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Facebook Personal Profiles Should Not Be Used by Businesses

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Facebook Personal Profiles Should Not Be Used by Businesses 9777-Daily-Golden-Nugget-583It's still happening on Facebook. I need to revisit a topic that has long been a point of contention and confusion for many business owners: Personal Profiles vs. Business Pages

We as everyday average users of Facebook have a personal profile through which we all can keep in touch with family, friends, or even customers. Through the last few years we've seen several privacy disputes with how Facebook manages who sees the information that we share. Thanks to the competition created by Google+, users of Facebook were finally given better publishing control.

The basic functionality of a personal profile on Facebook requires your friends to request a digital friendship with you. Privacy has become a big concern in the past few years and I've noticed that most of my own friends are now hiding their Facebook posts from the general public. Currently Facebook allows you to publish your individual status updates either to the general public, your friends, or any of the people on lists that you create.

Facebook also gives us the ability to subscribe to someone's public posts even if we are not friends with them. Facebook's policies say that you should only be friends with people you actually know; therefore it makes sense that people who don't know you might still be interested in what you say publicly, that's why the subscription feature is there.

When it comes to business, Facebook give the ability to create Groups or Pages. With groups, you need approval before joining, or you need to be invited. That approval/invitation is a barrier that only the most interested people would wait around for. On the other hand, the Page is specifically designed for professionals and businesses to talk about their brand, teach, and build business.

For someone to get involved with your Page they simply need to click the Like button. No approval needed. Once a person Likes your page they are able to control the amount of information they see from you, and they can sort you into one of their controlled news feed "lists."

As of today I have 401 different Pages that I've Liked. It's impossible to keep up with all the information that flows through my news feed, so I have most of those Pages organized into different lists. From day to day I will pick and choose which list to look at instead of suffering a deluge of daily information overload.

From a business owner's point of view, having a Page allows you to see analytics and tracking statistics. "Insights" is the word Facebook uses for their built in analytics and it allows you to see the total number of people viewing your individual posts, the number of people who "engaged" in the post, and the number of people who were "talking about" a post. By carefully monitoring your Insights, you can figure out what types of posts will bring customers, and which posts will scare them away.

Insights is probably the best tool Facebook gives a business owner. Personal profiles do not have this feature, only Pages do. When you post something with your personal profile you will have no idea how far your reach will be, and you have no idea if your friends are even reading what you're posting.

In order to measure your marketing success, every activity you do online must include some type of tracking. Without methods to measure results you marketing efforts are no better than throwing diamonds out a window without looking to see who picks it up.

Yet many jewelry stores still have personal profiles they are using for business. Within my own set of friends there's even one jewelry store with 5190 "friends" and a lot of activity. It sure seems like a waste not knowing how many of those 5000 friends are reading your daily posts.

If you've accidently created started using a personal profile for your business account you should convert it into a page. Facebook does have a conversion utility. For specific details on how to accomplish the conversion you should do a Google search for "converting a Facebook Personal Profile into a Business Page."

I'm hoping this Daily Golden Nugget will convince at least one Facebook user that the Insights feature alone is why you need a Page and not a Profile.
AT: 10/17/2012 10:11:16 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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