I, For One, Welcome My Facebook Overlords

Lately, it seems like our Facebook Newsfeeds are working against us more than with us. And for marketers and social media managers, it has felt that way for years. 

We have more control than we think over who we can reach on Facebook and what they should see, both on our personal accounts AND business pages. 

We get questions about Facebook constantly, so in this week's email we wanted to answer a few of our most recent questions about managing accounts and posts.

Can I have a business page without having a personal page?

This question came to us recently, and the simple answer is: no. You need a personal profile page in order to create and manage a business page, and it's technically against Facebook's Terms of Service to create a personal page just for a business. So, if you want to use Facebook for your business, you've got to have a business page, and you've got to manage it with a personal profile page. 

That said, your personal page does not have to be very active in order to use it this way. You just want to have enough contact information so that Facebook can verify your identity if needed, such as if something happens to your account and it gets locked by Facebook's security team. Use a real email address that someone checks often; if you're concerned about sharing this email address on Facebook, you can change your privacy settings so that it's not publicly available.

How do I use my personal page to promote my business, without annoying my friends?

Your friends have added you on Facebook because they care about you and what you're passionate about. Your business is your passion, right? So your personal page is another opportunity to share your passion, in the same way you would talk about it in person with friends over pumpkin spice martinis.

Now, you wouldn't pick up a megaphone and start shouting at your friends to buy your product, here's a discount, buy, buy, BUY!  Talk about your business and what you offer like a friend would.

Facebook also gives you tools to control who sees your posts, so that you make sure your posts are relevant to the right people. It's a good way to manage your professional reputation, too. You can create lists to make this really easy; click here, and organize your contacts into groups like "Clients," "Colleagues," "Family," etc. Then when you draft a post you can select who you want to see your professional (and not so professional) posts!

By the way, a tool not enough people use on their personal pages is the "View As..." function. Look at the top of your profile page and click the ellipsis next to "View Activity Log." In the drop-down that appears, click "View As." The version of your profile page that appears is what's visible to people who are NOT your Facebook friend, so you can see what's public on your page and what's hidden. To see how a specific friend sees your page, click "View as Specific Person" at the top and type their name. This is a good way to check that your former colleague sees a more professional version of your page, and maybe not that photo of you and your friends after all those pumpkin spice martinis last weekend. 

How can I reach more potential fans and customers?

Use Insights to learn about your audience and what they prefer. If they respond really well to images, use more of those; if they don't seem to like links, look at previous posts with that are links and consider why they may not have worked so well.

Set aside a small advertising budget and some time to start learning how to use Facebook ads. (Reach out to us via the button below and we can point you to a ton of resources and answer your questions about it.)

If a post is performing particularly well, you can use that ad budget and boost that post to more users who you think would find this post relevant. The idea is to pour a little fuel onto the fire once the fire has been lit. You won't get very far pouring fuel onto a match; you have to strike the match first.

Remember, it takes time to figure out what works best for you and your business. Play around with your privacy settings, lists, and ad targeting on Facebook until you have the right combination of potential customers seeing quality updates about your business, and maybe only your close family seeing your holiday photoshoot of your cat.