Facebook and Your Business

Businesses are not People

Yesterday I received a request from “Diet Butler” to be my friend on Facebook. I immediately checked my profile pic – had it gained a few pounds overnight? Then I looked closer at the request – another business masquerading as a person. 

Sorry, Diet Butler, but I don’t friend businesses on Facebook.

Why brands aren’t people

Business Mistakes on FacebookBusinesses that set up profile pages instead of business pages annoy me. They worm their way into my life, access my personal information and then advertise to me.

It’s like a used car sales man crashing your sister’s wedding – who invited THAT guy to the party? 

Maybe the initial reasoning is to get to know me better. But the problem is they don’t do that – they go for the low-hanging fruit instead.  My inbox fills up with irrelevant messages. My event calendar overflows with invites that mean nothing to me. They haven’t reached out to be my friend so much as they’ve thrown advertising at me – with the hope that something will stick. 

Trust me when I say the only thing that sticks is distaste for the brand. 

What these businesses fail to see is what they’re missing. If you’re on social media to grow a tribe of fans, make it as easy as possible for people to connect with you. When I’m researching a big ticket purchase, I often search Facebook to learn what the rest of the world thinks of the brand. If I have to wait for my friend request to be approved, any guesses what my next move is? 

Hello competition…

Why you should love your Facebook business status

Planting your flag as a business on Facebook exposes your brand to a nation of people who may not have otherwise heard about you. Think your business can do without Facebook? Consider that the average Facebook user logs onto Facebook 55 minutes a day. Inside Facebook gets the magnifying glass out and gives you an even closer look at this user. And look at these benefits you get with a biz page that you don’t get with a profile: 

  • Business pages are indexed by Google, which means fresh content from Facebook may rank higher than the static content on your site.
  • Google understands keywords. Use the same SEO strategy on social media as your site and you win.
  • Add cool landing pages to give potential customers more options for experiencing your brand. Sysomos Bog has some great ideas: Facebook Pages Get More Interesting
  • Facebook insights. See how many people saw your post, which helps you tweak timing and content strategies.
  • You can also track likes/unlikes and a bunch of other stuff, which you can use to learn how to connect in ways your fans actually like – instead of seeing you as a spammer.
  • Playing by the rules means Facebook won’t shut you down – and destroy all the equity you’ve built up. 

Whether you chose to engage on Facebook or Twitter or an emerging platform, strategy is key. You have to know what your end game is. Sales? Brand awareness? A tribe of loyal followers? Once you know where you’re headed, you can start building your engagement strategy, content strategy and promotion strategy. 

Facebook is making it easier for brands to navigate its platform and engage in meaningful ways. I love the new admin functions and the control they give me when talking as a brand. But the best part is, I can rest easy knowing that all my hard work will be sustainable and have a measurable ROI. 

Do you have a business page on Facebook? Are you using a business page or a profile?

Got social media questions? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.

8 Responses to “Facebook and Your Business”

  1. Ann Farrell says:

    Great article Julia. Very interesting. I think with any and all marketing medium there is a variety, from mass to everything in between. And I believe there is room for it all. Understanding that relationship building is critical in all varieties though is key but not always understood. Nor does everyone have the “gift”. People have different levels of patience for junk mail whether it is in your mail box or facebook box. Mentoring, educating and developing a valuable circle of influence is critical no matter your business or industry. Relationship building takes time and a certain level of know how. I know I don’t “know how” on occasion. It is not always given the time it requires. But as your article so beautiful articulates… it is a must.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thanks for the insightful comments, Ann. I agree – tolerance is unique to each of us. I have some friends that rage when they get one piece of junk mail while others can endure a tsunami….

      I think there’s such a huge danger right now for businesses, which is why I wrote the article. For many businesses, their social media equity is squeezed out and worked on by employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.How awful for that to be ripped away because they lacked the know-how. Thankfully, this industry is awesome at sharing the tools and skills needed to use them. Thanks for sharing yours today!

  2. James Howe says:

    I don’t friend businesses either. I don’t have any businesses as friends in my real life so why would I online? I may be friends though with some people who have businesses. I think the fact that Facebook will shut down personal profiles that aren’t people is reason enough to avoid taking that option. Still I assume that in most cases, businesses that are set up as a personal profile don’t understand Facebook and their options so thanks for sharing why businesses should want a page.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hi James, thanks for stopping by! I think initially some businesses thought setting up a page as a personal profile gave them an unfair advantage – but that’s no longer the case. The benefits for owning your piece of land on Facebook as your business are growing – thankfully! Appreciate your thoughtful comments, James.

  3. Lisa S. says:

    Just reported a “business” in my area that was trying to be a person. (Not even close to being in my industry), and I thought of you. It drives me NUTS. I have a franchisee that has done it and I have to go correct it. I don’t get how people don’t understand the benefits of the business page.

  4. Manal Richa says:

    Great post Julia… As a matter of fact, I read an interesting article few days ago discussing the fact that some businesses don’t know the difference between a profile and a business page.

    I am not defending those who do it on purpose, but reality is, business owners have plenty to deal with including running a business. It is expected for them to want to get on the bandwagon of social media, except they don’t take the time to find out the best option for them, and they want to do it all… hence, not making the smartest decision when it comes to setting up their presence on Facebook.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thanks for stopping by Manal. I always love to hear other’s opinions – especially when it comes to a subject like social media where so many are struggling.

      I understand what you’re saying but I have to disagree. If I get behind the wheel of a car, I’m expected to follow all the rules. I can’t say to the police officer when I’m stopped for speeding that I was busy worrying about the cars beside me and the speed limit was just too much to think about. I know that’s an extreme example but the simple truth is that if you’re going to use a tool, you should understand how it works and what the rules are. There is so much information available (for free!!) that there really is no excuse any longer. And as people grow more frustrated with businesses trying to worm their way in as people, they’ll be shut down.

      It can be terrifying for a business that’s spent a couple of years building a friend base as a profile to lose them and start over with an authentic business page – I understand that. But it’s going to happen and there are ways to do it to minimize the pain. Better to do it on your own while you can still message those people than to have your profile shut down and you lose access to those fans completely.

  5. sheila says:

    One of my pet peaves as well. But lots of good info on here, I didn’t know that about google indexing business pages, huh! interesting! I’ve always thought “If you build it, they will come”. No wait, that was a movie, lol. But seriously, they will. In my case verrrry slowly, but they’re coming I know it, lol.

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