Is Your Facebook Helping Or Hindering Your Business?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with The Atlas Group - Southern Oregon Real Estate-Medford Homes

 So you have a Facebook page to promote your business. Do you know how to use it?

Most Realtors with Facebook pages utilize them to help market listings and keep their Facebook "friends" up to date about the changing market. Some go a step further and also provide information for buyers and sellers designed to make the buying and selling process easier to understand. These are great uses of Facebook, but many Facebook users overlook one very important thing: Using your account privacy settings to ensure that your posts are viewed by the right people.

Before I get into what this entails it is important to understand why Facebook privacy is important. You should ask yourself this question: Did you use Facebook as a personal social network PRIOR to using it for marketing? If so you need to keep reading. If not, consider finishing this article as it will provide some unique insights into the need to Facebook security.

Those who used their profiles as personal social networks PRIOR to using them to boost their real estate business should realize that your personal profile could actually drive away buyers and sellers. Why is this? Well for starters most of us enjoying leaving very personal "status updates".

Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

Let me throw a hypothetical situation at you to best illustrate my point. You have several listings but one client in particular is a little more needy than the rest and expects a little more attention and updating than most. Let's assume you have a vacation coming up. Coincidentally, your needy client has been feeling that their listed home is not getting much attention from buyers, and just happens to be losing "faith" in you as a Broker. The client has not spoken with you about this, leaving you unaware of this. You go on a fun filled vacation, posting status updates on Facebook about beaches, palm trees and Hawaiian sunsets. Well guess what? Your client now knows you're on vacation enjoying fun in the sun. Is this a bad thing? Well it could be. If you notified your client you were going on vacation in advance, this might not present an issue. However, had you taken a short vacation away and simply told your client that you would be unavailable for a few days - that could leave your client with a bad taste in their mouth. Not good.

Lifestyle choices can also present problems on Facebook. Posting political opinions or potentially offensive humor can have catastrophic effects on your business. By posting such things you can actually prevent people from working with you. People have strong opinions about politics and what they consider to be offensive.

Keeping these two examples in mind, it may be appropriate to set up two Facebook profiles. Consider having one profile just for your personal friends and a whole separate profile for your clients. This is a quick and easy way to prevent the scenarios above. For most of us though, the prospect of managing two profiles is undesirable. But there is a solution!

Keeping Your Facebook Posts Private To Only A Select Audience

Start by clicking on the "friends" tab, and then creating a "group". The only real group you need is one that includes your personal friends and family. You should be selective about who goes into this group because this group will be able to see all the information you put onto your Facebook profile. Select only your friends and family which would be unlikely to be offended by anything you may post. Call this group whatever you want, but I like to call mine the inner circle.

Next, in your account settings (click the account button on the top right hand side of your Facebook page), under the "privacy" section and then "profile information" - you can set up options about who can see your posts or what your friends post to your "wall", your uploaded photos and more. Set your profile to show everything you post to everyone in your new friends group. This means each thing you post is now private unless you choose to post it to "Everyone" which means ALL of your Facebook friends (clients and personal).

From now on when updating your status, make notice of this button (shown below in black):

 

Each time you update you can then select "Everyone" before you click the "Share" button - for updates that you wish for everyone else to see. But now by default if you do not select this option ONLY your personal friends will see the update - leaving you free to post whatever you like, without broadcasting it to the entire Facebook world.

 

Parting Thought

One last thought to leave you with on this subject. Google likes Facebook, a little too well. What I mean here, is that your posts to your Facebook "wall" (photos, updates, links you post, etc...) are indexed by Google and displayed in the search engine results they provide to the public. This means your witty comment on the Obama administration, could just pop up when someone searches for info about Obama. It is not extremely likely that your witty quip will appear for most people searching the term Obama - but since the slight possibility that this could happen is there if someone searches using the right combination of keywords that appear in your witty remark - it's even more reason to set your profile to private as described above.

What About MySpace?

MySpace is also a social networking platform in use by many agents. MySpace allows users to also make their pages "private" to only those who are accepted as friends. However, MySpace DOES NOT have the same features for privacy as Facebook. MySpace is an all or nothing. Either everyone on the green earth can read everything you write and post - or ONLY those accepted as MySpace "friends" can see your page and comments.

So What Do I Recommend For MySpace?

Absolutely set your profile to private. Make a choice to either use your MySpace  ONLY for marketing purposes leaving out any posts that might draw negative attention to you and your business or set up 2 profiles, one for you personally and one for you as a Realtor. In this day and age online impressions are extremely important. Your potential clients will often choose a Realtor based on their web presence. Make it a point to create the RIGHT kind of web presence.

-Matt Jameson

Posted by

 

-Matt Jameson

The Atlas Group: Our philosophy is all about embracing change in a manner that is most effective toward the success of our clients. Our reputation is built on the many testimonials and referrals from our past clients - and it's become that way for a reason...we simply try harder.

Your search for a real estate broker should involve a careful scrutiny of experience, ability, personality and effectiveness. Shop around and you'll quickly see why more and more people are choosing The Atlas Group to represent them in their real estate transactions.

With that being said, we would like to welcome our readers to contact us using the links and information in our profile.

 Also, we invite our visitors to view our websites at http://www.tagbrokers.com and http://www.southernoregonhomeinfo.com where you are able to view all Southern Oregon listings and listed properties - as well as find pertinent and helpful advice and information about real estate and many of the newest trends in real estate investing.

The Atlas Group - Real Estate Results!
http://www.TAGBrokers.com

Comments (100)

Michael R. Moore
Charleston Realty Group - Charleston, SC

Very good post.  I have a separate business page just in case. 

On a side note - I noticed in your header frame that "licensed" is misspelled.  Just an FYI...

Mar 12, 2010 04:49 AM
Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Wow. Thanks for all the great information. I feel like facebook is updating and changing every other week. Very wise advice!

 I hope you'll remember me if you learn of anyone moving to "The OC" and I will do the same!

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors           

Mar 12, 2010 04:52 AM
Carla Cameron
www.ViewCurrentListings.com - Portland, OR
REALTOR 509.680.1338

I just opened up a facebook account today. Thanks for helping me know what to do and what not to do.  Keeping it professional sounds like a must!

Mar 12, 2010 05:28 AM
Peter Di Eduardo
West End Residential - Morristown, NJ

Social media sites used for business as well a personal purposes can be a double-edged sword. I don't post anything regarding the BIG THREE TABOO TOPICS; sex, politics and religion.

Mar 12, 2010 06:12 AM
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR® - New Port Richey, FL

ever google Facebook Fail ?  there is some hilarious Fails 

Mar 12, 2010 06:17 AM
Kathy Opatka
RE/MAX CROSSROADS - Ocean City, MD
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches

I think I'll put selected family members in a group!  Sometimes I miss something important family-wise!

Mar 12, 2010 08:15 AM
Wendy McSteen
Spring Realty Inc. - Channahon, IL

This is excellent advice.  I agree with Jeani (#78)--I have seen people post very inappropriate comments. 

Mar 12, 2010 09:06 AM
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Great post on Facebook and it's uses.  I also recommend a Facebook Fan Page for business-- I have one for my livethedesertlife.com web-site!  Thanks for posting-- Kathy

Mar 12, 2010 10:04 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Once your business page has 25 fans you can create a vanity URL. Possibilities abound. 

Mar 12, 2010 11:22 AM
Dawn Pfaff
NYStateMLS - East Greenbush, NY
NY State MLS President

It does effect my opinion when people make their posts to personal, some stuff should just not be put on the web for all to see.

Mar 12, 2010 11:49 AM
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Matt, These are great pointers.  I have often thought I should avoid adding my clients, but don't want to be "unsocial".  Glad to hear I can choose who to show my updates to.  I wish I would have thought to create 2 pages like you suggested.  I'm going to google "poop rainbows and butterfiles" and see if it comes up...that was my update today, LOL

Mar 12, 2010 12:40 PM
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor

Matt:

Good post, lots of help.

Richard

Mar 12, 2010 01:25 PM
Natasha Pazdzerskaia
Coldwell Banker - Somers, NY

Matt, thank you very much for very useful information! I do have a fan page on Facebook in addition to my personal page. My question is - I know that few of my clients/prospects are on Facebook. I don't want to "friend" them so they could see my personal page. However, I would like to invite them to my Fan Page. Is there a way to send them invitations without becoming Facebook friends with them?

Mar 12, 2010 01:57 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Good points -- there are some very personal things one read and goes OMG.. why is that here?

Mar 12, 2010 02:50 PM
Brian Black
Trueblood Real Estate - Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, IN - Carmel, IN
Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers IN REALTOR

Very valid post.  I pretty well keep my personal profile and business fan page as two entirely separate things.  In the event that a client adds me as a friend I have a specific list reserved for them so that they can see only what I want them to.  Its important to limit information just as much as it is to provide it.  Something seemingly innocent in your mind can easily be misinterpreted.

Thanks for the post!

Mar 13, 2010 01:35 AM
Rick Beal
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Portland, ME

Response to Mike #75, I almost always can see who owns the fan page by the first fan was. 

 

 

Mar 13, 2010 02:16 AM
Dana Ash-McGinty
ASH MCGINTY - Washington, DC
Principal Broker

Good information. Thanks.

Apr 05, 2010 07:25 AM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Thanks for the clarifications Matt! This is a helpful post. I found it by Googling Facebook Fan Page.

Apr 06, 2010 12:10 AM
Jeff Mateja
Keller Williams Realty - Universal Properties - Portland, ME
Southern Maine Real Estate

Excellent post. Some great information, well summarized. Thank you.

Sep 03, 2010 05:08 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Good information, Matt. I use a separate personal and business account because I don't want my renters/clients in my personal space and I don't want to inundate family and friends with my business.

Mar 24, 2017 04:30 AM