Mixing Business with Personal is Trouble – Especially on Facebook

like me facebook likes public domainYou’ve probably heard of gateway drugs, right? I’m starting to think of a personal Facebook page as a kind of gateway social media drug.

Some years ago Facebook started letting anyone sign up for a free personal page. They also didn’t mind too much if you promoted your small business. Then they got strict about people using their personal profiles for commercial use and everyone was supposed to move to a business page. This was okay at first, but soon Facebook started restricting the number of people who would see your business page posts in their news feeds.

Today, to guarantee a significant number see your business posts, you need to buy advertising.

So, over the course of a few years, Facebook hooked us on the light stuff (personal pages), moved us to the hard stuff (business pages) and then took away our free samples.

Facebook, Inc.

Oh well, that’s their business model and I hope they do well. However, this may not evolve into the best social media platform for small businesses. While Facebook continues to be great for many small businesses, I don’t doubt that their marketing team is putting more effort into signing up corporate accounts. Because of its size, I think Facebook lusts to be the “Superbowl” of social media, and have a similar lineup of major advertisers…and ad rates.

If you and your small business have been able to lurk under the Facebook radar so far with your “personal” account, you would be wise to move your business to a commercial page before the Facebook mall cops bust you. However, before you make a major effort to lure your personal Facebook friends over to your business page, make sure it offers great content and that you’re committed to the move.

Once you think your business page offers sufficient value, start promoting it via your personal page. But don’t feel too bad if only a small percentage of your “friends” opt to “like” your business page; you only want the ones who are serious about your business – the non-interested would just be another form of “spam.”

Making Fans of Friends

Amy Porterfield suggests using a video to promote your page to your friends and also offering a free giveaway, like an ebook. Most small business owners will have to venture outside of the Facebook circle of personal friends to build up the fan base of their business page. When you have something good to offer, promote it by running a “Like” ad campaign.

Despite Facebook’s increasingly strong-armed tactics to get you to advertise, there are many benefits to having a commercial page. Among these are:

  • More tabs and apps,
  • The ability to hold contests,
  • Access to targeted advertising,
  • Powerful analytics, and
  • More potential for winning “fans” (personal accounts are limited to 5,000 friends).

Finally, if it looks like you’re having a difficult time connecting with good prospects through Facebook, there are other social media platforms that would love to have you onboard.

Sponsored by AT&T