Facebook has been touted as a great tool for real estate professionals to connect with customers. But having a Facebook profile page alone is not enough.

Charlie Engel, vice president of sales at the online classified ad company Oodle Inc., and Nicole Nicolay of Agent Evolution recently spoke at an Agent Reboot conference in New York City by Inman News about how real estate pros can broaden their reach on Facebook.

Here are a few of the strategies they addressed:

1. Create lists to organize your contacts. You can have separate lists of your contacts by geographic location, topic, or type (e.g. first-time home buyers and move-up buyers) to better organize your contacts on Facebook. But be careful what you call your lists--some friend lists can be made public and even notify your contacts about it. However, the benefit is that once you have friends designated in groups, you can select your lists to sort your news feeds and target your communications.

2. Get a vanity URL. You need at least 25 people to Like your Facebook business page until you can get a vanity URL for it (such as facebook.com/username). The benefit of a vanity URL is it is easier to add to your marketing materials so you can promote your Facebook presence.

3. Have a landing tab with extra info. You can create a customized, branded landing tab on your Facebook page so that you can include newsletter information or your listings. You'll need to have a tab developer who is savvy in Facebook Markup Language (FBML).

4. Start your own group. You can create a Facebook group to get other Facebook users to gather over shared interests, with options to make the group public or private. Start your group here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/

5. Details, details. Allow others to get to know you better and connect with you in other ways. Include photos, basic personal information, friend lists under Featured People, education, your philosophy, arts, entertainment preferences, activities, interests, and work credentials. And take advantage of a new tool that allows you to add info links that will appear under your username.

Source: 15 Ways to Optimize Facebook for Business, Inman News (Jan. 12, 2011)