People use Facebook for lots of reasons. From sharing family photos to ranting about politicians to laughing at funny memes, you’ll find just about anything on the world’s most popular social network.
But should you use your personal page to promote your business? Maybe, but since the platform is intended for personal use, you stand to alienate some “friends” if you overdo it. Plus, Facebook says you can’t represent your business on a personal page. After all, it’s not LinkedIn. Even so, lots of people do anyway.
So what’s a savvy business owner to do? Look for tactful ways to promote your business on your personal Facebook page. That way you can effectively merge the two while staying within Facebook’s terms of service and maintaining your personal relationships.
Here are some ideas to consider.
1. Update your public information.
This is where you list your name, rank and serial number. Along with your name, current city, spouse, hometown and education, you’ll list your employer, which is, of course, your business. You can link it to your business’s fan page. Just make certain you have it set as the current employer and make certain your work and education section is set for public viewing.
Facebook also allows you to include links to your website or blog as part of your publicly viewable information. Listing links to your company’s website here will generate traffic from your friends as well as those may be Facebook stalking you.
A new feature on Facebook is the ability to add a short bio to your profile. This is a great opportunity to shamelessly self promote while keeping posts about your business out of friends’ news feed. Change it from time to time to reflect company growth, awards or other achievements.
2. Segment messages
Facebook messaging lets you target exactly who you gets your messages. For example, if you have a brick and mortar store, you can create a group of people who live in that geographic area. Send them a message advertising a sale. They just might come to take advantage of the good deals you’re offering. Perhaps you could group young moms together and send receive a message about your life insurance offerings. Or, create a group of IT professionals who might have interest in a seminar hosted at your virtual office space.
3. Use groups
Yes, some Facebook affinity groups are infiltrated by spam, but many open groups aren’t. Search for a Facebook group specific to your niche and join. This is an easy way to make connections you might not otherwise have had. You can only do it from your personal profile. Business pages can’t participate in groups.
4. Tag photos
If you post photos taken at your virtual office spaces or a company event, be sure to tag the people who are pictured, even if you’re not officially friends. When you tag them, the picture goes on their timeline, allowing their friends to see it. That generates much more exposure to for your company’s brand. It’s also an easy way to generate some buzz using an older photo that you may have posted months ago, but neglected to tag.
5. Use Lists
Make lists of people you regularly do business with or those who you want to conduct business with. Using this feature, you can easily browse through their profiles every day and stay up to date with these folks’ lives. That way, you don’t miss anything that’s going on in their lives and can find more opportunities for engagement and interaction.