There’s little doubt that you’re using Facebook as a platform to tell people about your business and attract new clients. But, if you’re like most Realtors, mortgage lenders, and even small business owners, you’re probably using your personal Facebook profile to do so, at least to some extent.
Sure, you created a Facebook business page a long time ago (about half of all real estate professionals and business owners do), but I’m guessing it’s now an afterthought. Instead, you prefer to interact, post content, and share your day-to-day business on your personal page.
That’s a mistake.
You’re wasting invaluable opportunities to market, promote, and grow your business. In a field where even one or two more home sales, closed loans, or new clients makes a huge financial difference, it’s critical that you not only set up a Facebook business page but utilize it correctly.
I know what you’re thinking – but the people I know interact with me more on my personal page, and I don’t want to abandon that and start over with a business page. I have a quick and nearly-effortless solution that’s a win-win, so scroll down to the end if you want to see it.
So, what are the benefits to a Facebook business page instead of just your personal profile?
I’ll cover 10 important reasons why they are better than personal pages here and 10 more reasons in part two of this blog.
1. No limit to the number of fans
Facebook personal profiles are capped at 5,000 friends, which you can reach pretty quickly if you have a growing business or practice. But with pages, there is no limit on the number of fans and followers you can engage and interact with. (Samsung is the top brand with 159 million likes, followed by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldowith 122 million likes.)
While you may never reach Samsung/Ronaldo status on Facebook, don’t sell your business short by capping its potential growth at just 5,000 people.
2. Reach a Targeted Audience
This is so important. If you’re a real estate agent, growing a social media following with people who live 100 miles away won’t do you any good. But you do want to market hard to your city, the 10-mile radius around your office, or even a certain neighborhood. And if you’re a mortgage lender, most of your business may come locally, but you can close loans throughout your home state. Likewise, local business owners need to carefully zoom in or out on a geographic target market to optimize business.
Facebook business pages allow you to do just that, pinpointing your social media presence on the map. (I’ll talk more about targeting with ads and boosted content in part two of this blog.)
3. Facebook Insights
With a Facebook page, you don’t need Google Analytics, as Facebook Insights will do the job for you. With Insights, you can access a mountain of data about your viewers, audience, reach, etc., using it all to improve your reach. You can even download a custom Insight report for more detailed stats and data, but this is only available on pages – not personal profiles.
4. Facebook Tabs
You may notice on sophisticated and well-built Facebook pages that there’s a tabbed area under the cover photo, like a horizontal menu on a website. You can customize those tabs (sometimes with the help of third-party apps) to do just about anything, from Search Now and other call-to-action buttons to newsletter and blog opt-in forms, giveaways (we’ll talk about that next), video introduction, featured listings, and much more. Sorry – can’t do that with your personal profile.
5. Run contests, raffles, and giveaways
Facebook is pretty specific with their rules regarding contests and giveaways on personal profiles – you’re not allowed to do it. But Facebook pages are the perfect place to run these special offers and fun contests, energizing your audience, creating a buzz, and feeding your marketing funnel (gathering emails, etc.). If you’re not doing some of these on a regular basis, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity (just make sure to check DRE for any regulations).
6. Reviews and testimonials
Garnering 5-star reviews and glowing testimonials are so important in the real estate, mortgage, or small business game, where establishing social proof and building trust are paramount. You can do exactly that with a Facebook business page, but the only one leaving you a testimonial on your personal page is your disgruntled ex.
7. Connect to Facebook Places
When your Facebook business page is optimized correctly, that page will connect automatically to the appropriate Facebook Place. Not only will that display all of your professional contact info, but it allows your clients and friends to check in. Check-ins are huge for growing your business because they show their friends that they’ve using your services, even in a mobile business like real estate, as well as sharing photos, videos, comments, and reviews of your services. That’s a very valuable promotional opportunity – and free with Facebook Places.
8. Contact info and other nuts and bolts
I can’t tell you how many times consumers find a business website, page, or other social media account but can’t locate the most basic of info, like their phone number, email, address, website, and hours of operation. There is no good place to highlight these things on a personal profile, but with a business page, all of that will come across loud and clear – helping eager home buyers or sellers find you!
9. Enhanced privacy
Business pages offer many more ways to monitor, screen, and filter the content that others are sharing on your timeline and page. Likewise, since your business page deals with your vocation and not your personal life, you’re creating a safety buffer to protect your identity, data, and even your family. I can’t stress that need enough as these days, being cautious and safe is so important for all Realtors, but especially female agents and business owners who might be working alone.
10. You can convert your personal profile to a business page
Have you invested years of time and work into your profile, building it up to a few thousand friends? If that’s the case, then you definitely don’t want to lose that social media account, but the good news is that you can convert your personal page to a business page seamlessly, keeping your existing friends but opening up to all of the benefits of a business page.
(However, you will lose your past content, so download all of your Facebook photos in a zip file first.)
Here’s the easy solution I promised you:
Don’t want to split your attention between your personal profile and a business page?
Post content to your business page first, and then share it to your personal timeline. It will still reach your personal audience but also help make them aware of your business page and promote it, garnering likes, comments, and more interaction.
Boom! Look for part two of this blog soon with 10 more reasons you NEED to use your business Facebook page.