I quite often get this question as people are interested in trying out social networking for their business, but are not sure how to go about it or if they are comfortable with the idea and possible lack of privacy.
There are a few pointers that may help in clarifying this issue and seeing how the personal and business fit together – and how to keep them separate.
Your PERSONAL page
- When you post something on your personal page – it only shows up to your “friends” that are on your personal page
- When people sign up on your personal page they are called your “friends”. Now in actual fact once your personal page grows people will ask to become your friend, your friends will suggest other friends to you and you will be requesting others to become your friend.
- I personally think that once you decide that you will be using Facebook for business – that even your “personal” page and profile should try and stick to a business focus. So personally I stick to postings about things related to business with only an occasional social thing like a movie or some activity.
- When a person requests to be your friend:
- Click on their name and look at their INFO tab. What groups and pages do they subscribe to, do you have friends in common. If you can see their WALL tab then look at the type of postings they do. Does the person look like they have similar interest to you? If YES – then click on the “RESPOND TO FRIEND REQUEST” and if you are using the facebook “List” function – add the person to the appropriate list(s). For example I have lists of people by the type of interest we share – e.g. web, film, photography etc. More on lists in another posting. You could send the person a message if you want also.
- If NO – you can ignore the person. They don’t receive any notification about that so you don’t have to feel bad. Note that at any time you want to REMOVE a person as your friend you can do so.
- Also in your personal page – click on SETTINGS – PRIVACY – and you have control over who can see what information.
- Look on your Facebook area and click on PROFILE tab. See if this how your profile looks is going to help you to grow your “friends” (business friends). Plan in future how your postings and comments and groups / pages you join show your business focus.
Your BUSINESS page (your “Fan” page)
- This is your business “Fan” page. It is not connected to your personal page. If you post something on here it does not show up on your personal page.
- You might decide to have more than one Fan page if your business has different audiences and products / services
- You can do some cool things on your FAN PAGE. Most of these are accessible through the “Edit page” function when you are the administator. You can get someone to help you get your page setup and then take over admin if you find it confusing.
- Integrate your blog using Networked Blogs
- Setup discussion forums
- Create photo albums and upload videos about your business
- Setup events
- Message your fans
- Allow people to comment on items
- Setup “Widgets” to feed back to your website and build your fan traffic
Growing your Fan Base
So how do you get people to “Become a fan”?
- Of course the first thing is to have something on your page that people would find interesting. Before you invite people to join your fan page – add some postings. If you have an event coming up add one. Add a few photos. Make the page look inviting. Add some “Discussion Forum” topics that people can respond to.
- click on the “SUGGEST TO FRIENDS” – your friends (on your PERSONAL page) will get an invitation to look at and if they want to join the page. If you have used the Facebook “LIST” function – you can select a specific list to invite. NOTE – when you send out invitations and people join, you will see that the next time you do this that the names are greyed out or don’t appear for the people who already joined. Do this “Suggest to Friends” once a week so that new friends you have on your personal page will get an invitation.
- What I do is build my “friends” on my personal page – that are related to my business interests. once a week I invite people to my PAGE by doing the “Suggest to friends” – only new people would get the invite. So you aren’t annoying people sending it out multiple times.
- So even though your PERSONAL and FAN page are separate – building your PERSONAL page will help you in building your FANS for your business.
I work with individual business owners and nonprofits to make effective use of the Internet. Contact me for details if you require assistance. firstname.lastname@example.org