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Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Erica Campbell Byrum, Director of Social Media for Homes.com.

Q: Should I set up a Facebook page for business and personal use?

A: With approximately 1 billion people across the globe using Facebook, there’s no better way to connect with clients—and potential clients—who are spending hour upon hour on the site. But one should never use their personal page for business use, and with Facebook offering free business pages, there’s really no reason why one would.

The beauty of having a Facebook business page is that it’s basically free advertising, and you can use it to let customers know about new listings, as well as updates to houses. It’s also a great way to get referrals.

In fact, for real estate professionals across the board, there are numerous reasons why a business page is better, while there’s no benefit to using a personal profile to promote a business. Besides, it’s against Facebook policy to use a personal page for business, and one could see their account terminated, losing all their contacts in the process.

One of the biggest advantages associated with a Facebook business page is that it can have unlimited fans and likes, whereas a personal page is capped at about 5,000. Obviously, as a business owner, you want to continue to grow your network. A business page is also open to the public, which is not only great for expanding your reach, but also for search engine optimization.

A business can improve its Google ranking and SEO by optimizing its “about us” section by adding keywords into its descriptions. Liking relevant pages can also improve one’s ranking.

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