By Joanna Fletcher
Now that all your friends, your mom and your grandma, are on Facebook, there is more reason than ever to use it in your marketing campaign. Facebook administration has recognized this opportunity and continued to refine its Page's utility.
A Facebook Page can be created only by an official representative of the business/person in question, and it is a great way to distribute information to all people who have chosen to be Fans of the business. You can post the latest and greatest news, and your fans can comment on posts, interacting with each other by way of their connection to you. Pretty powerful stuff.
But many people can attest to the value of using their own personal profile page as a way to promote a business. The first sparks of a business are usually personal; one person with a dream and the will to bring it to life. At this embryonic stage, the encouragement and patronage of family and friends is crucial.
Growing into Your Fans
As the business grows beyond this base, a page becomes more useful. Your business, while still very much your baby, is getting its own brand identity. A page allows you to present your logo and links to fans every time they get an update in their news feed. More important, you can present special offers and discounts to those who have chosen to support you, a very economical way of creating a loyalty program.
Separating your business identity from your personal identity is hard for many entrepreneurs but is necessary, especially as the enterprise grows to include employees, partners, and complaints departments. A personal profile can be hacked more easily than a page, and it needs to remain your personal space.
Pages can be administered by anyone with the authorization and are not dependent on your personal account information. This is very useful if you need to be away from your business for any reason. Trust is built and maintained when the page is consistently updated and available, even if you are in the Bahamas for two well-deserved weeks.
One worry that arises as your business grows is the 50-Page limit. People can be fans of only 50 Pages at the same time, while they can have up to 5,000 friends. By using your Profile to promote your business, there may be less chance of having your connection severed due to space concerns. If you do use your personal profile as a portal to your business, you will have to start accepting friend requests from people who have less personal connection with you and may have ulterior motives.
So which is better, a personal Facebook page or a business fan page? It depends on the stage your business has reached, your comfort with negotiating Facebook's complex security systems and as always, your customers' preferences.
About the Author
Joanna Fletcher is a netizen who has lived, worked, and played online for most of her life. Her entrepreneurial flair is topped only by her tolerance for failure.