You’ve heard it over and over again: If you want to succeed in reaching more potential clients and customers, you need to be on Facebook.
But as Facebook has evolved over the years, what it means to “be on Facebook” has gotten a little murky. The platform currently allows users to interact via either a personal profile or a business Page, and it can be tricky to figure out which one your business really needs in order to thrive.
It doesn’t help that these terms are often used interchangeably, even though functionally, a profile and a Page are very different.
In this blog post, I’ll break down the differences between the two and show you how to use each one to get your business in front of more people.
A personal profile is the default account you are given when you first sign up for Facebook, so this is probably the format you’re already most familiar with.
Profiles are designed to showcase you as an individual and help you relate to others on a personal level, so many people choose to fill out their profiles with information like:
- Their birthday
- Their hometown
- Where they went to school
- Their interests
You can become Facebook Friends with other people by sending a friend request from your personal profile. As you post updates, your friends will see your content in their News Feed (pictured below) and vice versa.
Your posts also show up on your profile itself, in a reverse-chronological feed known as your Timeline. You can access your profile and Timeline from your News Feed by clicking your name at the top right and the top left of the screen (circled in the screenshot above).
You can also like or follow a business Page from your personal profile. You’ll see posts from any Pages you’ve liked in your News Feed along with updates from your Facebook friends.
The main advantage that a personal profile holds over a business Page is that Facebook’s algorithm treats the two differently. Recently, Facebook that its algorithm would start showing fewer posts from brands in an effort to emphasize “meaningful social interactions.” This means that posting and sharing from your personal profile may give you a better chance of showing up in someone’s feed.
A business Page is similar to a personal profile, but with more marketing and analytics tools.
Unlike a personal profile, a business Page is designed to showcase a company, not a person. So the information included typically has a more professional focus, and can include:
- Founding date
- Type of business you do
- Services you offer or products you sell
- Awards your business has received
- Business contact information
You can only create and manage a business Page via a personal profile because Facebook requires each business Page to have at least one real human on board as an administrator.
As with a personal profile, you can post updates, images, and photos from your Page, and they will show up in the News Feed for anyone who has liked or followed your Page. And while you can change the level of privacy and visibility for your personal profile and posts, your business Page and its posts are public, so anybody can find them.
One major benefit of a business Page is the built-in analytics tool, called Insights, which allows you to measure your posts’ performance and gauge the success of your marketing tactics.
Pages also give you access to the Facebook Business Manager, where you can launch a paid advertisement or pay to boost a post for more reach and engagement.
Business Pages also come with the built-in option to schedule posts in advance (a function that’s only possible on personal profiles with the help of a third-party scheduling tool). This allows you to save time by batching several social media posts in one session rather than spending time each day figuring out what to post.
For the most part, business Pages are seen as more credible than a simple personal profile. Creating a Page for your business shows that you take your work seriously and are prepared to treat it as a real business, not just a hobby.
Which do you need? BOTH!
As we’ve now discovered, both a personal profile and a business Page have their merits. But to really get the most mileage out of your Facebook efforts, you need to regularly use both of these tools to promote your business. Here’s a simple strategy for leveraging them to your advantage:
Step 1: Invite your Facebook friends to like your business Page
Although you can’t send friend requests from a business Page, you can — and should! — invite your Facebook friends from your personal profile to like your business Page.
Facebook conveniently divides your friends into those who have already been invited and those who haven’t. Within each list, you can easily see who has already liked your Page and who hasn’t. Use these tools to determine who to invite.
Think of this as a maintenance and upkeep task that should be revisited regularly. How often you’ll need to invite friends depends on how often you add new ones, but for most Pages, anywhere between monthly and quarterly should be enough.
Step 2: Treat your business Page as the default home for anything work-related
Here’s a simple way to determine whether a post belongs on your personal profile or your business Page: If it’s related to your work, put it on your business Page; if it’s related to your personal life, put it on your personal profile.
Treating your business Page as the default home for anything business-related helps build a more credible and authoritative presence for your company. This also allows Facebook Insights to start tracking your posts’ performance from the moment they’re published.
And keeping your personal profile mostly geared toward your personal life helps build closer relationships with your Facebook friends … and we all know how important those relationships are in growing your business.
Step 3: Share posts from your business Page to your personal profile
Every rule has an exception, and Step 2 above is no different.
When you post business content that’s especially important, valuable, interesting, or urgent on your Page, you should then share that post from your Page onto your personal profile.
This accomplishes three things:
- It shows your business Page and content to friends who might not have liked your Page yet.
- It shows your business Page and content to friends who the algorithm might have skipped.
- It teaches the algorithm that your Page and its content are relevant and important to your friends and followers.
Regardless of where a post originates, the more engagement it receives, the more the algorithm sees it as important content. Facebook wants to show its users the content they most want to see, so sharing your post is an easy way to give it a leg up on the rest of your content.
And to top it off, you’ll be able to track all of the extra reach and engagement you get from sharing that post right in your Page Insights.
Wondering what to post about your business, or need help publishing content consistently? My custom social media strategies and management packages are designed specifically for businesses just like yours. Click below to learn more about how I can help.
Originally published at https://www.chloebrooksmarketing.com on February 11, 2020.