I see lots of business, particularly new start ups, using Facebook to try and promote their business. There is no doubt that for many businesses social media provides a cheap channel through which to advertise and promote. However I see some businesses that don’t make the distinction between business and personal, that age old rule!
Facebook was originally intended for people to connect with each other on a personal level; people request to be your friend and you can choose whether or not to accept them. Let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t want someone you don’t know very well to see your personal profile….right? Well that’s what I thought, but I see businesses promoting through their staff’s personal profiles.
Facebook let businesses create their own presence on the site by creating a page (not profile!). A Facebook page for your business will allow you to gain all the benefits of social media, like posting content and updates about your business and promotions, pictures, videos, etc. Your customers can ‘Like’ the page and make comments, post reviews and find out more about what you’re business is up to.
Using a Facebook page is crucial because anyone interested in your business can like the page. If you use your personal profile for promotion then people interested in your business will have to add you as a friend and you will have to accept them before they can access anything. Your Facebook page is available to like 24/7 with no barriers to joining in.
Your friends know you are passionate about your business and enjoying hearing how you are getting on occasionally. That doesn’t mean they want their wall filled up with minute but minute updates about your working day! They also don’t want to be bombarded with adverts, promotions and invitations to sign up for newsletters! Even your closest friends will get pretty bored and may end up hiding you from their feed (I have to confess I did this to one person on my profile).
When you create a business page on Facebook, people know what to expect and it has a more professional tone about it. Now have a look at all the stuff in your personal profile, is it all just as professional? No, I thought not.
It only takes someone to tag you in a picture from a night out to give a potential customer that impression where they start to question whether they want to do business with you. And we’ve all seen those status updates where people just venting after a bad day, moaning about things that have annoyed them at work. When that work is your business, you’d probably prefer your customers not to see those sorts of rants.
So our advice is to keep your business and personal life separate on social networks. You will protect the reputation of your business and you friends will appreciate you for it.