Personal Page versus Business Page? Which Agents Should Use (and why)

8/9/2019

Heat Level: Mild: These tips are beginner-friendly.

Bottom Line: Cris S. asked us to explore “the big question: Do I need a personal and a business (real estate) Facebook page? Some say do it all in one and others say...?”

Do This: Here’s the Final Word on when, where and how to use Business versus Personal Facebook (or Instagram) profiles.

facebook and facebook business manager logosDon't risk getting shut out of Facebook - play by the rules and enjoy the benefits of a Business Page.Facebook has two different types of profiles: personal and business.

For offices, it’s pretty clear that you’ll need to set up a business profile. But what about agents? You’re a person (we hope), and you probably want to make use of your personal network.

Cris. S of Stark Company Realtors asked us to settle the question, once and for all. So here’s the verdict: agents need to set up a business page in addition to their personal page.

Don’t hate me, take it up with Facebook!

First thing’s first: you need a personal account to use Facebook in any way, shape, or form. Your personal login is used to access and manage your business page. So that’s why you have to have both, and you can’t have only a business page.

Now, here are the reasons why real estate agents need to set up a business page for themselves.

It’s in Facebook’s terms of service.

Using a personal profile in a commercial capacity is against Facebook’s rules. Posting listings, offering CMAs, and promoting your business are commercial activities. So if you don’t want to risk getting your account shut down for violating the terms of service, you need to set up a separate business profile.

Think you can fly under the radar? You might be able to… but just know that Facebook shut down 583 million profiles in 2018 that broke its rules. I wouldn’t mess around with the odds. 

You need a Business Page to run ads.

Facebook is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to real estate agents. Without a business page, you don’t get to play in this sandbox. You can only run ads on Facebook if you have a Business Page set up.

Even if you’re not ready to run ads right now, you want to have that option available when you’re ready.

You can only get analytics or schedule posts from a Business Page.

There are a bunch of free tools baked into Business Pages. Use the Insights feature to see how many people are viewing your posts, which got the most clicks, and what time of day is best for your posts. You can also schedule posts to go live in the future - a huge lifesaver if you hate scrambling for posts every single day!

It’s better for your friends and followers.

The average Facebook user has 338 friends. Your friend list probably consists of high school friends, coworkers, family members and acquaintances… do they all want to see your listings all day, every day? What about your out-of-town friends who can’t buy in your area, but still want to stay in touch? Don’t alienate your friends and family by using your personal profile as an advertising stream.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t mix your listings into your personal profile. Just do it sparingly and remember your audience. And, you can invite your friends and family to like your business page as well.

It gives you a chance to claim your URL/username.

Nothing is more frustrating than finding out your username (and a bunch of variations on it) have been claimed. By snagging your business page URL now, you don’t have to sweat it later.

Once you’ve set up your business page, look for the @ symbol under your page name. You can change it by going to the About section of your page. It's easier for people to tag or search your Page when it has a unique username. Pages with usernames can also create custom URLs that allow people to quickly visit and message you.

What about Instagram Business versus Personal profiles?

We came across a similar question on Reddit: "I have a personal Instagram account with 5k followers. I also have a business Instagram profile with 1k followers. Should I just get rid of the business account since my personal account has so much more traction?"

Our same general logic applies here as with Facebook. Keep your Business account up/active because only with a business account can you get analytics and run ads! It also keeps you in compliance with the terms of use.

However, if you do choose to axe your business account, here’s how to do it. Post for a few weeks telling the business page followers to move to your personal Instagram. That way you don't lose any active, interested followers. Then make one final post that says, "I've Moved! Follow me at @personalaccount to see all the action." Again, if anyone finds you on Insta, they get redirected to your active profile. This gives you the chance to go back to it if you change your mind and/or want to run ads.

Also, don't delete any business account (on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere) even if you choose to stop using it. You'd have to start from zero if you ever want to use that platform again. Facebook pages can be set to unpublished if you really need to take a break. 

And finally, make sure that anything you post on your personal account reflects well on you professionally! For more on Instagram biz/personal accounts, you might enjoy this article on Instagram for business.

Bottom Line

Yes, real estate agents really do need to create business pages for themselves on social media. This is the way to avoid getting your profile shut down, annoying your friends, or missing out on useful tools!

Share:
Kate Rekrut self-portrait on Mount Washington
Kate Rekrut is the Director of Marketing and Product Development at Joyce, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA.
Kate's current work with ListingManager bridges the gap between her advertising agency experience and a lifelong passion for HGTV. When she's not skimming the web for new marketing stats, Kate enjoys cooking, crossfit, and dance classes.

How did you like this article?

Just right! Give me more of this level.

Too easy! I need more of a challenge.

subscribe

Get skimmable real estate marketing news

SIGN UP