5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Business Page
I’ve noticed that small businesses often use a personal profile to do business on Facebook. Sometimes, I think this happens because the owner starts to talk about their business on Facebook using their own personal account. Little by little, they start using it more and more for business purposes and less and less for personal reasons — and eventually, the owner’s personal profile becomes the business’s de facto Facebook account. Or, it can happen when a business owner feels more comfortable using Facebook’s personal profiles and so creates a profile for the business. (You have to get creative to do this, because most businesses don’t have first and last names, for example, or a gender or a birthday.)
Whatever the reason, business owners who use personal profiles for their business page are missing out on a number of wonderful features. Here are five reasons to use a business page instead of a personal profile for your business:
- Facebook Insights: Hands-down, this is my No. 1 reason to use a business page. Facebook Insights tells you everything you could want to know about the people who visit your page — and, if you’re set up as a local business, also reveals a surprising amount of information about the Facebook users in your area. Using Facebook Insights, you can learn about how Facebook users interact with your page. You can find statistics about your posts and who they’ve reached, demographic information about the people who visit and interact with your page, and much much more. This information is valuable because it can help you shape your messages and be intentional about what you post. For example, if you think that your business appeals most to women between the ages of 30 and 45, but see in Facebook Insights that a significant number of men 65 and older are interacting with your page, it might change the kind of information you post.
- Ads: Facebook ads are a great way to advertise because you don’t have to have a huge ad budget and you can target exactly the kind of people who are likely to love your business. But, to run Facebook ads, you’ll need a business page.
- Liking instead of Friending: If you use a personal profile on behalf of your business, people will have to send you friend requests when they want to follow you and you’ll have to manually approve each request. With business pages, though, people can simply click “like” and immediately follow your page. This may seem like a small difference, but it’s an important one for two reasons: first, not having to approve friend requests will save you time — it’s one less thing to do. And second, your future customers will appreciate being able to immediately like your page without waiting for your approval or having to interact with you. (If that sounds a little harsh, imagine how a customer might feel having to get your permission before being able to browse through your store. They might ask to come look around if they’re really interested in your products, but otherwise are more likely to simply move on to the next store.)
- Reviews: With a Facebook business page comes the opportunity for reviews. If you use a business page, people will be able to leave reviews about your business, which can start a good conversation about your business. This thought can be scary, but in the long run reviews are helpful — especially if you encourage your satisfied customers to leave them. People tend to trust the opinions expressed in reviews. (Think about the last time you were trying to make a decision about a product to buy — did you read through some reviews?) Sure, all reviews are not created equal, but people have become pretty savvy at distinguishing disgruntled reviews from normal, honest ones.
- Keep your personal life separate from your work life: Using your personal profile to conduct business can create an uncomfortable overlap. It can be difficult to decide how much personal information to share with your customers, and you risk overwhelming your friends and family with posts about your business. Also, your friends and family likely aren’t your target market — you want your business to expand far beyond that reach. Using a business page will help you to reach the right people with the right information.
What challenges have you run into using Facebook for your business? Have you tried a business page?