Question. Hope you had a great birthday on Jan 14! Good to know you’re a Capricorn too 🙂 Hope you’re doing well. I had a quick question – since I use my personal Facebook Profile (sometimes called a personal Facebook Page, though technically it’s a PROFILE) as a tool for promoting my ~ business, should I keep the page public or for friends only? I have kept it for friends only as of now, as I do post pics of my family too there. Would love your thoughts. BTW, i do get very positive response on my personal page (comments/likes/shares etc) compared to the biz page, which is a bit quieter.
This is a hugely important issue for anyone who is interested in Facebook marketing. Here’s the issue. Facebook clearly prioritizes PROFILES (which INDIVIDUALS have) over PAGES (which BUSINESSES have) in the newsfeed. There are a number of technical reasons for this, not the least of which is that it is far more likely that your friends and family are interacting with your personal PROFILE thereby increasing its Edgerank, people are more skeptical of businesses than of friends, and family, etc. AND (to be a bit cynical), Facebook knows that businesses have money and individuals generally do not (so it is in Facebook’s financial interests to push down business pages and force them to advertise).
Remember, at a nomenclature level, that an individual has a PROFILE and a business has a PAGE.
Option #1: Use a Personal Profile for Business Uses
So, for any individual that is comfortable having their personal and their business intertwined (I would say realtors are the most common case… but authors like myself can often be comfortable with this, too)…. then generally you’ll get far, far better organic Facebook performance from your PROFILE than your business PAGE. However, as you indicate, you have the personal privacy problem that your personal posts… would be visible to everyone. You can modify a post one-at-a-time and have a “segment” such as truly close friends or real family and then share a post ONLY with those people. Here’s a screenshot from the pulldown of a Facebook post:
And here is the Help file from Facebook on that issue.
That said, I would consider EVERYTHING you post on Facebook to be public as we have all learned again and again, that there isn’t much security on the Internet these days. So, especially with kids, you want to be careful to remove identifying information, etc.
So option #1 is to use your individual Facebook profile with the problem you indicated, that you are intermeshing your personal and business which has some security or privacy concerns, not to mention that your personal brand image might not be the same as the business brand image you want to project. And, as for settings, you could make your whole PROFILE much more public in settings… but that really opens you up to problems with security and privacy. For the official help File on Facebook privacy settings, click here. You can also find this stuff in Facebook at Settings > Security in the top RIGHT menu.
Option #2: Use a Business Page
Option #2 is to use your business PAGE either entirely as a substitute, or as a complement. So you might also think of sharing business-related stuff TWICE, once to friends and family via your PROFILE and once, again, via your business PAGE. The one doesn’t preclude the other. That said, you have to also be a bit wary because technically you’re not supposed to use a PROFILE for truly commercial purposes.
Also, of course, from the user perspective they have to “friend request” your Facebook PROFILE (which requires you to manually OK each one), which is NOT required as a business page. (Again, you could put your incoming BUSINESS “friends” in a special category / group so when you share something you could share it only with them, etc.).
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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