As some of you know, I’m a huge “fan” (pun intended) of the opportunity Facebook presents for Real Estate professionals (both agents and brokers) to engage, build relationships and ultimately generate referrals.
In fact, we believe in it so much at Roost that we’re betting a huge chunk of our technology muscle on helping REALTORSâ take advantage of this opportunity with our Social Real Estate Toolkit. But that’s not to say we have all the answers, after all – this is still a very new and quickly evolving world.
Here is one particularly interesting question we’re trying to help our clients wrestle with…
Should I separate my personal profile and my business presence on Facebook?
This is an interesting one because there may not be a more polarizing question in the Social Media world today. If you ask this to a room full of real estate professionals, I guarantee there will be an energetic debate.
Near as I can tell, there are basically three schools of thought here (comment if you have more!):
1) Keep ‘em separate - Facebook wants all business discussion to happen on Fan/Business/Community pages, and it may even be a violation of Terms of Service (scary!).
2) Keep ‘em separate – Business is business. I don’t want prospects/clients/etc to see the things I’m talking about in my personal world.
3) Mix it up – My business is my personal life and vice versa. If I didn’t want to leverage my personal network on FB I wouldn’t be here in the first place for business.
My take – Mix it up!... but carefully…
In my opinion, most REALTORSâ are only going to get real return in referrals from Facebook if they figure out how to overlap their personal presence with their business one. Let’s face it – as an agent, if you’re good at what you do you’re always on. A key part of what makes you successful is your ability and passion to network and build personal relationships (that can turn into referrals and endorsements). Facebook was built for this. Your personal network is your business network.
That said, your friends (and their friends) will be merciless in the use of the “Hide” button if you spam them. That means auto-posting listings every hour, pushing open house info constantly etc is unlikely to win you new business and very likely to get your updates hidden.
OK, so what should I do?
First, your personal profile is where you build out your network. Make it your mission to have a large and growing base of friends. Friend people you meet at open houses, parties, and so on.
Second, use your personal profile to build relationships and engage with people on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to talk a little real estate in there - it’s your life, right? But do it in a way that’s conversational, not spammy.
Finally, promote your Fan page to your network smartly and subtly. Find creative ways (the Roost app is one) to offer more real estate content on your fan/business page that your network will find interesting.
Bottom line - your personal profile is about you, your fan page is about business
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE???
...Next up – thoughts on creating a Fan page that actually engages prospects.