On this first post on my Getting Down to Basics series, I am going to touch on some fundamentals of Facebook. One of the most common misconceptions I have found among many Realtors that have not fully delved into Facebook, is the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page.
It is easy to confuse the difference between Facebook profiles and pages (often called “business pages” or “fan pages”) because they look very similar. But they couldn’t be more different than one another as they have separate terms of service and serve different purposes.
The Facebook profile has a slightly different look from the official page especially since the dawn of the “new” Facebook profile that came out in December 2010. The most distinct differences would be the personal information listed at the top, and below that, the banner of 5 photos across the top above your wall.
and the lack of “tabs” on the profile page is also a big difference (though with Facebook changing all of the time, who knows how long tabs will still be there in the future).
*Facebook takes your first 5 tagged photos and puts them in that spot above your wall. So be sure that you like and approve of photos you’re tagged in as they’re the first thing people will see on your profile.
Facebook uses different terms for those connected to your profile and official page, friends vs. like.
For Facebook profiles you will see the “Add as Friend” button to add the profile of others to connect with your profile, and the term “friends” when referring to your profile connections.
Different Terms of Service
In the past few years where Facebook has become a popular business tool, this question has come up from a few of my agents: “I want a Facebook page for their business, so do I have to sign up for a whole separate Facebook account?” The answer is a resounding NO.
In Facebook’s terms of service, they specifically state that you cannot have more than one personal profile, so that is a major no-no. They also say that you may not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain. Your profile is supposed to represent an actual person, not a brand. So it is advisable that as a Realtor, you should not promote your listings or directly solicit business on your Facebook profile. The Facebook official page is your answer to this.
That being said, that does not mean you can’t use your profile to foster relationships with your sphere. You should definitely engage with your friends on Facebook, show your personality, share your activities outside of your business life, just not blatantly promoting your real estate listings all the time. Think of Facebook as a giant online cocktail party. You wouldn’t go from person to person just telling them about your listings all the time would you?
Some additional points about your Facebook profile:
- Facebook profile has a maximum friend limit of 5,000
- Only those that you have mutually chosen to become friends with can see our full profile (unless you changed your privacy settings)
Facebook Pages on the other hand are specifically meant for commercial use. So your Facebook page or “Business Page” as I usually call it, is the appropriate place to post your listings, promote your real estate business, etc. Some additional info on Facebook official pages:
- Facebook pages are indexed by Google
- There are no limits to how many people can choose to like your page
- You can track visitor stats via Insights
- You can have as many Facebook pages as you wish
So that’s your basic overview of the difference between Facebook profiles and official pages. Here are some other great places to check out that explain this really well.
- Pixel Coaching – Facebook Foundations: Profile vs. Official Pages (check out their awesome comparison chart at the bottom)
- iClick Solutions – Difference between Facebook Profile and Facebook Fan Page
If you have any questions about some basics in Facebook , or any other social media or tech tool out there, we would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!
Next up in Getting Down to Basics, a video tutorial on how to create a Facebook page for your business.
Megan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.