Since launching my business, I have taken advantage of Facebook to market my business—and I have seen a great return on the time & effort I invest there… I often get asked the following question: “Dana, if I already have a personal profile on Facebook, do I also need to have a business page?” The short answer? Yes! Want to know why? Read on to find out.
First off…What’s the difference between a Facebook personal profile and a business page (sometimes referred to as a “fan page”)?
Your personal profile on Facebook is intended for personal, non-commercial use. You can only have one and it must be in your own name. A Facebook page, on the other hand, is for professional use and allows you to promote your business and sell to prospective customers and clients. Now that you understand the differences, let’s get into the main reasons you need both…
Reason #1: You can keep boundaries between your personal and professional life.
Having both pages allows you to keep your business life separate from your personal life. Sure, there may be times when you share some personal tidbits on your business page and some exciting business news on your personal page, but most of your friends and acquaintances don’t want to be bombarded with your marketing if they don’t fall into your ideal client profile. And depending on what your industry is (particularly if it’s more “professional” in nature), your business contacts may not be interested the ins and outs of your daily life, like what you ate for dinner and the fact that your three-year-old is now potty trained.
One warning I will share here…There is a big difference between personal and private! If you are a business owner, anything and everything you post online will reflect on your business and your personal credibility. So here’s a friendly warning from the former PR professional in me: Never post anything on social media (on either your business or personal pages) that you wouldn’t want seen published on the front page of the New York Times.
Reason #2: You can have an unlimited number of connections.
With your personal profile, you are limited to 5,000 friends, but you can have unlimited fans on your business page. Even if you’re just starting out in business and think that 5,000 seems like a lot now, trust me–your connections can quickly add up. If you’re marketing yourself consistently and effectively, and getting out there to network and meet new people regularly, you will likely find yourself up against the upper limit. Why risk that? Begin with the end in mind and set things up the right way from the start.
Reason #3: You can grow your list of targeted prospects faster.
The truth is that without a list of targeted prospects to promote your products and services to, you don’t really have much of a business. Facebook provides great opportunities for businesses to grow their lists. First off, you can use third-party apps like LeadPages or Heyo to integrate opt-in forms directly on your business page to capture your leads. Then, those who visit your business page can just click on a tab to sign up for your list-building freebie (You do have one, right? If not, check out these 3 articles now: 1, 2, 3.).
The other opportunity I advise taking advantage of with business pages is Facebook ads. For a relatively low investment (compared to other advertising options out there), you are able to promote your business page, content and list-building freebies to a targeted population. You can target based on demographics (e.g., gender, age, geographic location, level of education, etc.) as well as psychographics (e.g., those who also follow pages similar to yours, have interests that correspond with your niche, etc.). Because of this ability to target, you’ll likely see a high return on your investment–money well spent!
Unfortunately, you’re not able to integrate opt-in forms or target with advertising with your personal profile.
Reason #4: You’ll have access to data to help you optimize your posting strategy.
Facebook provides business pages with “Insights,” a dashboard which gives you powerful information about what content your fans are engaging with the most (so you can do more of that), when they are typically online (so you know the best time to post) and more. This data can help you be more strategic when planning your content and promotions. Facebook profile pages don’t have access to this tool.
One last note: One thing I hear a lot from business owners is that they have both a personal profile and business page, but they get more interaction and engagement on their personal profile. In response, I like to ask: Well, where are you spending the most time? As a general rule, you will get more engagement wherever you invest the most time…
I’d love to hear? Did this article shift your perspective on creating both a personal profile AND business page on Facebook? Do you have any thoughts to add? Feel free to share in the comments below…