Facebook Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses – Personal Profile or Facebook Page?
Are you using Facebook for your business? In this post we go over the pros and cons of using a Facebook personal profile vs. a Facebook business page.
So, given the above question was really a redundant question, you are likely using Facebook for business. There is much discussion about how to exactly utilize your Facebook account to promote your business. I have to admit I struggle with what to recommend for small businesses as well, because as we all know, Facebook’s algorithm change has affected everyone’s reach.
Are you using your personal profile? Or a group or a business page? Although Facebook states that you are not supposed to “use your personal profile for commercial gain” as shown under their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, there is still a little breathing room.
I felt compelled to write this post as I see so many things on my Facebook feed that just do not seem right to me when people are talking about their businesses.
So, let’s dive in and look at the options.
Facebook Personal Profile
The first thing you should ask yourself is; are you the brand? If you are the face of your small business then a personal profile is a great option for you. By branding yourself, you are emphasizing who you are, the skills you have and what you have to offer your potential clients or customers. This in turn creates trust.
You also will want to go to your settings in Facebook and consider opening up the “Who can contact me” setting from “Friends of Friends” to “Everyone”. This way, people can either add you as a friend (and you can accept) or they can “follow” you without adding you as a friend. You can control who sees your posts by choosing the “Public” or “Friends” button when posting a status.
This is a good option for those who are a direct sales/multi-level marketing representative because essentially you are branding yourself to make sales and/or add team members. If you were branding the company, you would be lost in a sea of thousands of people just like you! By using your personal profile you are showcasing and branding the person, not the product. That said, it is best to focus on what you do within the business & what makes you happy about your business. [take care then what to post “public” vs. “friends”] Posting blatant sales pitches rarely sit well with your Facebook friends, and gets you un-followed or un-friended pretty quickly.
Other ideas of what to post about:
- Inspirational messages
- Personal photos and status updates about regular life
- Sharing influencer content for your ideal customer. (ex. Someone into fitness would share a self.com article)
Facebook Business Page
Above we discussed the example of a direct sales representative Facebook business pages do not always make sense for them as the company itself has a business page that can be shared in terms of product updates and information. However, if you are looking to grow your business a Facebook business page should be considered as it will give you access to the benefits of business page including Facebook Ads and Insights. If you would like to grow your business across the country, you will need a way to reach them and that can only be done through ads and targeting. (we will get into other traffic sources later in the blog post)
Do you have a small business? Despite the poor organic reach, I would still recommend that you have a business page. Facebook pages are branded specifically to your business and by having your page, you basically are adding your business to the yellow pages. If you are in business, you need a page! Having a page also increases brand awareness and builds your credibility in the marketplace. Here is the place where you can also include specific product posts. The best thing about your Facebook business page is you can advertise it. You have the ability to target just the people who have liked your page, all the way to targeting specific demographics in other countries. The options are endless when running your Facebook ads!
If you are a solopreneur or have just one or two partners, you can easily leverage your personal profile by sharing out the content you have on your Facebook business page to increase awareness about your business, while leveraging your personal profile for more people-friendly posts like a local event you attended for your business or how happy your small business makes you allowing you the freedom to work from home. I cannot stress enough that Facebook is not billboard. You are looking to create personal relationships and network with your potential customers!
On the Facebook business page you can do other fun things like run contests. This type of marketing strategy is only available when using a Facebook business page.
Finally, you can invite your friends on your personal account to like your business page.
Let’s talk about traffic….
At IMU for any type of business we typically recommend having your own website. A personal website. Going back to the direct sales example, many reps are given a replicated website to sell from when they sign up. This is not the website I am talking about. Your own personal blog or website is a place where you can showcase your unique value proposition; i.e. what makes you DIFFERENT from the rest. For example, if you are fitness coach you can post articles and videos on different types of workouts or recipes that your viewers can do. You will include links to your website to buy product there.
The reason we recommend your own website is you can drive traffic there from your social media profiles. This weeds out the people are interest in your product or service. All of your other friends and followers can go about their business on social and those who want to hear more can visit your website. Even better, they can sign up for your mailing list or newsletter to get more updates from you that way!
If you are using your Facebook personal profile exclusively to advertise, how are you driving targeted traffic there? Are you posting over and over to the same audience (your friends)? What about the people that aren’t interested in your product? Chances are you are irritating them to the point of unfollowing or unfriending you. They don’t mean to not support you; they just aren’t interested in your product. Is that a bad thing?
This is something to think about when you hop on Facebook to talk about your business.
If you still choose to use Facebook profile as your main advertising ground, then I would suggest that you attract targeted friends. You can do this by using other social media profiles. How do I mean? Link your Twitter and Facebook account. Add a call to action to follow you there. Add your Facebook profile link to your Instagram account. Add the call to action to follow you there.
This way you are adding new, targeted friends to your account to talk to when you’re posting.
Keep in mind that your old friends may get annoyed with the constant selling and unfollow you.
At IMU, our recommendations always start with the list. If you still don’t want to create a typical marketing list with an auto-responder email service, consider “building your list” using Facebook.
You can create a Facebook group and ask your friends, current customers, or potential customers to join your Facebook group. With groups you have these options:
- Create a group to attract people with specific interests
- Create a group for your business
- Join groups that your target audience belongs to
This allows you to connect with the friends and followers that are genuinely interested in learning what you have to say. You can engage with your potentials there through your posts. You can share new products, or give product updates. You can share any specials or deals you have running. The key is you are sharing with people who want to hear about it!
You can also use groups as an exclusive “inner circle” with your current customers or clients. For example, if you are a coach you can create a private group where you can connect, answer questions, and network together. This is a great way for you to understand your customer and for everyone to learn from each other.
A few pitfalls however with groups:
- You may be adding people to the group who don’t want to be added. Anyone can add other people to a group once they are in it. Be sure to adjust your settings to only allow admins to add people to a group if you want to be able to control it.
- Many people do not like getting so many notifications. One way you can avoid irritation is to clearly outline where the settings can be changed within your group.
Building an email marketing list is imperative. This gives you access to the group of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. You can gather emails easily by:
- Creating a google form and posting the link to your profile
- Using a capture page and autoresponder (we like GetResponse)
After you have that list, you can send out anything you want to them! They will continue to receive your updates until or if they unsubscribe from your list!
Using Facebook is an obvious choice of where to start when going into business and promoting online. After all, EVERYONE is on Facebook. All it takes a little time to learn the basics and you can really stand out from the rest!
The Facebook for Business Masterclass is open. Ramp up your business page and start profiting from Facebook!