Facebook as a Business Building Tool
Most people know Facebook as a great way to stay in touch
with friends and family, and to reconnect with long lost childhood
classmates. But there’s another side to Facebook – one that can help
your business grow.
According to Facebook’s own compilation of statistics (found
in their Press Room), more than 1.5 million local businesses have
active Pages on Facebook, and more than 20 million people become
fans of Pages each day. For CEOs and business owners, this means
Facebook is definitely a way to spread your company’s message, build
community and loyalty among customers, and ultimately increase your
company’s bottom line.
If you’ve only used Facebook for personal reasons, making the
jump to a business application can seem challenging. The following
suggestions will help you create a business Facebook presence that
Facebook person and persona:
Ask yourself these two important questions: “Who am I as a
person outside of my business?” (This is your person.) “Who am I as
a business owner on Facebook?’ (This is your persona.) Can you
combine the two identities? Absolutely not! If you already have a
personal Facebook page that you use to keep up with your friends and
family, then keep it personal. Don’t mix your business contacts into
Rather, build a new Facebook profile as the CEO and Founder
of Company XYZ. This is your business persona page. You could even
name it John W. Smith, CEO and Founder of Acme Corporation. On this
page you’d put your corporate bio and other information that
pertains to your role in the company – the persona of you as a CEO.
Then you can build a Fan Page off of that personal profile that
talks specifically about the business.
Mixing your personal and business pages is discrediting and
unprofessional. And yes, it’s perfectly fine to have two profiles on
Facebook. You’d simply have to use your middle initial or some other
distinguishing information to differentiate the two accounts.
Name your accounts
While your individual posts on Facebook are not ranked in Google
searches (at least not yet), your profile is ranked. Simply go to
your settings tab in Facebook and elect to make your profile public.
How you name your business persona page and fan page is critical for
ranking purposes. While you’d certainly use your name for your
individual business account and use your company name for your fan
page, you’ll want to tag some keywords onto each name. For example,
if you as the CEO wanted to be known as a leader in internet
marketing, you might name your business profile John W. Smith,
Internet Marketing Strategist. Similarly, you could name your fan
page in such a way that there’s no question what your company does,
as in “Acme Corporation, Widget Supplier and Manufacturer.”
Think of the keywords you want to be found under and work
those keywords into your tagline or title. This strategy gets your
profile open to the world and helps you go beyond just building a
Facebook community of friends and fans. Now you’re opening your
company up to a bigger community outside of Facebook.
Once your pages are
set up, encourage your current clients or customers to join your fan
page. Anything that happens with the business, such as any trade
shows the company is attending, new products or services you’re
offering, any new company developments you want people to know
about, or anything related to the company as a whole, would appear
on the fan page. People read those posts and monitor what your
company is doing or offering and they then invite others to become
As for your business persona page – the page focused on you
as the CEO and Founder – here you’d post information about
conferences you’re attending, your thoughts on the industry or
company, and business things related to you personally. For example,
maybe you won an award or got an article published. Talk about these
types of things on your business persona page.
Additionally, on your business persona page, you’d only put
out and accept friend requests from people who directly relate to
your business. If one of your personal friends finds the page and
offers a friend request, direct that individual to your personal
Realize that while you can control whom you befriend, you
have no control over who becomes a fan of your company’s fan page.
People become fans because they are interested in your topic.
Also, it’s okay to have blatant ads, coupons, and specials
for your company on your fan page. In fact, fan pages were designed
as a way to give businesses a way to blatantly promote their company
without getting people upset. However, don’t put ads, coupons, or
specials on your business persona page. If you do, people will
quickly start un-friending you.
Finally, remember to feed your Twitter posts, blog posts, and
YouTube videos directly to your fan page so you can extend your
brand. You can do all this dynamically by using a tool such as
Ping.fm or SocialOomph.com.
With more than 400
million active users on Facebook, this is one place you definitely
want your company to be seen. The key is for clients, prospects, and
the Facebook community at large to see your business in the most
positive light possible. By keeping your business and personal
information separate, building your pages professionally, and
posting relevant content your audience will want to read, you can
create powerful relationships on Facebook that positively impact
your company’s bottom line.
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