Why Your Facebook Profile Is Bad For Your Business: What To Do To Fix It.
If you are running a business and currently use Facebook as one of your social media platforms of choice, then it is absolutely necessary to have a Facebook Fan page, or as I like to call it, a Facebook Business Page.
Do not make the same mistake as many and use your Facebook Personal Timeline for your business presence. In the long term in will cost you unnecessarily in time, effort and money.
There’s a big difference between your Facebook personal profile and fan/business page.
Facebook has structured it’s platform for both individuals and businesses. Both can coexist and work harmoniously. From a business perspective you would be foolish not to take advantage of the Facebook Business Page. There are just so many benefits to have a business page instead of using a personal timeline for your business.
If you have your business on Facebook or thinking about bringing your business into the Facebook fold, it’s a fantastic idea, but you first need to understand WHY a business page is so important.
1. Facebook Terms of Service
First of all, Facebook clearly states that “Timelines are for personal, non-commercial use only. They represent individuals and must be held under an individual name.” This is a statement directly from the Facebook Help Center. The actual terms of service are ambiguous, but it does mention: “You will not use your personal timeline for your own commercial gain”
Personally, I would not want to be put in a position that Facebook tells me I am in violation of their “Timeline and Page Use policy”. I rather play it safe, knowing that my Facebook business presence will be operating safely under their business page structure.
I speak from experience: Both the Google and Youtube police have given me the run about, for reasons I still do not understand, but Google supposedly accused me of a violation of terms, which magically resolved itself 2 months later, without me doing anything. Youtube is a different story – an individual claimed MY video as theirs and was able to issue a copyright violation against MY video. It took me just under a month to convince Youtube to restore MY video, which I had to go through a legal process to do so. The bottom line, when dealing with a behemoth like Facebook, don’t give them any reason to suspend, terminate or strike your account. There terms of agreement clearly state they have the veto vote.
“Pages are for professional or official use, and allow an organization, business, celebrity or band to maintain a presence on Facebook”, a direct quote from Facebook’s Help Center.
From a guidelines and terms of service perspective use a business page for business dealings.
2. Insights and Statistics
You need to measure to be effective in marketing. It is critical to understand metrics of what your audience is doing. If you do not measure, then it’s like your are running your business blindfolded – not an ideal situation.
Facebook provides an excellent set of tools for their Business Page owners. These tools allow you to measure insights and statistics that take place on any of your Business Pages (yes you can own multiple Business Pages). You can tell what posts are getting the attention, how much attention, and who is giving them attention. Conversely, you can tell which posts are not being recognized by your audience – or the post your audience chooses not to recognize. These insights are important components to effective marketing.
The insights and statistics are not available on your personal profile, or at least to the extent they are available on a Business Page. If you run your business under your personal profile, you have no way to measure to the detail that you require to market effectively.
I measure everything. In fact I double up my measurements using Google Analytics, by trying to push external articles through my blog. That way I can gauge the interest of my audience. Imagine being able to understand the age groups, gender, country, language, just to name a few; You know exactly where to apply your energies. An hour saved is an hour gained, and if you’re like me, you are looking for efficiencies. This is a big one!
Using a Business Page gives you the measurement capabilities required for effective marketing. A personal page is synonymous to working blindly.
If you feel that you understand the situation well enough, you can go directly to the step-by-step instructions on how to setup a Facebook Business Page correctly.
3. Page Administration
Some of you may have no issue with mixing your business posts with your personal timeline. Perhaps your business and personal life is one single entity. That is Okay, however from an administrative perspective, read on to see why your business presence on a Business Page is far superior than a presence on a personal timeline.
The expectation is that your business is going to grow. As your business grows, so does your workload. You’ll probably have more customers to manage, more posts to upload, more promotions to activate, more spam mail to administer. The list goes on. I think you get the idea! Overall you will see an increase of Facebook activity, and when you do, you will either need to out source the management function or hire a Social Media Manager to help you.
When others administer your business Facebook presence on your personal timeline you’ll be struck with multiple issues.
For administrative and personal reasons I have secured my personal profile so that only certain groups of people can perform certain tasks like: posting, tagging, commenting, etc. My Business Page, however is wide open. My intent is to have my Business Page visible to the public, where I’m inviting the world to come check out my business. When they find it, I want them to stay for awhile, have a chat with my customers, ask questions, poke around, etc. It would be impossible (or extremely time consuming) to secure personal posts and have the business posts wide open if they are on the same personal timeline page.
I do not want to spend then time thinking and designating which posts go to each specific audience. It would be just too time consuming. The results would be same if your Social Media Manager has to handle personal and business posts from a single personal timeline page. They’ll be asking for your involvement, may make decisions that are not optimal, and could end up costing you time, money and credibility.
The solution is to administer your Facebook business presence on a Business Page. Facebook has made it exceptional simple, straight forward and easy to do. It’s just one click of your mouse button, where the “Make Admin” function is available to the page owner. Once you delegate the administration function of a Business Page, the Social Media Manager can only administer the Business Page that they have been authorized to manage. They do not have access to your personal timeline, are not privy to it’s content, and can focus on managing the job that they are given. Convenient, efficient and effective! Also, the Social Media Manager can be in another country or in the same office as you.
Personal profiles and Business Pages have completely different objectives. Hands down, from an administrative, privacy, time, and cost perspective I would highly suggest your Facebook business presence is run under a Business Page and not your personal timeline.
If you don’t have the time to read the rest of this post just head directly to the step-by-step instructions on how to setup a Facebook Business Page correctly. You’ll probably find it extremely helpful.
4. Business Credibility
Credibility, real or perceived can be an issue. For illustrative purposes, and with no disrespect meant to anyone, the perception for a business with a physical storefront in your basement instead of the tier 1 corporate office space can have credibility issues. Even more so, there is a perception of credibility dealing with an Limited Liability company versus a Sole Proprietor.
It’s the same thing on Facebook. When I visit a business for the first time, who has it’s presence on a personal page instead of a Business Page, my initial reaction: “Small”, “Trust”, “Safe”, “Credible”. From a marketing perspective it’s an uphill battle when you’re dealing with words like trust and credibility. Granted, that similar issues may exist for a business page, but to a lesser degree.
On the flip side, when I visit a Business Page for the first time my perception is slightly different. Imagine for a moment, if companies like Ernst & Young, Pepsi, Walmart, McDonald’s, Red Bull, etc. managed their Facebook presence from an employee’s personal profile.Not only would they be fraught with administrative issues, but perception of credibility would come into play.
With that being said, real or perceived, a business presence on a Facebook Business Page is an entity that shows higher credibility than someone with a business presence on a personal page.
5. Maximum Amount of Followers
Again, your company is probably going to grow. I know mine is. Given the nature of social media you may grow your company into thousands of followers, if not tens of thousands. Have you noticed when you do a campaign, or have one of those Facebook Friday parties that your Fiends or Likes spike. (Note: You will not be able to see the spike accurately on a personal page. Only available from Business Page Insights and Statistics).
During one of these campaigns, when you look at your Business Page statistics, you will notice the increase in “Likes”, with ample room to grow. However, put a few of these campaigns together as a business on a personal timeline profile and you will run out of room very quickly.
I believe the number of Facebook friends (on your personal timeline) you can have is capped at 5,000. As soon as you reach that number you need to tell your potential clients, “Sorry we’re not accepting any more customer”. Alternatively, you can clean your friend list, and remove people that are no longer friends. Either way, it not an ideal solution.
Business Pages DO NOT have the same limitation as a personal timeline. The numbers are supposedly unlimited. I actually don’t believe they’re unlimited, but the number is so high, that from a practical point of view, it is unlimited. I’m growing my business to the unlimited level, and would highly suggest that you do not restrict yourself to the limitations of having your business presence on a personal page.
Even if you decide to later migrate your personal timeline to a business page it will not be that straight forward. I’ve witnessed many migrations over the years and it will end up costing you unnecessarily in terms of time, money and aggravation. Better now than later – before you get your fan count too high.
If you understand the Personal Profile/Business Page situation well enough, you can probably skip the rest of this post and go directly to the step-by-step instructions on how to setup a Facebook Business Page correctly. You should find it extremely helpful.
6. SERP, Indexing and Traffic
This one is a little technical in nature, but the way a personal profile and a Business Page functions from a search engine perspective are different.
The tests that I have run tell me that a Business Page and it’s posts will show up on the search engine results page (SERP) faster than a personal profile. In fact I’ve optimized both my business and personal pages for my keywords, and my Facebook Business Page is on page one of Google, while my personal profile page is buried so deep that I can’t even locate it. Even the posts that I’ve made to other Business Pages (different owners) show up ahead of my personal profile.
You should take this seriously. Offline or online, generating traffic should be one of your top priorities in order to generate business leads. Without being noticed there is no traffic. No traffic equals no customers. No customers equals no business.
Having a Business Page on Facebook is a critical first step to be recognized properly by the search engines. It’s equally important to structure your Business Page correctly so Google and the other search engines place you in on the SERP position where you should rightfully be. (Note: This is an important topic, however a topic for future discussion.)
7. Creating Advertisements & Promotions
At some point in time, you will be advertising and/or promoting your business. It will be one of those necessities to obtain a critical mass. Facebook advertisements that you create will run on the right side of the news feed; Sponsored posts run inline with news feeds; With the Reach Generator, you’re able to extend the advertisement reach to people outside of your connection base too. All critical components for a successful business page.
When creating an advertisement in Facebook, you select what you want to advertise. You can either select a Business Page, an app, an event, or the url that represents your personal profile. Selecting a Business Page is really just a matter of point and click. You’re presented with a rich base of options to choose from, allowing you to advertise based on gaining more likes, page promotion, and various other advanced options.
Trying to achieve the same results for a personal profile is more complex and time consuming. It is not point and click with rich advertising options like a Business Page. You need to construct the advertisement from scratch, which takes significantly more time that the point and click option.
You should treat time as a valuable commodity. If you do not plan appropriately, social media activities can suck up your time really quickly. From a business perspective I would rather focus my time and energy on strategically growing the business, instead of crafting advertising for the company.
Now that you’ve read this far I’m sure you are convinced that a Facebook Business Page is the correct way to go. If you don’t have the time to finish the rest of this post please go over and take a look at the step-by-step instructions on how to build a Facebook Business Page correctly. It will be well worth your while.
8. Your Business Community
Social Media is all about being social, developing relationships, building trust, and making new friends. However, for many of us there is a distinct difference between the content you post for friends and content destined for your business community. Sometimes, the content is the same.
I treat my personal timeline as something personal. Content destined for friends are only meant for friends and not necessarily for my business community (note: some of my friends however belong to my business community.). My friends and family are more interested in my “cleaning the garage” status than my business community is. Maybe a better way to say that the “cleaning the garage” posts are not that helpful for my business community. Some family and friends are not interested in the technical information that I provide to my business community. Those that are, straddle both.
It’s just way too time consuming to try and manage personal and business type posts from a single Facebook personal page. It’s easier to have the functionality split – personal for personal, business for business. Your friends, and business connections can always straddle both if necessary.
Again, the functionality of a Business page and a Personal Page is intentionally different. Why else would, not only Facebook, but other popular social media platforms, create the personal/business page distinction.
9. Facebook Nearby
Facebook has recently released a new search function for the mobile market, dubbed Facebook Nearby. Simply put, if you do not have a Facebook Business Page your business will not appear in any local Facebook search results.
Facebook Nearby is similar in functionality as Google Local, where an individual has the ability to query a local establishment. For example they may want to find “Indian Restaurants”, “Coffee Shops”, “Computer Suppliers”, “Jewelers”, etc. that are in their local location. I know for a fact I have used the Google Local many times to find nearby businesses, and with the increasing popularity of Facebook, plus the release of Facebook Nearby, it makes total sense to have a Facebook Business Page presence.
Your Next Step
There are many more reasons to separate your personal profile from your Business presence, but I suspect you now understand it’s importance.
As a next step, my gift to you. Take a look at: “Your Facebook Business Page: Step-by-Step Setup In 57 Minutes or Less”.
It is literally a step-by-step guide to help you setup your Facebook Business Page quickly, and is in plain English, methodical, and very easy to understand.
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