Too often I meet with small businesses that believe they have a great marketing program. They’ve got their social media going, a little advertising, a sales person doing their thing, some public relations here and there… sounds peachy right?
When I drill down into the finer details of implementation, I begin to see the real troubles. I can go on and on, but today I’ll just focus on one simple, but big issue—Facebook.
Many small businesses establish a presence on Facebook under a user profile. Throughout my seminars and speaking engagements, I always tell my audiences that profiles are for people and pages are for brands. Say it with me now, “Profiles are for people and pages are for brands.”
Setting up a Facebook profile for your business can have several ramifications that you don’t know about. The major one is running the risk of having Facebook delete it at their own accord, leaving your time and efforts for not.
There are three major items to consider when establishing a presence on Facebook for your brand: connection barriers, analytics, and customized features. Each of these items provides insight into why creating a Facebook page is necessary.
How many connections do you hope to establish on Facebook—150 or 150,000? When you incorrectly setup your brand with a presence on Facebook using a profile, you’re immediately limiting your reach to 5,000 friends. With a Facebook page, you have the potential to grow your base to millions and millions of connections (called “likes”). With that said, don’t place your expectations too low—aim for the best.
As a business owner or marketing communications professional, you should be concerned with analytics. Getting information on your marketing initiatives whenever possible is important. With a Facebook page, you have access to all sorts of analytics such as demographics, tends, page views, and more. When you have a Facebook profile, you have access to zero analytics. Boo… Analytics provide you with all kinds of data that can help you tailor your messages to better match with your audience.
What are your hours of operation? Where are you located? Do you want users to be able to rate and praise your business/product?
The above questions are all valid, and with a Facebook page, you can answer all of them and more for your audience. You can think of a Facebook page as a type of microsite for your business… on a platform that your audience is already using and is familiar with—kind of like being at the right place at the right time.
Unlike profiles, pages allow you to create special applications, landing pages, and more that allow you to tailor your information as a business. Your presence on Facebook also appears differently in Facebook search results and through other search engines such as Google.
In conclusion, what I’m really trying to get across is simple—profiles are for people and pages are for brands. I can go on and on as to why it’s important that you set up your presence on social media correctly. It’s an investment in money and time for your business, so it’s important to do it correctly.