Many small businesses and professionals that engage in Facebook marketing have found themselves struggling when it comes to getting their posts showing up in peoples’ news feeds. Due to the way that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm sorts top posts, studies suggest that only about 16% of fans are likely to see your company’s posts. Fortunately, there is another way to use Facebook for business: strategically utilizing your personal profile.
The Differences Between a Personal Profile and a Business Page
Your personal profile cannot be used to directly promote your business but you can still use it to network and provide a personal face that people can associate with your business.
Think of this as your chance to let people see the face behind your business. However, you should be careful not to focus exclusively on using your personal Facebook for business. While you can occasionally post about your business, frequent promotional posts will turn people off.
Using Lists and Groups
One of the features of a Facebook personal page is the ability to use lists, which will make sure that certain posts are only readable by selected individuals on your friends list. This means that you can use Facebook for business by promoting to certain lists while leaving family and friends that might not be interested alone.
Using a personal profile, you can also gain access to Facebook groups, which allow you to talk about niche topics related to your business. People you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach will see your posts in groups and then follow your social media trail back to your company, potentially gaining you new customers.
Cover Photos Restrictions Aren’t As Strict
Personal pages have looser restrictions than business pages, which is a key component to using Facebook for business. You can build your personal profile using cover images that are organic to your personality and style, and then transfer them to a more focused business perspective.
By using your personal page wisely, you can gain hundreds or even thousands of followers and then use your cover image as free advertising space that will direct interested users over to your business page. This is an effective way to convince people of the utility of your brand and the people behind it before they even take a look at your business page.
Here are a couple resources for learning more about Facebook’s cover photo guidelines:
- Facebook Timeline Cover Images – Is Promotional Content Allowed?
- Facebook Official Guidelines for Pages
Things to Keep in Mind
In addition to not coming on too strong when you use your personal page for business, there are certain things to keep in mind when updating your personal profile. For example, make sure that you have a good handle of your privacy settings, ideally making all items shared on your personal page public so you can reach as many people as possible.
With the fact that you have everything out there publicly, you should make sure never to use your profile as a place to vent or engage in personal attacks. If you are an admin of any pages that are relevant to your business, make sure that those pages are also available for your audience to access.
A key part of using Facebook for business is to make sure that you are using every resource that you can possibly have access to. By giving your personal profile an overhaul, you can gain many more leads and customers for your business as well.