it adds a certain amount of freedom to allow you to explore Facebook, pages or things that people have posted.
By interacting with the ticker you will also influence Facebook as to which stories you would like to see appear in your news feed.
The ticker will also be handy for subscriptions as you will have the ability to follow a lot more people without the worry of cluttering up your feed.
This feature is particularly great for real estate because it allows us to keep an eye on what everyone on our list is up to so that we may interact with them. It may seem like a pain at the moment, but take my word for it, once you get used to it you’ll like it much better.
Subscriptions are a nice addition to Facebook for real estate users. On Twitter you may follow someone without them needing to approve or follow you back. This allows high profile people to be followed easily. Now with Facebook you can basically do the same thing. When you search for say… Mark Zuckerberg because you would like to know what other changes are on the way you can now click “subscribe” and his publicly shared updates will appear in your feed/ticker.
Also, the moment that you request to be someone’s friend you are subscribing to their feed and will see all of their publicly shared posts even if they do not accept the friend request.
The best part about this new Facebook feature for real estate is that when people request to be your friend and you aren’t really sure who they are, you can ignore the friend request knowing that they will still receive any public posts that you choose to share.
I know that many of you are upset and I have seen the petitions flying around the Internet and Facebook to change things back to the old way. I am sorry to be the one to tell you that the new way is staying and more changes are coming so instead of passing around how much you hate the new layout you may want to use that time to get to know it.
As someone who spends a lot of time using the various social networks and reading about technology, I have to admit that I actually prefer the layout and new features. Yes, it did take some getting used to, but as I said before it is now much much better!
If you have anything that you’d like to add or disagree with please share your comments below.
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