Why You Should Have a Facebook Business Page
Facebook has two types of entities – Profiles, which are meant for people, and Pages, which are meant for business. As an individual with an account on Facebook, you have a Personal Profile. It consists of your personal information, your friend connections, and anything else you’ve chosen to share. Businesses have a Facebook Page.
On your Personal Profile page you are limited to 5,000 friends. Facebook Pages don’t have friends and therefore are not limited. Instead, they accumulate likes from Facebook users.
Once people like a page on Facebook, updates from that page will begin to show up in their news feeds. Also, businesses have the ability to advertise to reach a bigger audience, including the people who like their page and the friends of those people, and even those who currently don’t like their page.
In the past, Facebook Personal Profiles have not been a good solution for any sort of marketing – unless you were comfortable adding business leads as Facebook friends. Without being friends there was no real way to connect with them.
Also, Facebook has a maximum number of friend requests (the amount is not published by Facebook and therefore unknown) you’re allowed to make. And if those to whom you’ve sent friend requests do not accept your request, or if they click on the “I don’t know that person” button, you can be blocked by Facebook from adding friends or sending messages to people who are not friends.
In 2011, Facebook added the “Follow” function which helps a little, but that is also a little complicated. It’s a one-way street. You’ll see my updates, but I won’t see yours unless I subscribe to you in return. And you’ll only see the updates I post publicly. So this could sort of work if you want to market on your Personal Profile Page, but there are still a few shortcomings to using a Facebook Personal Profile for marketing:
• Anything you post publicly is also visible to your friends. Consider that your friends may not want to hear about your business pursuits all the time.
• Your Personal Profile is limited to 5,000 friends. Your Business Page can have unlimited likes.
• Whether you post on a Personal Profile Page or a business page, only a very small percentage of your friends/likes will actually see your posts.
• You are unable to run advertising for your personal profile. Pages have the ability to run advertising to get more likes, promote a product or an upcoming event. The only way to get more people to see your posts is with advertising. Facebook wants you to pay to play, so with advertising you can have a higher percentage of being seen in people’s newsfeeds. They also give you the ability to laser target your advertising audience, along with powerful tools to help you analyze what’s working and what’s not.
• Your Business Page also gives you the ability to add application pages, or specific pages to promote a product or service. Or you can create a welcome page, and set it up to be the first page people see when people land on your Business Page.
• Your Personal Profile gives you no ability to add additional administrators. Only you can run your Facebook Personal Profile, so if you have to have someone to help you out with your marketing, there’s no way to give them access.
Think of your Facebook Page as a completely separate Facebook account. Nothing you do on your Personal Profile will be reflected on your page, so you’ll need to regularly post additional content to keep your page fresh and engaging. In the simplest form, have a Facebook wall and ask your fans questions or share cool company or even personal insights with them. Give them a reason to want to communicate and engage.
Better yet, to show that the page is active, give the users control by letting their Fan posts show up on the front page. (This is obviously your choice, depending on how comfortable you are with it. Be sure to check your page often and monitor what is being posted in case of problems).
Even if you started with a Personal Profile Page, keep that, but you’ll want to consider switching over to a Business Page, which will give you many tools and resources to help your business grow.
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By Lynn Huber
p.s. If you’re going to be in business, you want to “be in business” with a Facebook page.
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