A lot of people seem to be confused over when to use a Facebook Page and when to use their Profile.
It’s really simple to remember:
Page = Business
Profile = Friends
If you run a business you need to have a Facebook Page. Regardless whether your business is a large corporation, a medium sized consultancy or it’s just you doing some tutoring on the side.
A Facebook Page is free and really easy to get. If you’re ready to get started, see How to Create a Facebook Page.
When To Use Facebook Profile
Your Facebook Profile is to keep up to date with your friends. The ideal status updates for Facebook follow this formula:
How would you respond if one of your friends met you at a party and asked “so what’s been going on?”
Share pictures, videos and text that answer that question. No one’s interested in the totally mundane, but if you just took a day trip to a cool location, put up photos of it. Announce your engagement, marriage, first child, etc.
Facebook is essentially an extension of a party, whether before or after. At parties you don’t show your friends all your photos, do you? That would be weird & boring. No, you only share the interesting or quirky ones. Do the same with Facebook.
One of the major criticisms leveled at Facebook (and other social media sites) is that they’re full of mindless drivel. Do your part and refrain from posting garbage. Don’t post to Facebook from your Twitter account. The conversations on each platform are very different. Keep them completely separate.
If you don’t enjoy Facebook, one of the big reasons I’ve noticed is that you may have too many friends on there. Periodically culling your friend list is a great way to make sure that you only see updates from people (or Pages) you’re actually interested in.
According to the research behind Dunbar’s Number, most people can only form a meaningful social circle of about 100 – 230 people. If you’ve got over 230 Facebook friends, it’s probably time to cut a few. At one stage I had over 3,000 Facebook “friends” and it was noisy in there. As at posting I have 238 (maybe time to cull a few!) and it’s a lot more enjoyable.
I have a formula for cutting Facebook friends:
If we were both at a party together, would I go over to you and enjoy chatting with you for more than 5 minutes?
That tends to make the culling job quite easy and painless.
If you’re not on Facebook, you might want to consider it. No matter how old you are, Facebook is changing how we interact offline. Because we know so many of the important events in our friends’ lives, we are starting to skip small talk and the initial awkwardness of conversations even if we haven’t seen the other person for a while. This is changing our entire culture. Don’t get left out.
When To Use Facebook Page
All businesses should have a Facebook Page. If there are 800 million Facebook users and your customers and prospects spend an average of over 7 hours per month on Facebook.com, you really need to be there to meet them where they’re at.
If you’re a tutor, it’s probably inappropriate for you to friend students, but if you want to keep in contact with them, the Facebook Page is the perfect forum. Say you are a piano tutor and organise an annual piano concert. It becomes a lot easier doing it through a Facebook Event.
So what should you use your Facebook Page for? Give out coupons or discounts for your services to your fans, keep them updated on your business, build your position as an authority or expert in your field. Whenever you post to your site, share it on Facebook.
Always remember, though, that the purpose of social media is to build a relationship with people, then continue the conversation on your Base of Operations (aka your website). The last thing you want is to spend years building up a vibrant community on a site, only for it to go the way of Myspace, leaving you scrambling to hold onto them.
No-one thought Myspace would fail. Facebook could well go that way if or when something better comes along.
Social just the beginning of the relationship building. Start the conversation there, then take it to the next level on your site.