When I tell agents that I find I find most people are able to use their personal pages most effectively in building relationships, they get nervous. They have family and friends on their personal profiles and are nervous about being friends with clients. However; this is is misguided. As long as you are not directly advertising or marketing and not posting links to just your listings and open houses, you will be fine. Facebook isn’t a place for that anyway – it’s a place to deepen relationships. Personal profiles are exactly the place that you can really deepen your ties with past clients and acquaintances that are potential clients. Only on personal profiles can you really access the plethora of information that your clients are willingly sharing. It’s on personal profiles, not business pages, that the types of engagement and relationships are happening. But how do you keep it all separate?
That’s where Facebook Lists come in.
With lists, you’re able to sort any of the people you’ve friended. To make a custom list (they won’t know you put them on it if your’e creating a new list), hover over your friends on the left hand side and select “More.” Then select add list, pick a name, and begin sorting your existing friends. You can also click this link: https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/lists.
Think of potential lists, like “clients” or “potential clients.” The lists that Facebook have already provided you (with the exception of restricted, close friends, and acquaintances) will notify people if you add them. Make your own custom lists.
Here are some benefits of sorting your various friends:
1) Privacy Settings
Under your privacy settings, you can choose who can see various information posted to your personal profile. Most people select the default settings of “Public,” “Friends,” or “Friends of Friends;” however, if you choose custom, you are able to enable or disable specific people and lists from seeing certain types of information.
2) Publishing Posts
In addition to controlling who can see information already provided on your profile through the privacy settings, each time you post anything, you can control who is seeing it. By selecting the “Custom” setting while making a post, you can directly control who can see each post.
This means you can push out specific content to clients that you may not want all your family and friends to see. It also means you can post pictures from that trip that you want your friends to see, but maybe not clients.
3) Breaking Through Noise
Sometimes, it’s hard to actually figure out what’s going on with certain people on Facebook because there’s so much noise on your home newsfeed. However, by making a small list of potential clients, you can access just their updates. By building lists, on the left hand navigation, if you select the list, you will be taken to a newsfeed of just their content. Suddenly, it’s really easy to see which of your clients just got married, had a baby, or any other life event that they are willingly sharing on Facebook. they are publicizing this info on their profiles – and now you can use that info to build your relationship. Potential client gets engaged? Send them a gift basket – when it comes time to buy a house, they’ll remember. For more tips on breaking through the noise, see Inman’s Facebook Quick Tip: 4 Simple Steps To Connect With Clients.
For more information about Facebook lists, see Facebook’s page on Lists.
If you aren’t using lists, you’re missing a major opportunity to build meaningful relationships through Facebook.
Andrew Violante is the Social Media and Communications Coordinator at Alain Pinel Realtors where he oversees social media strategy and implementation for the brokerage.