Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 Reasons You Shouldn't use your Personal Facebook Page for Business

At work I was speaking to a client the other day who told me that he had a Facebook account already and was just planning on using that to market his business services. "OK," was my reply, "but let me send you some sample pages from Facebook for you to take a look at, just so you can see the range of what's out there." I emailed over some links and pondered how best to address this with him.

Then later today I was in a discussion group online and saw a thread that was asking the question about using a "personal" Facebook for "business. Since it seems to be in the zeitgeist these days, I thought I'd share my ideas here.

It is my belief that if you use your "personal" Facebook page for "business", you limit yourself in some crucial ways.

First of all, Facebook sets a finite number of friends you can have (5,000) as an individual.

Secondly, one cannot "like" a personal Facebook page so you will have to consistently generate content (i.e.: work harder) in order to show up in your "friend's" news feed. If someone has "liked" your page they will see your content automatically.

Finally, there are so many fantastic third party apps for Facebook "business" pages that are not available for "personal" pages. I have clients who have tabs linking to their newsletters, YouTube or any number of resources that further relate to their business. These tools are readily available, easy to implement and cost nothing but the time it takes to set up - often just a few minutes.

If you remain unconvinced as to why you should have a business page on Facebook, consider this: do you really want the public, clients and people you do business with making assumptions about you based on the content that gets shared on your wall by your kids, personal friends, college roommates and others?

Just because you know that red plastic cup you're holding in a picture has soda in it, doesn't mean someone else looking at the photo will assume that. Yes, there are some sharing controls on Facebook, but they can be difficult to locate and therefore implement.

Why risk the potential pitfalls when you can readily set up a "Business" page on Facebook which can be managed by using the Use Facebook as Page switch under the Account drop down menu?

You already have a built-in set of "fans" for your page in all of your personal friends. The "average user" has 130 of them. You can easily share your new page with your personal friends, asking them to "like" it - thereby getting you the 25 likes for the custom URL. You can have a page dedicated just for "business" - increasing your social media footprint, SEO and number of eyes on your product or service.

At the intersection of art and new media, a place where the convergence emerges.