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Facebook_JailConsidering the amount of time and resources that go into creating and growing a Facebook page, being suddenly caught without it could create a serious problem for your business. In fact, according to ActiveRain and Properties Online, 93 percent of social media traffic for REALTORS® comes from Facebook. So what happens if your Facebook account is suddenly frozen? A new Facebook trend has emerged, and it’s one that should not be taken lightly.

The first thing you should know about Facebook Jail is that it exists. Being in Facebook Jail means you won’t be able to post, like, comment, respond to messages or send or receive friend requests. Unfortunately, that goes for both your personal as well as business pages that you manage. Essentially, you’ll be stuck looking while everyone else is interacting. What’s even more astounding is being in Facebook Jail can lead to your account being deleted entirely. This can prove very problematic for your business, considering consumers are so social media driven. In order to stay in the good graces of those running Facebook, here are five strategies to keep you out of the Facebook clink.

  1. Never create a personal account using your business name
    While creating a personal page under your business name to drive traffic back to your business page may seem like a savvy idea, Facebook thinks otherwise. Facebook profiles are specifically designated for people, not businesses. If you would like to drive traffic to your business page, put a link to it in the “About” section of your own profile. Another good practice is to create different profile pictures for your personal and your business page. This way, you will be able to easily distinguish between the two, and will not accidentally post on the wrong page.
  1. Don’t use your personal account to over promote your business
    While this is a bad practice in general, Facebook especially frowns upon overusing a personal account for commercial purposes. When you first create your business page, it can be useful to promote it on your personal profile. However, try to limit these posts to once or twice a week. In addition to this, asking friends and family to join your newly created page can help to spread awareness and boost your followers. At the same time, this does not mean that you should spam your entire contact list with requests. If you’re trying to determine whether you are overusing your personal page for business, a good rule of thumb is anything with a link or a call to action would be considered a promotion. While it is acceptable to discuss your business page on your profile — after all, many are proud of their company culture — avoid over promoting yourself.
  1. Don’t self-promote on other business pages without permission
    This is not only a pet peeve of Facebook, but also of the business page owner. This person, like you, is using their business page to promote their own company. In general, attempting to piggyback off another’s achievements is a bad practice that annoys both the page owner and their followers. If you owned a business and a competitor walked in and started handing out flyers to promote their own business, chances are, you wouldn’t be too pleased. The same policy applies in the social media world. Unless you have consent from the business page owner, don’t do it.
  1. Messages are not for sending promotions to large groups of people
    As a rule of thumb, never spam anyone. While Facebook allows you to send a group message to up to 20 people, it’s not for the purposes of advertising your business. The direct messaging feature on Facebook was created with the intention of striking up conversations with people who share similar interests. If you do send a group message for the sole purpose of promoting your business, those in the group will receive a notification each time there is any activity in the message. Chances are, if a number of notifications are being sent, group members will leave the message and mark it as spam. If this happens often enough, it’s likely that Facebook will begin to take action.
  1. Educate yourself about Facebook’s terms
    Most people don’t read through Facebook’s Terms and Policies when they create an account. By simply clicking “Agree,” you could be accepting a number of rules that you don’t realize exist. If you break these rules, Facebook is able to freeze your account or potentially delete it. To avoid losing your privileges on the site, be sure that you have a thorough understanding of the regulations for personal and business pages.

Working with social media can be challenging. For this reason, Homes.com offers a comprehensive social media suite to help you navigate these murky waters. Homes.com Social allows you to engage with more prospects, protect your online reputation, control the conversation and drive leads.

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