Everyone using Facebook has a Profile. It’s your Profile that you log in with. You only get one. There are people who have created a “professional” Profile and also maintain a real profile in an effort to separate business from pleasure. Nice idea, but it’s against the Facebook Terms of Service (T.O.S.)
Section 4, Point 2: You will not create more than one personal profile.
When Facebook finds multiple profiles they’ll delete both accounts, that’s never a good thing.
There’s three different public entities within Facebook: Profiles, Groups and Pages. Each operate differently and we connect differently with each. We become friends with a Profile, we LIKE a Page, and we become members of a Group. If you’re ever confused, just ask yourself how did I connect with this and you’ll know what you’re dealing with.
Profile = Friends
Pages = LIKE
Groups = Members
Once you have a Profile setup you can create or join Group(s) or Page(s). If you are new to either, I suggest joining a few of both. As a real estate professional, should you start a Page or a Group? There are advantages and disadvantages to both:
Facebook Pages used to be called Fan Pages and we would become a “Fan” of the Page. These days we LIKE the Page. When you start a Page you’ll see they come in one of six different categories but for most people here your choice will probably be either a Local Business, a Company, a Brand, or a Community.
Each category has sub categories that in theory are there to better define the page’s focus. The categories help Facebook also determine which ads to put on the sidebar. In reality, the category you choose does little more than determine the boxes available to your page on your Info Tab. That’s right, each category creates a different set, that’s about all.
I have always said that Facebook doesn’t ‘get’ real estate. Here’s proof: As a real estate agent, 99% of those starting a Facebook Page for their business would choose the Local Business option. In the drop down there’s even a Real Estate subcategory! While that seems natural, pick that category and Facebook has determined your info tab boxes. What boxes do you get? You get some of the normal boxes like address, email and phone number but you also have Hours of Operation, Parking Options (as in is there valet parking?), and Price Range (like Yelp ratings for restaurants with a scale of $ to $$$$).
I should also mention the Community option. While real estate is all about community and lifestyle , Community Pages are restricted in what they can do. I suggest you stay away from a community page. I like Brand or Product and then the sub category of Website. Go play and see what you like better.
What a Facebook Page can do
- While Pages and Profiles look the similar, Pages have a different set of guidelines than profiles. They encourage commercial content.
- Pages open like a website meaning that anyone can visit them at any time.
- Page streams feature the newest post at the top.
- Page Admins can invite or suggest to their friends that they join the Page.
- Pages can have a “long avatar” and a thumbnail image.
- Pages are indexed by search engines – this means the next visitor to your page might come from their search Google. Pages have SEO, Pages have PageRank.
- Pages have an automatic level of privacy, if you LIKE a Page that doesn’t allow the page owner access to your last weeks BBQ pictures on your profile.
- Pages can be administered or run by a group of anonymously. When they post to the wall they can post as that Page and not as their Profile. http://www.facebook.com/cocacola is obviously the Page for Coke but can you see the profiles of any of the 47 people behind the scenes? This makes sense for real estate teams or if you hire an assistant to help in your marketing.
- Page Owners can “out” themselves on the sidebar and show their profile. Any number of the Admins can do this.
- Pages can get a “vanity URL” once they have 25 LIKEs. All Pages start with a gangly url like facebook.com/pages/SunnyAcres/184235554949892 but can secure something like facebook.com/SunnyAcresLiving. That would look a lot better on any of your marketing, right?
- Pages also have the ability to set a default landing tab. This could be any tab and is the first thing a new visitor or someone who is not logged into Facebook would see. This could have big implications in your visitor to LIKE conversion. Why is that important?
- Pages have a lead capture aspect of sorts. When we LIKE a Page, we’re authorizing that page to publish commercial content to our stream. Click the LIKE button on a page it disappears. It’s not replaced by an UNLIKE button. Instead, there’s an unlike link hidden on the Page sidebar.
- Pages can run Facebook Ads. Facebook gives us the ability to run highly targeted demographic ads at an inexpensive cost. When your ad is clicked you can direct them to any of your tabs. It doesn’t have to be the wall or the default landing tab. Some of the best ads point to landing tabs designed just for that ad.
- A Page can LIKE another page by adding that page as a favorite.
- A Page can tag another Page in the comments or posts.
- Pages can be deleted or “unpublished” temporarily by the Page owners.
Groups are a way of connecting individuals without their having to be friends. One of the hot fads right now are groups reminiscing about your town or high school and what it was like back then.
Groups look a little different than Pages or Profiles. They don’t have the 5 images across the top. They don’t have sidebar tabs, and you can’t add an App to create a tab. Groups will always have a gangly URL – you can’t get a Vanity URL for a group. Groups cannot runs ads.
Groups don’t have categories like Pages do. They come in three flavors: Open, Closed and Secret.
Open Groups are visible to anyone. The content can be seen by non members. The group may show up in an internal search in Facebook. Closed Groups are similar to Open in that everyone on Facebook can see the name and members of a group, but only group members can view content within the group. Secret Groups will not show up in search and non-members can’t see anything about the group, including its name and members. The name of the group will not display on the profiles of members.
There are instances where each style would work best. For instance, a girl scout troop might want a group but prefer to keep it secret. Your marketing team might have a Closed or Secret Group depending on their needs. A brokerage might set up a Closed Group to converse with it’s agents. A community based group that discusses living in Sunny Acres amongst it’s residents would probably want to be an Open group.
Other benefits of a Group:
- Groups have privacy abilities that Pages do not.
- The stream in a group is based on popularity – more popular posts show at the top sometimes above later posts.
- Groups can have multiple admins. They will all show, post and comment as their profile.
- Group members must be approved before they are allowed in. You can set it so that anyone or only Admins can approve membership.
- Groups members can add their friends to the Group – not to be confused with an invite. It’s up to the friend to remove themselves from the group.
- Groups can have a chat enabled function.
- Groups can put photos in albums but it’s complicated to do. There’s no sidebar tabs in Groups so the albums are hard to find.
- Groups can have Docs- editable documents on the right sidebar that any member can edit.
- Groups cannot be closed until the last member leaves the group regardless of Admins.
If you are a graphical person this chart will help:
Frequently Asked Questions
- If you have a group can I convert it over to a Page? No
- Can I convert one of my Profiles to a Page? Yes! But the page it creates will be very limited. Not recommended but here’s the link
- Can I just move the Members or friends over? Sorry, the best thing you can do is ask the people to kindly go LIKE the page.
- I had a Page, it was a taken back by Facebook as a Community Page – what can I do? There’s a link on the new Page that will allow you to ask for a review.
- I think I started a Page – how can I find it? Easy! Log into your profile and then go to http://www.facebook.com/?sk=pages That will show you every page you are an admin on.
- I knew I had a Page but it’s gone. What can I do? Start a new one or fill out a form. Here’s the Form.