Quick Definition and Details about Facebook Pages (you’ll need to know this if you care to read any more of this post – and you should): “Create a presence that looks and behaves like user profiles to connect and engage with your customers and amplify your voice to their friends.” – Facebook Pages
Be careful when considering Facebook Pages as a marketing tool. I know it’s tempting to tap Facebook’s immense community to grow your business, but be careful in how you approach it.
Social networks should be for networking, not your marketing plan
People don’t join associations, clubs, or real world groups and then go to the weekly or monthly meeting meetings with market updates. They go as themselves to develop relationships. Why do anything different just because it’s on the internet and not face to face? Of course, your career is part of what makes you ‘you’ and part of some of your conversations will be about your job/business, but to have a marketing plan in a social network just seems counter-productive to the real value of building relationships.
Real Estate Agents do not need Facebook Pages
In my opinion, real estate agents should not use Facebook (or Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…) as marketing channels, but as networking opportunities. A chance to learn from others, make new contacts, grow their sphere of influence, grow existing relationships and add value to others in the network. Promote what others are doing, share what is happening in your communities, stand up for causes, raise awareness to issues of concern, be personable (it’s okay to be yourself, just don’t tell us everything you’re eating every day) and develop true relationships with past clients, old friends, future referral sources, new friends, etc… I think it’s easier to do this as “Friends” of your Profile and not with “Fans” of your Page.
Real Estate Companies do need Facebook Pages
As for using ‘pages’ on Facebook, definitely go for it at the company level and perhaps start neighborhood pages for your local markets (because it’s hard to be ‘friends’ with a company or community). Keep your personal business as part of your profile, it is a part of who you are and a great chance to put personality into your personal service brand. Trying to separate business and personal in a social network would be like joining a softball team and never telling your teammates what happened at work that day or how the local market is doing. Furthermore, showing up at game time each week with planned market updates would just be silly, quickly ignored, and never asked to play again.
I know I’d rather have Friends than Fans and I sure know I’d rather not sign up for more marketing in my life. I assume my Facebook Friends feel the same way.
But, what about those who aren’t my ‘friends’? How will I reach them with my message? Shouldn’t I market to Fans so their friends can see me too? Short answers… it takes time to build relationships, word of mouth, & no, that’s too close to spam.