Understanding The New Privacy Settings For Facebook

Most REALTORS® are commonly concerned about how to set up their privacy settings as they want to market themselves properly through Facebook but are worried about what information should be viewable to the public. Facebook is continually upgrading security measures and adding new features.

As a REALTOR®, when initially setting up your Facebook presence it is always a good idea to make it personal by inviting family and friends to your page. It’s also great to add birthdays and you can even add photo albums and videos. However, some of the pictures, videos and other information you may not want publicly visible which may also include your friends lists. Here are some important settings you should understand.

1. Your Friends List – Setting up your friends list allows you to organize or group friends in different categories. Setting up lists are a great way to send messages to a particular group.  Agents and brokers find this feature useful as way of communicating to a large group of followers. This can be an invite to a  certain friends list (categorized as real estate colleagues or customers) or it can be a news related message. I have found this more useful than traditional drip email campaigns. You can also create a personal list for just family or friends. In either case it will help you completely organize all your contacts. It is easy to create these lists.

  1. Click on the ‘Friends’ tab at the top of your Facebook page.
  2. Click on ‘Create a new list’.
  3. Now you can give your list a name. For Example, friends, family, business, customers, Etc.
  4. After creating your list then you will be able to add your friends and assign them to the proper category by typing in their name.
  5. Finally you will then click on create list which will save your changes.

As a real estate professional you can customize your lists for security purposes by making them visible by the public or by only friends. Most agents and brokers that I work with usually publicly display their lists but that is your option.

2. Do you want to be visible by everyone? Another question commonly asked by agents and brokers alike is how will people find me on Facebook? That is a great question. If you are trying to gain exposure on the Internet it is a great idea to make your profile visible to all searching for you on Google and other engines. However, if you fear that you do not want the public to view your personal life you can alter your visibility by changing your settings. To do this, after you sign in and you can visit your search privacy setting page and edit them.  Click on Edit settings and next to the Facebook search visibility you can select either Only friends or Everyone or even Not Visible.  Also to remove yourself from Google and other engines you can un-check the box in the search privacy settings to disallow your profile to be indexed. Again, I usually encourage agents and brokers to visible.

To access this security option go to to Settings>Privacy Settings>Search

3.  Photos and Albums? Many agents and brokers like to display photos and albums. I recently had a discussion with and agent who was embarrassed as there was a photo that was tagged of her and she was concerned as it was not something she wanted her colleagues to see. A simple was of fixing this if you are worried that some may tag a photo or video of you is to go to the privacy settings page to the section that says photos or videos of me. Then you can select the custom option and then again select only me. You can also change the settings for all your albums so that they may be viewable by only friends by following the same function above. If you are showcasing properties you may customize each album as a property album you may want visible to everyone. I usually have my family albums visible only to friends.

To access this security option go to to Settings>Privacy Settings>Profile Information>Photo Albums

4. Relationship Status – I usually recommend to agents and brokers that they do not display this field on their profile. To change or modify this setting go to the profile settings page and under the category family and relationship, change this setting to only me so the public does not see. I see that this a better choice when using your Facebook page for business purposes.

To access this security option go to to Settings>Privacy Settings>Profile Information

5. Your Contact Information is something to keep in mind as well. It is a good idea to limit this information to people. I am not a big fan of displaying my phone number and email to everyone so I usually recommend limiting that information to only specific groups or contacts. To do this, go to the privacy settings page and you can control what contacts can view all you personal contact information including your phone number.

6 –  Application Control – As a business professional in Real Estate marketing, I am a little leery about applications on Facebook and what information they will display publically to my wall or information page. The more you restrict your profile settings the less information will be displayed by applications.

To access this security option go to to Settings>Privacy Settings>Applications and Websites

So where exactly do I find my privacy settings?

  1. Login to your Facebook account
  2. Look at he upper right hand of your screen
  3. You will see Your Facebook name, Settings, and Logout
  4. Hover over ‘Settings’ choice and you will see a drop down menu appear
  5. Scroll down to ‘Privacy Settings’ and click once
  6. You will now be on the Privacy Settings page

RE/Advantage – As experts in Real Estate web site design, we understand what makes Internet technology work for you and your visitors. We have been developing IDX Solutions, website, Internet tools and marketing strategies since 1997. No one provides a more comprehensive, well-thought-out site and tool set for your Internet presence. We provide you with not only the tools to manage and customize your site, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are here to help if you need us.

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