If the saying don’t mix business with pleasure holds true for life, it holds even truer for social media.
Blurring the line between your personal and business Facebook page also blurs the line between interaction with your friends (followers) and invasion of privacy. A business page also represents a great opportunity to grow your business, one which your competitors might be taking advantage of.
But it’s free, you say! Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. It’s a common misconception that Facebook Business pages receive less organic (i.e. unpaid) reach than personal profiles. While this is true to some extent, the Facebook algorithm (the robots that determine which content to show to a user) still applies on personal profiles.
Ever wondered why you only see certain friends’ posts on Facebook and not others? This is because Facebook customises the content it shows you based on your past interactions and this applies to both your friends and the businesses you follow. So regardless of whether you have a personal or business page, your content will be restricted by the algorithm. Even with a personal account, your posts won’t be shown to all your friends.
If you are ‘friending’ a lot of people who you don’t have rapport with, they will be unlikely to interact with your posts. The algorithm will gradually push your content further and further down on the importance scale, meaning your content may not be seen anyway.
Here are five other reasons why you should be using a Facebook business page to connect with current and potential clients, rather than your personal one:
1. Social media is not a free promotional platform anymore
Frankly we need to stop thinking of social media as a free marketing resource. This mindset is causing thousands of agents to miss out on an exceptional opportunity to gain exposure in their marketplace and allowing their competitors overtake them. The more you use Facebook for business, the more advanced your targeting becomes as Facebook has more data to work with and can better optimise your ads.
More and more businesses are jumping on the Facebook bandwagon and the longer you put it off, the more difficult and expensive it will become to gain traction when starting from scratch with Facebook. Five years ago it was much easier to build a Facebook following because there was less people using the platform. In fact, just this year Facebook announced they are actually running out of room to show content paid and unpaid!
2. Reach clients you do and don’t know
Facebook allows for detailed and sophisticated targeting through Facebook Audience. This targeting not only allows you to reach people in specifics demographics and suburbs, but you can also target people based on their annual income, whether they have just moved to a new house, recently been divorced or separated from their partner, and the list goes on.
The ability to target so specifically allows you to use your experience – and existing data (i.e. your email database, past website visitors and possibly even your competitors’ Facebook followers) – to find people who are the most likely to convert into a vendor or buyer.
3. Amazing advertising capabilities
With Facebook advertising, you can build your database, generate appraisal leads, promote a branding video to your farm area (hello TV advertising) or just get more of your target audience liking your page so that you can remain top of mind for when it comes time to sell. You can’t advertise with a personal page and you are also limited to 5,000 friends.
At the moment, the reach and targeting of Facebook Ads is far more sophisticated (and cheaper) than most traditional advertising methods such as newspaper ads, DL cards, direct mail and display ads. About 95 per cent of Aussies who use social media are on Facebook and most spend, on average, 23 minutes per day on the platform. It might surprise you to know, too, that the vast majority are over 30 years old.
If you know how to use Facebook ads properly (because you can waste money), you can reach a huge audience of potential vendors and connect with people who don’t know who you are yet. With a personal profile, you can only connect with people you already know in some way.
4. Stranger danger
Receiving a friend request from a person you have never met or talked to before is a little bit weird. People feel exposed as they have to share their personal information and posts with someone they don’t know.
Vendors and buyers may not want to share their personal life with their estate agent, or be made aware of what their estate agent does in his or her spare time. Again, it comes down to the line of professionalism between mixing business with pleasure.
Exposing your personal life to your clients also puts you at risk of damaging your professional branding and reputation; some clients may not agree with your points of view or way of life. It only takes that one larrikin mate to tag you in a drunken photo from five years ago to set a negative impression with a potential client.
5. Professionalism and authority
Probably one of the most convincing arguments for utilising a business page on Facebook vs a personal account for marketing is the perceived authority that comes from having a business page.
A Facebook business page is an extension of your website, and an official source of information for all things your business offers. It can also become a channel for customer service, testimonials and community building. You will be building rapport among followers of the page through your interactions on the page and with the customers on the page.
Facebook has grown to become one of the most valuable platforms for social media marketing, and marketing in general. It would be a waste not to utilise the platform to grow your profile or business, build on your brand reputation and reach new clientele.