Do I have to become Facebook friends with my Customers?

Grandstand friends

…and other questions about having my business on Facebook.

One of the most common questions we are asked is: Can I have a separate account for my business on Facebook? Something that is not tied to my personal Facebook profile?

The short answer is yes you can separate the two. However, you do have to have a personal profile on Facebook in order to set up a business page. Once you have a personal page you can set the business page up and even add administrators to access and manage the page without accessing your personal profile page.

Many people just set up a separate profile for the business. Unfortunately, this creates a lot of confusion and is a violation of Facebook’s terms. Before you go too far with this strategy understand that if Facebook discovers that you are using a personal profile for your business it can and probably will block you from accessing the profile meaning all of your hard work goes down the drain.

Business Facebook pages have built-in functionality that will help you grow a fan-base for your business and a platform to cost-effectively advertise your company.

Another advantage of having a business Page is that you are not sharing birthdays anniversaries and other personal information that you may share with your friends but not your “business friends” and customers.

Posting content to Facebook business Pages as well as many other media sites is a challenge for many small business owners. First of all the amount of time, it takes to come up with ideas research and write content can be overwhelming for most small business owners. But think of it this way, if you could have your own Cable News Network that was dedicated to your business, what it has to offer and what it is doing, would you not want to take advantage of it? Especially if it was free or low cost?

Just having a Facebook page does not mean you are going to be flooded with New Prospects, new leads, and new business. It does take effort, time, and creativity. That said, the benefits of having a Facebook business page can be great. People that like your business have basically opted-in to a method for you to contact them whenever you wish. For example, if you run a seasonal special or just want to say happy holidays it is easy to reach everyone at once. You can do this organically or with an inexpensive paid ad and even reach the people that they are connected to.

Another way that it can help your business very much is that it is a place for existing customers to leave a review of the service they received from you.

The following are several additional advantages to having a business page.

You have an unlimited number of fans that can be connected to your business, unlike a personal profile that has a maximum of 5,000. Today that may seem like an irrelevant point but think about this several years down the road.

It is much more professional to have a business page than to be sending creepy friend requests to individuals from a personal account. Your fans should have the ability to like your business without becoming your friend.

Facebook does a very good job of optimizing your business page for the search engines. This way when someone searches Google or one of the other search engines they are more likely to find your business or at least to have another property listed on the search engine results page for your business name.

A business page can be seen by anyone even if it is found in a search engine as opposed to a personal page where an individual must be logged into Facebook to see it.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location you can become a destination for people to check into.

Your business can place ads across the Facebook Network, individuals can not.

You are protecting yourself and your customers from releasing privacy Information because you are not storing any of your customers as opposed to your friend’s information.
As a business, you can implement the number of apps that can be used to create custom tabs, surveys, forms, and a host of other useful applications.

Social proof is some of the strongest credibility you can get. People say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or relative. Facebook allows your customers to leave you written reviews right on your business page. Facebook supports video reviews that generate strong additional social validation.

Rare is the business owner who has time to manage their Facebook account. It is a wonderful thing that you can assign roles for your staff or assistant to manage the account, thank customers for reviews, answer questions, and post content. There are currently five different levels of security and access that can be assigned.

Facebook business pages make posting easy and convenient by allowing you to schedule when you would like the post to go out. This is especially helpful when you know there is an upcoming event.

One commonly overlooked feature of the Facebook business pages is an area called insight. It basically is a measurement of what activity is going on with your business page. But you are also given the opportunity to set up pages to watch. This allows you to choose businesses that may be competitors to see how their pages are performing each week and to compare that to your activity. This includes the number of posts and the interaction that that post receives.

There are very few businesses that would not benefit from having a Facebook business page. If you’d like some help getting your page set up, or would like content management assistance to reach out to us, we’d be happy to help you.

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