When your name is also your brand, it’s tough to know where to draw the boundary lines on social media. Should you use your personal Facebook page to communicate with clients and network, or should you set up a Facebook business page?

  • Agents can keep track of who is visiting their page on their Facebook business page and can advertise and boost posts.
  • Try the 80/20 rule on your personal Facebook -- 80 percent personal, 20 percent business.
  • On your business page, include lots of community content and promote yourself as a community leader.

When your name is also your brand, it’s tough to know where to draw the boundary lines on social media. Should you use your personal Facebook page to communicate with clients and network, or should you set up a Facebook business page?

There are pros and cons to both, of course. On one hand, a personal page is, well, personal. It helps people feel like they’re getting to know the “real” you in a way that a business page might not convey.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t want your friends getting caught up in your business life, or your business contacts to see your kids at a birthday party or your latest wine gathering with your friends.

Use both

One of the first things the pro-business-page lobby will tell you is that Facebook does not allow you to do business on your personal page — it is a violation of Facebook rules, and the company can close your personal page down if you violate the rules.

On the other hand, there aren’t a lot of agents getting kicked off Facebook for showing the world a beautiful house. Plus, if your friends are your sphere of influence and the group you are going to get the majority of your leads from, why not?

Luxury Miami real estate agent Samantha DeBianchi

Samantha DeBianchi

There are plenty of  agents out there talking about real estate on their personal Facebook pages. Miami agent and TV personality Samantha DeBianchi said that she posts almost the same things on her Facebook business and personal pages, and she has never had Facebook tell her off for promoting her business on her personal Facebook page.

“I am all about the personal page — I’ve just posted that I’m looking for an assistant on there,” she said.

It has to do with business, yes, but she doesn’t see why she shouldn’t put a call out to her friends on the subject.

“When it comes to being a real estate agent, what you do personally is going to affect you professionally,” she added.

Work both pages in tandem

If you do have two pages, it’s important to work them in a parallel fashion, DeBianchi advised. “I put a new listing on everything — the more avenues, the better,” she added.

Unlike the rest of us, because she is well known — DeBianchi stars on “Million Dollar Listing: Miami” and is often called on by the networks to comment on a property story — the agent has no trouble attracting followers to her personal Facebook page, which is “maxed-out” on friends. She has hit the friend limit of 5,000 and has another 3,621 followers on top of that. Unusually, both her personal page and her business page are open to the public.

Her Facebook business page is more of a fan page, she said, with more than 18,000 followers. DeBianchi also has a company page and a company website.

Try to be active on both, is the advice from social media-savvy agent, Tristan Ahumada,  CEO of Tristan and Associates at Keller Williams Realty and co-founder  of the Facebook group Lab Coat Agents.

Ideally, you need a business page (so you are able to boost your posts) and a personal page (with some business on it).

The Facebook Memories feature is a good way to re-connect with clients and your sphere of influence on your personal page, said Ahumada.

“If you have taken a picture with a client three or four years ago, titled, ‘Here, I sold your house on this date,’ you can re-tag your client from three years ago,” he noted.

“You can re-engage and ask, ‘How is that home going?'”

Just go with the business page

If DeBianchi’s idea of being active on both a business and personal page sounds like too much hard work and you are serious about your real estate career, Michael Glazer, CEO of Back at You Media, advises opting for a business page. Back at You helps agents produce polished Facebook pages and equips them with tools and know-how to drive traffic to their pages.

“The thing to remember about your Facebook business page is you can boost the post, use the analytics and find out all kinds of information on who is looking at your page,” said Glazer.

“You can learn where are your people coming from, how old they are. You can ask for reviews. Reviews are huge — if you get a review, your chance of conversion quadruples. Also, there is the ability to advertise.”

Glazer estimates spending something like $100 a month would be the right number for agents advertising their Facebook business page.

“If you are in real estate for the long term, the Facebook business page has been set up with the right tools and resources so that you can be successful,” said Glazer.

And you can personalize your business page.

“You can talk about local events and be the community leader on your business page,” he said.

The other reason to opt for the Facebook business page is for search reasons.

“Your business page is open to the public, so the potential traffic is much larger,” he noted. “The personal page is only open if you are signed in on Facebook. The business page is the clear winner.”

Ideally, you should have your town or area and “real estate” in the title of your business page, as well as a link to your website URL, he advised. It all helps with your Google search score.

Stick to the personal page

For those agents wanting to stick to the personal profile, social media consultant Katie Lance suggests using the 80/20 rule — 80 percent personal, 20 percent business.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the personal, she said.

“Your personal profile is an important piece of how you connect with current and prospective clients,” she said. “You might think, ‘Who cares about what I had for breakfast or about my dog photos?’ Think about it, though. That’s how you connect with people. You connect when people share things like photos of their kids and pets or even a great glass of wine that they had — and people want to do business with people they connect with.”

Lance doesn’t believe Facebook business pages are for everyone because they are time-consuming and quite a responsibility.

“Be careful, because it takes a lot of time and effort and strategy, and it’s not for every agent,” she said.

Email Gill South.

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