privacy concerns

5 Reasons a Facebook Business Page is Better than a Profile


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru... Image via CrunchBase

Facebook is a great way to share information about your business in a place that many members of your

audience are visiting on a daily basis.  With over 800 million users, half of those logging in daily, Facebook is a must for almost any business.

I have encountered many businesses who have a Facebook profile instead of a page for their business - some because they set them up before Facebook pages even came in to creation, some because they worry about linking their personal profile to the business page (this isn’t a concern, once your page is set up, nobody can see who the administrator is).

Here are 5 reasons why you should have a page instead of a profile for your business.


1. Facebook doesn’t want you to have a profile for your business

Having a profile for a business is against Facebook regulations. The chances of Facebook ever realizing you’re doing this isn’t particularly high BUT if they do, they could delete the account.

2. People don’t want you to know about them

People worry about their privacy.  They don’t want people they don’t know seeing what they’re saying on Facebook; they don’t want to worry that their private information is being shared with others.

When you have a business set up as a profile instead of a page you are asking people to “friend” you.  That means that you have access to their private information.  That will immediately cut out a large number of people who simply don’t want to be friends with your business.

When people need to friend you they also can’t see any of your information until you have accepted them, which brings me to my next point.

3. Immediate access

There is no approval process for a page.  Once someone likes you they have total access to your page. The less barriers the better.

4. Easy to promote on other sites

People won’t like your Facebook page if you don’t holler from the rooftops that you have one.  Tell people at every opportunity - in your newsletter, links from twitter and especially on your web site and blog.

You can install a widget that goes on your site or blog that lets people like your page without ever leaving your site - the easier it is for someone to like your page the higher the chance they’ll do it.  This makes it very easy for them and isn’t hard to install.   (You can’t do this for a profile.)

5. Insights

It can be hard to measure the return on investment of social media sometimes, but there are certainly a lot of ways to see what’s going on on your page using Facebook Insights.

Insights lets you see how people are interacting with your page and figure out what content is getting a lot of engagement. It lets you see how many new people have liked you in a week, and where they’re coming from. It is a great tool to use to measure Facebook Page success and help you plan your future content.

Facebook insights

Converting a profile to a page

If you have a Facebook profile for your account don’t worry, you can switch it to page.  Unfortunately if you have a Facebook profile AND a Facebook page it’s not easy to merge the two.

Here is a good article from Mashable on how to convert your profile to a page.

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Personal vs Personable

One of my number one tips for success in the social space is to engage with others as a person. Don’t just broadcast information, you need to interact, respond, and be friendly.

In direct response, one of the biggest reasons I hear from people about not wanting to get onto the social web is that they don’t want to share their personal information online. Here is my response:

You don’t have to be personal to be personable.

If you don’t want to give out any personal information online, you can do that and still be friendly and engaging.  You can share information you find interesting, you can give your commentary on something someone else has said, you can even say you’ve tried a certain restaurant or kind of food without ever giving out the kind of information you feel is inappropriate to have online.

You do it all the time.

Think about the countless conversations you’ve had at networking events, at work, or in line at the grocery store - people have friendly encounters regularly without really divulging anything too personal about themselves.  This is especially true in work settings.  Transfer this to the online space and you can build relationships that are professional in nature while still building that personal connection that makes networking so important in just about every industry.

Trust your gut.

There are people who share nothing and there are people who over-share - this is true offline as well as online.  Decide what feels right for you and go with it.  Some people are fine with sharing personal information about their families and pastimes and that’s ok. Some aren’t, and that’s ok too.  Being true to yourself is what’s most important online and is what will make the experience as authentic and enjoyable as possible.

Do you worry about the information you share online? Does it stop you from participating?

What is it and why should I care: check in apps

Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C... Image via CrunchBase

What is it?

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on software for mobile devices. This service is available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by running the application and selecting from a list of venues that the application locates nearby. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”. ~Wikipedia

There are many check-in apps, foursquare is just one of the most well known ones.  Facebook is now being widely used, and there is another check-in app called Get Glue that is more entertainment based.

There is also a game component to foursquare. You friend people on foursquare much the way you do on Facebook, and they can then compete against you for badges, leaderboards, etc. by getting points for check-ins.

Why should you care?

The biggest thing I hear with regards to these check-in apps is that people don’t want others to know where they are; that it’s too personal.

I agree with that. I don’t think that people should be checking in everywhere and anywhere that they are. So - why should you check in?

1 - check in if you are really pleased with the service somewhere.  By checking in and commenting (or sharing through your other networks), you are telling others that you recommend the service. It’s a nice thing to do.

2 - some companies will give you a discount for checking in, some for every 5 or 10 checkins and some for being mayor (the person who has most often checked-in to a location becomes the mayor).  Maybe you wouldn’t be inclined to tell everyone you were having dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory… unless you got 15% off your bill for it.

Which brings us to the next point, how should businesses use check-in apps.

1- If you have a physical location, make sure that your location is entered into as many check-in apps as possible. If someone wants to check in, make it easy for them.

2 - Offer an incentive - if you offer a discount people will be more inclined to check in than if you don’t.  This is great and cheap publicity for your business. The options for the discount are limitless.

Here are some ideas:

- 15% at a restaurant for checking in

- a draw for $100 gift certificate from everyone who checks in to your establishment over the course of a month

- a free ticket to the next event drawn from everyone who checks in to this year’s event

- a free massage for every 10 check ins at a spa

- free coffee or dessert for the mayor
The more businesses offer incentives the more people will check in to places - it’s a two way street and I believe that this will take off more and more in the coming months and years.

Do you use a check-in app? Which one? Do you use it for your business?

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