If you are still undecided of either use your personal Facebook page (or make a new account) for your business, or setup a fan page, this article might help you out a bit.
Facebook has become very complex and very often we face questions like this one? Fan page or personal page for business?. This article is focus on explaining why a fan page might be the best option, and why.
We will talk about a few scenarios, which are very common.
1.- New Facebook account for your Business, and use the personal wall for it.
This is very tempting solution because it might dissociate your personal Facebook page, from your business. I have seen situations where you don’t want to broadcast to your FB friends that you are running an establishment X. The dilemma here is either I make a new account from scratch but with no friends, OR I use my account for my business in order to leverage my contacts.
This situation is very common, but it has a few disadvantages. The first problem is Facebook policies. In theory you should have only one account per human being. It might sound restrictive, but trust me, with one account you can make tons of sub-accounts (sort of speak). I’ll explain that in the next scenarios. The other disadvantage is that you have now two FB accounts to maintain, and if you want to get all the messages from your accounts, you have to use specialized software to grab them, otherwise you have to be constantly switching accounts in your phone/desktop to see if there is something new.
And if you want to protect your privacy, you don’t really need another account, with one is enough, following a few tricks.
2.- Using your existing Facebook page for your business.
Facebook has some restrictions that might back fire at you if you decide to do this, but let start from a serious one.
Friends Limit: Facebook currently has a limit of 5000 friends that you can have, and although you might think that have 5000 customers is too much, imagine in 5 years from now.
One of my favorite FB pages is from a Doctor that does Cancer Research, however he has reached his 5000 limit and it can’t accept more friends.
Hard to switch: Ok, you have reached your 5000 friends and now you are ready to setup a business page. Well, there is one little problem; nowadays, there is no way that you can transfer your current friends to your brand new business page, therefore you can Invite them, but some will, some won’t, making you lose many potential clients.
I think, when you start a new company, or you already have one, setup a FB Business page, you don’t know if after a few years, you are facing the dilemma that I explained above; after all, it is FREE!
3.- Making a Facebook Business Page.
There are many advantages for this approach, but I will just enumerate the ones that I find the most important ones.
- After you have more than 30 fans, you enable the statistics module that will tell you who visits your page, what age, how many people see your posts, among many other metrics, all of this does not exist on your personal page.
- After 25 fans, you can assign a user id to your page, for instance, a brand new B. Page might have a url that looks like this (http:///facebook.com/4242543525235) that long number is your page ID. But after the 25 fans, you can assign a user ID, and then your url can be something like (http://facebook.com/thebeststore) . What is the benefit of it? You can now put a readable and eye-catching url in your business cards and most important, it will be easier for your potential consumer remember your catching Facebook url than a bunch of numbers.
- You can assign more people to act as your editors, administrators, etc, each one with his/her own FB account and password, and therefore you don’t have to share yours. This is very important because if you end up hiring someone who needs access to your FB page, you can do it in a very secure way.
- You can protect your identity as the owner and not be linked to the page, but you need to do a few tricks (explained in the Privacy section).
- You can make as may pages as you want.
These are some of the many advantages that you will have by not using your personal FB page.
Now, FB has changed its privacy policies so often that sometimes you don’t even know what people see and what don’t. If you don’t want to be linked to your B. Page, read the following section.
If for certain reason you don’t want to be known as the “owner” of the Page, pay special attention when you create it. Immediately after you create the page, a wizard will be launched and will suggest to make a few first steps, such as like your brand new fan page, and invite your friends.
Try to avoid inviting your friends, make a brand new fan base via advertising, blogs, etc. but if you start by inviting all of your co-workers, it won’t be long until they figure it out.
Also, by linking your page, it might be obvious that if you were the first like of a page, you are the owner.
Lastly, it is very important, that when you post anything on your B. Page, you switch to your Business Page user , so you can act as “The Best Shop” user (which is the name of your page), rather than (John Smith). This is very easy to forget and if you use your mobile phone, it is rather hard to see what role you are in. Be sure to practice your workflow and don’t post as a human being, but as a fan page.
If you follow these simple tricks, you will be more than protected and no one will know that you own the high roller casino downtown.
What, no friends?
Lastly, if you wondered where the friend invite icon is, this might be one of the biggest differences, a fan page does not have friends, therefore you can’t send friend requests, but suggest liking a page.
One benefit is that the fans won’t see other fans id’s. That is totally protected. That is because even if you are not a fan, you can still post in the page.
That’s why is very important to not switching to a fan page once you have reached tons of your business’ friends, but at the beginning; you can’t import them, just to invite them, and If you wanted to protect your identity as the owner, well that will be impossible now and you will have to build your base again.
Well, that is my first introduction to this topic, feel free to ask questions or comments, what other tricks do you know, etc.
Gerardo Caracas http://freetechusa.com