“5” Simple Rules of using Facebook for Your Business

1) Use a page, not a profile.

I commonly see this. Someone starts a business, then creates a Facebook Profile, then creates a username to trick the Facebook algorithms to accept your name.

Create a page.

By doing so you can pick whatever name you wish and not violate any Facebook policies.

You no longer have to accept friends and hope they accept you too. If you’re a new or unestablished business most people may not accept you. In fact psychologically speaking, having a brand try to connect with the end user can creep people out. People see it as kind of “big brotherish” if a business reaches out to them. Instead, end-users tend to like to be the ones to reach out.

Oh, and there’s a friend limit of 5,000 friends. With a page, there isn’t a limit. At least not one that I’ve encountered.

Also, you can be penalized by Facebook by sending out too many requests, if enough people ignore your requests or indicate they don’t know you.

Using a page allows for better content sharing. Your content is more open instead of private. It’s makes it easier to setup a Facebook Place Page, which is usually just a confirmation within your page. Place Pages allow users to check-in to your location which in turn posts on their timelines for all their friends to see. (Another post will be needed to explain more about this.)

There are numerous reasons to have a Facebook Page! In fact, after you’ve created your page, and have reached over 25 “likes” you can then setup a custom username. (Example: facebook.com/YourCustomName) This makes it easier to present your Facebook page in print.

If you do wish to still connect with users on a more “one-on-one” level, use your personal profile and use the “Add Featured Page Owners” from within the “Features” option when you edit your page. It will place your profile to the left of the page. I highly recommend this in order to “put a face” on your business.

If you’re concerned about using your personal profile, you can also setup a second personal profile using another email address, although if possible, use your real account.

2) Post regularly

You don’t have to post every two hours all day every day, but if you do post, post at a certain interval during the week. Daily would be advisable. Peak times are between 7A – 9A, 11A-1P, and 4:30P-6:00PM. This is when most people are logging onto Facebook, and it’s somewhat within business hours if your message motivates them to take action. If you post after business hours, just remember that most people can forget by the next day.

3) Post with Purpose

Have a meaning behind your posts.

Avoid, “Nice weather, right?”, “Have a Great Day!” Post for a specific reason which should include some type of “call to action” which leads me to #4

4) Offer Incentives

According to an “AllFacebook.com” article titled, “Marketers Misunderstand the Meaning of Facebook Likes”

Consumers “Like” Facebook Pages for the top (3) reasons.

  • Because they are loyal customers,
  • Tracking news on the brand and its products, and
  • Seeking incentives or rewards for engaging with the brand.
I can’t tell you how to post or phrase this as it applies to your business model, but providing some type of “incentive” will help with conversions. It can be as easy as “Mention this post and get a free (blank) or a percentage off.”

5) Don’t forget your website!

I believe in Facebook marketing, BUT you don’t own Facebook. You don’t control their success or failure. Facebook is always just a few “PR Nightmares” away from losing their user base. In fact, for 2011, it is being predicted that Facebook and other social sites may start to plateau. Remember “MySpace”?

Be careful not to eliminate the very item you have the most control over. Your website. First get one. They’re cheap, and easy to setup. Second, you should still promote your site both online and in your traditional marketing. Yes, you can include the now famous blue “Facebook” logo, but include it with your site too.

Share your ideas and Facebook Marketing techniques in the comments below!