Our readers have questions. And we have answers! Here are a few topics that have come up as a result of recent blogs.
Why should I take time for Facebook?
It’s fun and it’s free. It’s also a great way to build a following. Facebook is today’s version of the water cooler or the coffee break. We all want to know what’s going on, and Facebook is how we find out.
Here’s how this works for you: You get a new listing. You post the scoop on Facebook. A fan who’s been thinking about listing their home sees your post and calls you. Success breeds success.
How do I find time for Facebook?
In a word, you schedule it. Facebook doesn’t have to take more than five minutes a day. An hour a week at the very most. Make it a habit. First thing in the morning, while your coffee is still hot. Last thing at night before you turn off the computer. In the immortal words of Nike, “Just do it!” A word of warning, however: don’t go running down the Facebook rabbit hole. Don’t follow friends, look for your high school sweetheart, or check out Brad Pitt’s fan page. THAT is where you get into a time problem.
Should I have a separate page for my business?
Yes. If you already have a personal page, it’s fine to use it to communicate business updates until you have time to build a good business page (see below). But a personal page is just that—personal. Even though you want to build a personal relationship with your clients, you still need to keep your communication business-oriented. Don’t mix it up with notes from your sister about tonight’s potluck or your kids about the Cub Scout meeting.
What’s the difference between a personal page and a business page?
This is an important question, so we’ll provide some detail. Before you set up a business page, go through all of Facebook’s tutorials and terms of service and be sure you understand how to manage your page. Here are the basics:
- You cannot have both a personal account and a business account. That is against Facebook’s terms of service.
- You can have a personal account and a business ad or a business page.
- No matter how many pages you have, you will manage them all from your personal account.
- You have “fans” on your business page, not “friends.”
- You don’t send out or receive friend requests on your business page.
- You can posts status updates, wall posts and photos, just like you do on your personal page.
- You can send a personal message to each fan who signs up on your business page. It’s a great way to develop relationships with potential clients.
- Fans can’t see your profile or other personal information, which protects you from unwanted solicitations and other communications.
Can I send out business promotions from my page?
Don’t even think about it! If you want to send regular communications to clients and potential clients or other business contacts, use an email marketing program such as MailChimp. Sending broadcast messages and links to your Facebook fans may be viewed as spamming and will get you shut down by Facebook’s administrators.
How often should I post?
Referring back to our comments about finding time, don’t make a huge project out of it. Once a day is fine, two or three times is more than enough. The #1 reason people unlike businesses or brands on Facebook is that the business posts too frequently. So track your unsubscribe and unlike rates by the day and compare those with what you’re posting and how often. (“Unsubscribes” are fans that are still fans, but they’ve chosen to hide your posts from their News Feed).
Keep those questions coming, and if you have stories or ideas to share with other readers, please tell us. In the future, we’ll do a blog or two of reader tips. We’re all in this together so let’s learn from each other.