Balancing Your Personal Profile and Facebook Page for Business

Balancing FacebookAfter reading my last post, it should be clear why Facebook is so important for the success of your business. You might already be familiar with the reach of Facebook firsthand since there’s a good chance you already have an account on Facebook for your personal activities.

You might be tempted to try to run your business activities through your personal Facebook profile in an attempt to save some time. After all, your personal profile is already up and running, and you probably already have a lot of connections in that account that you could promote your business to.

But there are a number of things you need to consider, and a number of reasons why you may want to keep your business and personal activities separate. Here are some tips for balancing your personal Facebook profile with your business’ Facebook activities.

Potential Conflicts Between Personal and Business Profiles.

While it might seem simple and straightforward to add information about your business activities to your existing personal profile, you should be aware that there is a great potential for conflict between those two sets of activities.

Potential Conflict

Consider clients who might want to connect with your business on Facebook; are they going to be interested in pictures of your vacation or your child’s latest birthday party (and do you actually want to share those things with them)? On the other side of the equation, do you want your friends and family to receive Facebook notices every time your business runs a promotion or introduces a new product or service?

Limited Cross-Promotion May be Acceptable.

None of this is to say that you can’t occasionally post some business related information to your personal profile. The key is to only do so to the extent that those business posts somehow relate to activities that you’d otherwise consider to be personal.

For example, if you’ve just opened a new store location, then you could almost certainly post a picture of yourself standing in front of it without turning off any of your friends. Similarly, if your business relates to personal nutrition, you might be able to subtly work this into a discussion that some of your contacts are having on Facebook. But posting a “10% off” coupon code to your personal profile will not likely be received well.

You can also use the Lists feature of your Facebook account to categories your contacts according to business and personal.

Facebook List Feature

A Good Rule of Thumb is to Maintain Separate Facebook Accounts.

Rule of ThumbIt’s possible to use a single profile to conduct both your business and personal Facebook activities, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to organize and classify your various contacts, and make sure that you’re only making appropriate posts to each group. And if Facebook decides to change the way it allows people to organize their contacts, all of your work may be for naught.

For many, the best way to balance the potential conflict is to set up a separate Facebook page specifically for your business. Don’t look at setting up a separate Facebook page as a burden on your time. Instead, understand and embrace the fact that keeping your personal profile and personal Facebook activities separate from your business activities is perhaps the best way to make sure that your business succeeds while you still maintain good relations with your friends and family.

In my next post, we’ll discuss some tips for setting up your new Facebook business page so that you reach your potential audience.

Why Facebook is Important for Business

Remember a few years ago, when some were claiming that Facebook was a just “passing fad?” That idea almost seems crazy now, given how much Facebook has become ingrained in so many people’s lives.

As of the end of December 2012, Facebook has more than one billion active monthly users, 82% of whom are located outside of the U.S. and Canada. And these individuals visit Facebook quite frequently; 618 million users visit every day.

Facebook users are also using the site when they’re on the go; there are approximately 680 million active Facebook users who used a mobile device to visit the site as of the end of 2012. You can learn more about these statistics here.

So it’s not surprising that businesses have jumped on to the Facebook bandwagon as a way to find new customers and develop closer relationships with the customers they already have. Here are some of the reasons why Facebook is important for your business.

That’s Where Your Customers Are.

Where Your Target Market IsOne of the biggest hurdles to success for just about every type of business is figuring out the best way to get your promotional message in front the people who are most likely to become your customers. Take another look at the statistics above – there’s a very good chance that a large number of your target customers are spending time on Facebook.

People are Already Comfortable Engaging on Facebook.

Trying to get someone to engage with you on your business website can sometimes present a bit of a challenge. People have become reluctant to initiate relationships with new websites (in terms of becoming a registered member or signing up for a mailing list, for example), and are often more comfortable sticking to what they know. This means that Facebook can be a great way to build a rapport with potential new customers, and show them that you’re a trustworthy business (and potentially get many of those individuals to eventually visit your business website).

Facebook Can Drive Traffic to Your Website.

Drive Traffic to Your WebsiteWhile it’s possible to conduct your business solely through Facebook (we’ll cover that more in a later article), it’s more likely that one of your primary goals is to have your Facebook page drive more traffic to your business website. Getting Facebook users to “Like” your page, or to mention it (or link to it) on their own Facebook profiles may eventually prove to be a significant source of new traffic to your site.

Facebook Can Help You Learn More About Your Customers.

Having your business become active on Facebook can be a great way for you to learn more about potential customers in your market niche. In fact, it might represent the easiest way for you to begin doing this type of market research if you currently don’t do any. What types of individuals are “Liking” your page? How many of them visit your website, and how soon after “Liking” your page do they do so?

Organic Promotion is Free.

Save money with FacebookFinally, Facebook is important for business because many of the promotional opportunities that are available on the site are free. There are opportunities to use some of your promotional budget on Facebook and boost your exposure even more, but organic growth and promotion on the site can be done at no cost.

It’s important to remember that even as you look to get your business into the personal streams of individuals on Facebook, you’ll probably want to maintain some separation between your business activities and your personal ones. We’ll discuss that in greater depth in our next article.

Meet Guest Blogger Sabrina Jensen

Facebook remains the world’s leader in social media and that’s why most business must consider some type of Facebook presence. I also know that a lot of our readers are often asking questions about Facebook, so that’s why I brought in our special guest Sabrina Jensen whose being working closely with Facebook for quite some time. She has plenty of advice and things for you to consider.

I’ll let Sabrina tell you a little more about it…

Facebook for Business Thanks for the welcome and I am excited to be here, sharing a bunch of Facebook strategies and approaches with you.

I’ll be covering everything you need to know to get Facebook up and running for your business, so hang tight, there’s plenty in store.

Here are the topics I’ll be covering for you:

– Why Facebook is important for business
– How to balance your personal profile and Facebook Page
– Setting up your Facebook Page to reach your target audience
– How to promote your Facebook Page
– How to determine your approach to your Facebook Page
– How to increase engagement
– Building your mailing list from Facebook
– Incorporating Facebook into your website
– Is it okay to sell on Facebook?

We’re going to cover a lot of ground in this blog series and I do hope that what you learn will help you leverage the power of Facebook for your business. Make sure you’re signed up for the blog’s RSS feed or mailing list, if you’re not already. That way, you won’t miss a thing. I’m looking forward to delivering a ton of business-focused help for your Facebook marketing.