Business owners and independent sales professionals often ask us, “Can I use my personal Facebook profile for my business?” Business Facebook pages have functionality that was built specifically to help you grow a fan base and to efficiently and cost-effectively advertise your company.
Why to Not Use Your Personal Facebook Profile for Business
You need a business page for Facebook. I know. It sounds like another thing on the small business person’s never-ending list of “things to do.” But before we get into some of the drastic differences, maybe not apparent at first glance, let’s talk about a couple of basics.
It’s a Facebook Violation
It’s a violation of the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business), and you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Business Page.
Do You Really Want Business Friends?
Facebook is a place to be social with “friends.” Do you really want prospects and clients knowing about your holiday celebrations, kids’ first day of school, or that you enjoyed the rock concert last night?
A Test: Would You Like Your Own TV Channel?
How would you respond if I told you that I’m going to give you your own radio or television station, completely dedicated to your business? Would you shrug your figurative shoulders and say, “Nah. I don’t have time to talk to people who want to watch my channel. I already have my own world where I talk to everybody I know.”
Sounds a little… unenlightened, doesn’t it?
Of course, you wouldn’t respond that way. Because the prospect of a radio or TV channel would mean that people you don’t know would be watching and learning about your offers! You’d be crazy to pass that up, right?
New prospects. New leads. New business.
A Facebook page for your business is essentially a new channel to reach not only existing customers, but also prospective customers. And to allow them to tell each other how great your business is. And it’s free.
Sound more appealing now?
Benefits of a Business Facebook Page
Here are some differences you may not realize between a personal Facebook profile and a business Facebook page that will help you grow your business.
- Unlimited fans: Personal profiles have a friend count limit of 5,000. Business pages are unlimited. 5,000 may sound like a lot now, but think about several years down the road.
- Professionalism: Frankly, it looks sloppy to not have your Facebook presence set up as a Page. And, think about the “creepiness factor” if you sent a “friend request” from your business. Your fans should have the ability to LIKE your page without requesting a friendship.
- Easily get found: Facebook has excellent search engine optimization. Your business Facebook page, therefore, will capitalize on this and will be more easily found via Internet searches. Additionally, people must login to see a personal profile, but not a business page. A Facebook business page is built to “get found.”
- You’re going places: When you set up a business page, you officially become a “place” to which people can check-in and mention – both great for local social awareness.
- Customer privacy: Remember the scrutiny that Facebook faced about how it protects your personal profile privacy? If you treat customers as “friends,” you are putting yourself in a position of potentially releasing information about your customers, which they may prefer shared with only their personal contacts.
- Advertising power: Only business pages may place ads.
- App functionality: Business pages can utilize apps which allow you to create custom tabs, forms, polls and surveys.
- Social validation: The strongest credibility you can achieve is a written testimonial. Facebook allows customers to write reviews – right on your page. Generating this “social proof” should be an important piece of your marketing plan.
- Don’t be a stalker: A page gives you the ability to be “liked,” rather than to request “friendship” from potential customers or new customers. This is much more appropriate and, let’s face it, less creepy.
- Delegation is a beautiful thing: You can assign roles for staff to assist you on “page management” duties. The current roles include Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, Analyst.
- Scheduling: You can schedule posts on a page, which allows you sit down periodically and plan your posts thoughtfully, based on things that you know will be happening.
- Become a spy: In your “Insights,” which is a measurement of activity on your page, you have an opportunity to set up other “Pages to Watch.” By choosing similar businesses or area competitors, you can see how their pages are performing each week, and compare that to your activity.
So besides the facts that it’s kind of creepy to use your personal profile for business, and that it’s a violation of Facebook’s terms of service to do so, there are lots of great reasons to create a page for your business. And Facebook went to a lot of work to create this tool to help you professionally grow your business; take advantage of a Facebook page!
If you’d like some help getting your page set up, reach out to us, we’d be happy to help you.