Local Business Owners, Please use Facebook Pages!
Dear local business owners, please stop creating Facebook Profiles for your business and start creating Facebook Pages!
Phew, there… I said it.
I don’t know if I should chalk this up as a pet peeve, simple lack of attention, or that this might even be Facebook’s fault for not making it clear enough, but it really bothers me when I get a “friend request” from a local business. Not the local business owner, the business. Let’s make this really simple. If you are filling out a registration form and are asked for your first and last names, and you enter First Name: Acme and Last Name: SupplyCompanyInc you are doing something wrong.
Facebook has three main areas in which to organize content. 1) Facebook Profiles, 2) Facebook Groups, and 3) Facebook Pages. Of course, Facebook gets more complicated than that, but those are the three biggies.
Facebook Profiles are simply that, user accounts for real people that act as an identity for that person when using Facebook. They also allow you to interact with third party websites as yourself. This is for you! First name, last name, email address, all of that belonging to you. This is where you accumulate friends, post photos from your personal life, and “Like” certain businesses, organizations, celebrities, products, brands, and other things (like your local business).
Facebook Groups are created by one or more people (with their Facebook Profiles) to organize around an idea. It may be an interest group like Waffle Lovers of Texas, or it might be an organization or group like a Jeep Club or Book Club. It is a great way to have “members” who can post, discuss, and interact with each other around an idea or organization without having to inject all of that niche content into their personal profiles. You may still want to share a photo or post, or even choose to intermingle much of the content if the group is about something that really matters to you. Either way, Groups are simply that, groups of people.
Facebook Pages (where I will focus the remainder of this post) are for businesses, organizations, physical places, brands, celebrities, musicians, authors, and anyone else that wants to interact with “Fans” who “Like” that brand, topic, business, place, or person. This is where almost every local business should have their primary Facebook presence. The beauty of Facebook Pages is that you don’t need a separate user account (Facebook Profile) to have a Facebook Page. In fact, you can manage as many Facebook Pages as you like. You can manage all of your Facebook Pages by simply interacting with it while logged into your regular Facebook Profile.
I’ll explain that a little more. All you need to do to post as your business is to log into your regular everyday Facebook Profile (as yourself) and visit your page. That’s it. Then, when you post to your page, you are posting as your business.
The advantages of choosing a Facebook Page over a Facebook Profile for your local business are numerous. The first of which is, it’s the right way to do it. It is more professional, it organizes your content without the need to log out and back into Facebook, and Facebook provides tools to you as that page administrator that you do not get with a regular Facebook Profile.
Another advantage is that it is a one click, one-way interaction to gain a new Fan. All someone has to do is click the little “Like” button on your page, and they’re connected. No need to request a friend and wait for approval.
You also get statistics, called Insights, which give you details about your page. You will see the number of new Likes you have received, the depth in which your posts are viewed and even some basic demographic data about your Fans. This is a great place to post business photos, your hours of operation, specials, deals, sales, and even a few words of wisdom. This is where you do business on Facebook. If you have a physical location, you can see who has checked-in there. You can also run marketing campaigns from here to get more people to Like your page.
The purpose of this post is not to teach you how to market your business on Facebook, it is simply intended to set you in the right direction. I hope it has done that. If you have any questions about Facebook marketing, Pages, or anything else, feel free to post in the comments below.
- Facebook Page vs. Profile: The Heavyweight Championship Bout (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- So You Have a Facebook Page … Now What? (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- How to Get More Likes on Facebook Pages (mizwhiz.com)