Why your business should have a Facebook Page (not a Profile)

Which is the right way to promote a business?Recently Lara wrote a post giving some advice around whether business owners should promote their business through their personal profiles. Ultimately, we feel that decision is one that can be very different from one person to the next - just as how we all use social networks and what we share is different. Some business owners like to keep their profiles personal and private. Others supplement their networking efforts by extending it to their personal profile. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer if you’re comfortable with your choice.

Someone who shared our post made the comment that they don’t ever recommend it. I was curious as to why, so I asked. Their response was that the personal profile doesn’t have insights, ads or third-party apps. Very sensible reasons if the post was about using a personal profile exclusively to promote a business on Facebook. Just as there was some confusion about what Lara was writing about, there is some confusion around what is best for businesses. 

Facebook Personal Profiles

Personal profiles (or personal accounts) are designed for individuals and require reciprocity. If I send you a friend request and you accept, we see content from each other (assuming we aren’t using any privacy filters). If you decline my friend request, I see nothing of yours and you see nothing of mine (unless it’s public). The idea is that if we are “friends”, we know each other well enough to connect and share our lives with each other through Facebook. 


There is an exception to Facebook’s rule of reciprocity: following. This feature was introduced about two years ago and was originally called subscribe. It allows non-friends to follow public updates for any individual that has the feature activated. If you follow me, you can see anything I post publicly in your timeline, but I can’t see anything of yours. Some higher profile individuals actually deleted or stopped using their Facebook Pages after this feature was released.

Facebook Pages

Back in 2007, Facebook opened up to the world at large. Personal profiles were the only thing available, but businesses were already starting to see the value of all these people that were held captive by pokes and wall posts. The answer to this problem was Pages. They were a way for businesses to acquire an unlimited fan base and gave the fans access to the page without allowing the page to see personal details of its fans. It was a win-win situation for everybody.

(Who else remembers becoming a fan of “sleeping in” or “the cold side of the pillow”? Those were the good old days when life was a tad simpler and there was no EdgeRank.)

Businesses should not have Profiles

Personal profiles are for people. Facebook has even specified in its terms of service that: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.”

That’s the biggest reason we advise against businesses using Profiles. Facebook has the right to take your Profile (or Page) down, which means you lose everything you’ve worked to do. Here are some other reasons: 

  • Page Insights show the data behind the performance of every post you publish so you know what time is best to post and what types of posts are getting more engagement from your audience. 
  • Pages allow the option of running ads to extend your reach. 
  • Finally, Pages allow admins to install third-party apps for newsletter signups, contests and numerous other purposes.

Since Facebook has implemented EdgeRank and limits what we see, I’ve seen many page admins talk about switching to a profile or a group so people definitely see their content. However, notifications are easily turned off in groups and I won’t friend an entity that uses a Personal Profile. And EdgeRank affects Personal Profiles in the same way that it affects content from Pages.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you have a business that you want to promote on Facebook, you should set up a business Page for it because that’s how Facebook says it needs to be. And also because you can control and see so much more than you can with just a profile. You can still share content from you business Page to your personal profile (if you’re comfortable doing so) too!

Do you know any businesses that are using a personal profile? How do you feel about that?

Small business resources: Marketing blogs

Small business owners have a lot on their plate: from day-to-day operations of their business to the marketing and promotion to administrative duties. The list could go on and on. There are two priorities for every business owner - to increase revenue or decrease costs. The only way to increase revenue is by getting your name out there effectively and efficiently, but not every business owner is an expert marketer. 

However, these expert marketers have blogs that are tailored to the small business owner. The wisdom, insights, and practical advice they provide can absolutely help you grow your business.

Duct Tape Marketing

I started following John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing) when I found his Duct Tape Marketing podcast about 7 years ago. One of the things I really enjoy about John’s content is that he has a good mix of marketing wisdom, practical tips, and innovative tools - all tailored to small business. Every now and then he tries out certain tools and his overviews have convinced me to try a few myself. Busy small business owners need content that is quick to read, easy to absorb, and painless to action - you’ll get all three from John consistently. The resource page alone contains enough value to make it worth your time to check out what he’s recommending. Besides, don’t you just love the name!?

The Marketing Spot

The Marketing Spot blog is a recent discovery of mine, but after browsing through some of the content, I quickly realized that I really enjoy Jay Ehrat’s style. In amongst solid advice is a lot of education about marketing principles that can help guide decisions - particularly when the answer may not be clear right away. For business owners that want to dig deeper into the critical role that marketing plays in growing your business, this blog is one you’ll want to follow closely.

SmartBlogs (by SmartBrief)

SmartBlogs is not necessarily specifically focused on small business, but I think a lot of the content is definitely userful for small business owners. There are a variety of topics covered - my personal favourites are social media (of course), leadership and I also like to watch the finance blog. I’m not a huge fan of email newsletters (they’re an awesome tool, but it’s not my preferred method of getting news most of the time), HOWEVER, this is one of a few blogs that I invite into my inbox. The emails are easily skimmed for quick tidbits I want to read further or I move on quickly. You can also subscribe to the feeds via RSS. For small businesses using social media to market their products and services, I think the social media feed is definitely worth subscribing to.

I’ve given a few recommendations here, but I’d love to hear what blogs you like to follow for marketing advice. Tell me in the comments some of the sources you find helpful!

Twitter really is a lot like the radio

I’m driving a different car these days. My borrowed car is low tech and forces me to listen to the radio *gasp* if I want to listen to anything on my commute. I’m used to plugging in my iPod and listening to what I want, when I want. I can rewind, fast forward and skip around to my little heart’s content.

But in rediscovering the radio, I’m practicing my listening and observing skills in a different way. 

The funny thing is that old media meets new media in a really interesting way because the radio reminds me so much of Twitter!

1) They promote.

Some stations (accounts) run promotions - whether it’s their content or advertising from other businesses. 

2) They have conversations.

Think about morning DJs that banter through the rush hour traffic between commercials, news and music. The social aspect of these discussions starts in the studio and extends outwards to callers who join in. (Sounds an awful lot like people who jump in on Twitter.)

3) They share.

It’s balanced sharing, too - human interest stories, community events, news, and all sorts of other really great content that the audience might find interesting or - even better - want to hear and know about.

4) They inspire action.

I think what I like best about listening to radio is hearing really creative commercials. There’s the usual car dealership commercials that sound the same as they’ve sounded my entire life, but other businesses are getting really creative and clever. It worked, too! I was interested in going to a couple of businesses I hadn’t previously even heard of. 

Radio is a finite interaction.

Lara has used this analogy of “Twitter is like a radio” for a long time. It helps newer users understand that they don’t have to read every tweet sent when they weren’t logged in and it’s true. Radio doesn’t allow you to pause, fast forward, or rewind - a lot like Twitter. 

However, there’s a difference with interactions. Radio is primarily one-sided and finite. You turn it off and you can’t go back and listen to what you’ve missed later.

Twitter allows you to come and go, picking up the thread of conversations as you have time. BUT you don’t have to read through everything that everyone you’re following has said while you’re logged out. And thank goodness for that, because that would be incredibly overwhelming. 

The bottom line is that old media and new media influence each other. You can find inspiration from one that can be used successfully with the other. The most important thing is to evolve and be creative. Find unique ways to grab your audience’s attention. 

5 Steps for Businesses to Increase Traffic Using Pinterest

We're very pleased to have Gwen Leron guest posting today with advice for you on using Pinterest for your business. 


Pinterest is the newest, the hottest and the most addictive social network on the block, but once you’ve created an account for your business, how can you convert your newest guilty pleasure into more traffic for your website?

  1. Set Your Profile Up Properly - Go into the settings for your account (click on your username in the top right hand corner and choose Settings from the drop down). Make sure to upload your logo, write a small bio and enter your website URL, Facebook and Twitter info so they become part of your Pinterest profile. Also, make sure the “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” option is set to “off”. The more ways you have for followers to get to you, the better.
  2. Make Your Pins As Much About Your Followers As It Is About Your Business - You know your customers best and you know what their interests most likely are... chances are that you have the same interests too. Take the time to create boards that will cater to your customers’ interests and what you think they would like to see. While it is important to stay on topic, it is OK to bend a little bit and show some of the personality behind the business. Enjoy your pinning time, Pinterest is supposed to be fun!
  3. Don’t Go Crazy With Pinning Your Own Content - No one wants to log into Pinterest to see pins upon pins from the same business promoting themselves....if they wanted to see everything you offered in one spot, they would go to your website, right? Balance is key. Pin a wide variety of interesting things, with a bit of your products sprinkled in. This is also a good way cater to a wider audience outside of your customer base and to gain new followers.
  4. Pin Properly - There are so many amazing pins that sadly link back to nothing. This will be frustrating for your followers, especially if it is done over and over again. Be sure that when you pin something, that you are linking back to the actual source from which it came. Before re-pinning something, be sure that you click on it first to see if it takes you to where it is supposed to. Also, when re-pinning, be sure that you make sure the description is accurate, brief, and to the point.
  5. Promote Your Pinterest Boards/Pins Through Other Channels - Get the word out that you are on Pinterest! Share pins on your Facebook page, on Twitter, on your blog, and in your newsletter. This will help you gain followers and hopefully help to drive more eyeballs to your website.

Are you using Pinterest for your business? What other advice would you give those who want to? (Be sure to share your Pinterest Profile in the comments!)


Gwen Leron is a writer, a web content manager and owner of Nayla Natural Care, an online store that specializes in carrying the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products. Keep up with what she is pinning by following Nayla Natural Care on Pinterest.