Optimizing Facebook: Business vs. Personal Profiles

Published Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:35 PM

Does your business have a Facebook page? If not, it's time to get one up and running. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder, didn't land the coveted Time Magazine Person of the Year just because he has a lot of "friends." Zuckerberg achieved global acclaim because he launched the best, most innovative social networking platform on the planet. Don't let your business be left out of the party.

In this post, the first of a three-part series on optimizing Facebook for business, we'll examine the difference between business pages and personal profiles and provide tips on getting your business page, also sometimes referred to as a "fan" page or a "brand" page, up and running. Future posts will focus on to building a user base and a primer on what-not-to-do.

The Business of Friends

So why create a business Facebook page? Business pages provide companies (or organizations and causes) a low-cost platform for distributing information and marketing materials to a global audience in a wide-variety of formats (i.e. text, images, video, interactive games and giveaways and more.)

  • Business pages have a similar look and feel to a personal profile, with a name and thumbnail picture as well as a "wall" that publishes a news feed and user comments.
  • Unlike personal profiles, business pages cannot "friend" users but rather must invite individuals to "like" them.
  • Personal pages have a cap of 5,000 friends; however business pages have no limit on the number of "fans" they can attract.
  • Business pages also have features which allows page administrators to analyze page views, the demographics of their fans, and the number of people who view (or stop viewing) news feed posts.
  • Personal profiles are closed off to the rest of the web, business pages are open, media-rich and can be seen (and most importantly!) liked by anyone.

First Steps

The first step is the most crucial: securing your company name on Facebook. Get started by visiting the Facebook link. Next, assign administrator rights to others in your organization that will need to add content or modify the page from time to time. Add content to the site such as a profile thumbnail, photos and information and be sure to generate a few wall postings before you begin to "invite" fans to like your page.

For more details to consider, we like the excellent Creating A Facebook Business Page from Forbes.com.  Also, keep in mind that it's possible to outsource your Facebook presence to third-party vendors with an expertise in leveraging social media such as Buddy Media which works for such major brands as Johnson & Johnson and Target. Buddy Media is not alone; a quick Google search will turn up numerous other companies who make the business of friends their day-to-day work.

Finally, remember while getting a page up and running is relatively simple, making it a valuable marketing and analytics tool takes extra effort. Check back later in the week for our post "Optimizing Facebook: Getting "Liked" Online."

 Have you helped your business create a Facebook page? Do you have any tips for driving Facebook traffic? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Bradley Eggers

 

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