No need to go into whether or not we should be using Facebook for our businesses anymore – only what the best way is for us to use the platform. There are personal Facebook timelines as well as business pages. You would think the names themselves would lend a good idea as to which one we should use for our business, but I still see people using a personal page, naming a personal account with their business name and adding friends even though it violates the TOS of Facebook. Setting aside rules and terms of service for a moment, let’s look at the differences between these two and whether you should use one, the other or both.
Here is what Facebook says:
“Personal timelines are for individual, non-commercial use. They represent individual people and must be held under an individual name.
You can follow Timelines to see public updates of people you’re interested in but aren’t friends with.
Facebook Pages look similar to personal timelines, but they offer unique tools for connecting people to a topic you care about, like a business, brand, organization or celebrity. Pages are managed by admins who have personal timelines. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your timeline.”
As a matter of creating a Facebook business page, you have to already have a personal timeline, but you don’t have to have a business page. From a branding perspective a business page allows you to post offers and a place where you can talk more specifically about your products or services without inundating your friends with work information. Here is a good set of tips to get started and make the most out of your business page.
On the other hand, Facebook is an informal place – maybe something like the backyard barbecue of social media so it is ok to talk about your business on your personal page, but no more so than you would hanging out with friends. A little is ok, but too much business during playtime will eventually annoy your friends and they will ignore you. A good rule of thumb would be 80% personal and NO MORE THAN 20% business.
What You Should Do
I’ve found that the best approach is to use both a personal timeline combined with a business page. You can talk ad nauseam about business stuff on your business page and you can share the really important stuff with your personal friends provided you don’t overwhelm them. Your personal friends, just like in real life, can be great advocates of your business as well. You can suggest they like your page and if you are compelling, they will share some of your business posts with their friends. Keep them separate but connect them from time to time. It’s ok for your friends to be reminded about your business concerns and it will help you remain top of mind to them when your products and services are needed. Just don’t go overboard. As a real estate agent, I have many “friends” on Facebook that post too much business information on their personal timelines. It just feels dirty, sales-like and generally unfriendly for the user. However, to see all of the business talk on a business page is to be expected. Post to your heart’s content!
Tell Me What You Think
Leave a comment below if you disagree or would like to add to the discussion!