Facebook: Business Page or Personal Profile - Which is Better?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marketing with Kate

Facebook Business Page or Personal Profile - Which is Better?

At our recent Redding CA Social Media Meet up we started a conversation about the risks of setting up a personal Facebook profile for a local business. The need to leverage the power of Facebook is no longer an option. Facebook has far too much momentum to be ignored.

Many small, local businesses find Facebook personal profiles easier to work with and seemingly more effective than the more formal Facebook pages. I've been studying this for a while and have done a good amount of research on the topic.

So why should you set up your local business on Facebook with a business page and not a personal profile?

1. Facebook Says So: According to Facebook's terms of service, "Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook." While Facebook is not actively enforcing this YET, it's likely that they will will in the future. When this happens and your profile gets shut down by Facebook for violating this rule, your friends list and all your hard work will vanish with it.

2. One Profile can oversee many business pages. Business pages give greater flexibility. This means that as you use and understand Facebook, Business Pages will give your business greater growing power.

3..Facebook Pages offer Analytics and Widgets that offer greater function over personal Profiles. This means that you can measure your results and add "website like:" functionality to your Business Page that you can't get with a personal profile.

4. SEO aka Google Juice: The content on Business pages are indexed by Google while the content on personal profiles are not. Note that I"m saying "content" here.

5. Friends vs "Likers": A personal profile is limited to 5,000 friends. A business page can have unlimited "likers"

Several local businesses disagreed with my opion at our meet up. That's Ok, afterall isn't that was the conversation is all about? That said, I've been around social media long enough to know that policies change. Facebook is moving in the direction where it will start enforcing terms of service policies. It's not if it will happen, it's when will it happen.

How to protect yourself?

1. Set up a Business Page and gradually start using it. Find reasons for your Friends to "like" your business page.
2. Make sure that there are at least 2, even 3 admins of the Business page. This will protect you if Facebook does shut down the personal profile of the business.

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Comments (23)

Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...

This is really good info. A business page only makes sense in F/B... I started by having both not realizing that there were benefits to a business page, but it really IS easier to manage it.

Jan 28, 2011 04:03 PM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Thanks Kate, I have been thinking about doing a business page from my personal site but the problem I have run into is when I want to "Share" something from another site, it always goes to my personal profile and not my business page ~ something I need to try to figure out ~

Jan 28, 2011 04:04 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

One of each is a wonderful idea I do like the analitics of the fan page

Jan 28, 2011 04:05 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

All very good points Kate.  And while I am facebook "friends" with some of my clients I have some privacy settings that only allow "friends" in certain groups to see what I post.  That being said... my business page is totally public and I post real estate and community related things there.

Jan 28, 2011 04:05 PM
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Kate - Yeah, I know I need to.  Thanks for the reminder; maybe this time I'll do it : )

Jan 28, 2011 04:06 PM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Kate, you get the suggest from me.  I have personal and a business page.  I still don't understand everything on FB, but you've filled in a few blanks for me.

Jan 28, 2011 04:12 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Go with the Business Page.

Remember, whatever you post on Facebook becomes "the property of Facebook". 

Any personal information that you post on Facebook, including your phone number, home address, photos, comments, and posts, have and will be used by Facebook for whatever purpose they desire. 

Just today Facebook announced that they will allow Advertisers to use your Likes and Posts.  There is no "Opt Out" for this.

Jan 28, 2011 04:17 PM
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - QuickFreeMLS.com - Bradenton, FL
QuickFreeMLS.com - Listings In Paradise

You need both. Neither is better, they are just different.

Jan 28, 2011 04:39 PM
Ed Kurosz , Lic. Assoc. RE Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Westhampton Beach & Quogue - Westhampton Beach, NY
Douglas Elliman Real Estate Hamptons & North Fork

There are two main benefits of having a Real Estate Business Fan Page.

A.) Your fans are not necessarily your friends. Fans will become fans of your page to get specific updates from you about real estate. This allows a nice separation - you can still have a personal account for your friends, and a fan page for business.

B.) When you post a status update to your fan page, it works the same way as a personal profile - it shows up in your fan's news feed on their home page. For example, you may want to be a fan of  certain companies. When these companies post info, links, photos to their page, it shows up in your feed. This is a great marketing tool.

Do we need a personal page AND a business fan page? ABSOLUTELY!

Real estate pages are very effective for Brokerages, Agent Teams, Agents working in a specific neighborhood, Agents who specialize in certain areas of real estate, and even promoting listings.

In some MLS regions you can link your listings from Realtor.com to your personal profile and your business fan page using the Realtor.com application available. Check it out.


Jan 28, 2011 05:06 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kate, all very good reasons to have your personal page AND business page. And they are FREE - so why not?

Jan 28, 2011 05:48 PM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Interesting conversation,  I'll have to expand and dig deeper into the point.  There are quite a few businesses that use a personal profile for their business and give it a business name. 


Having a personal profile that you use for personal purposes is what Facebook is all about.  I'm addressing those businesses that have set up a personal profile in a business name....


Realtors do walk a different line because their business is their name.  I've heard quite a few people who have unfriended Real Estate Agents who only post business oand listings on n their personal profile.  It's something to think about.

Jan 28, 2011 08:34 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Excellent post.  Suggested.  I just started my page this month so I still have a LOT of learning.

Jan 28, 2011 10:01 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Kate, I have and do trust your commentary and advice regarding social media.  I am avoiding much of it like the plague.  The avenue you've described here appears to be the more responsible route.  I think, therefore I am.  I think.


Jan 29, 2011 01:09 AM
Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI
Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE - Carmel, IN
Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert

Kate--I really appreciate all of the social media advice you post.  You always seem to calm me down and put all of this into more manageable terms---something even I can handle!!!

Jan 29, 2011 03:51 PM
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Kate, Great information.  Now I will have to get busy with my business page.

Jan 29, 2011 04:27 PM
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Hi Kate, Thank you for writing about this as well as your part#2 follow up post.  I've been riding the fence on this because I didn't want to spam friends by writing too much about business, but on the other hand, I want to help friends by providing good information for them.  So, it really makes sense to have separate pages, and just hit the "like" so that friends know there's been an update.  Is that how it works?

Jan 30, 2011 04:13 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I am getting lead after lead after lead with my personal page.  I am slowly using my business page more but will always use my personal 1st.  It is just my name, not my business, but it is powerful!  I am going to find you on there and see how you use it.

Feb 08, 2011 06:55 AM
Johanna Roy
BRIX Real Estate - Saint Paul, MN
The Name Friends Recommend

I have been thinking about this for a while now. Because I won't accept any Realtors or Lenders as my friends on my personal account. I have heard too many people where one becomes a friend then go into the contacts of that person and starts emailing all their friends for business. I just think business needs to stay business and friends stay friends. I am not in the market to get thousands of friends, I only accept those that REALLY are friends. Knowing that you have to have a personal profile page first before having a fan page, my question is once you set up a fan page, can those people that "like" your page have access or see your personal profile at that time?

Feb 21, 2011 10:49 AM
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

How many Business pages can you have? Are you limited to just 1?

Mar 29, 2011 02:50 PM
Foster Smith Summerville
Carolina One Real Estate - Summerville, SC
Summerville & Charleston Homes for Sale SC Realtor

I've been using my Facebook Business Page for a year or so now...www.Facebook.com/FosterSmithRE and it is true that those that like my business profile are not necessarily personal friends, so are not friends with me on my personal profile. It is sometimes a challenge to mange them both, but I hate to run the risk of violating Facebook's terms.


Aug 27, 2012 01:37 AM