With over 1.8 billion people on Facebook today, it seems it has become a part of our daily lives.  I read that 80% of women between the ages of 18-35 check Facebook before they even get out of bed in the morning.  I don’t know why the stat stopped at age 35 because I know a lot of my friends are checking Facebook early in the morning and I can tell you they are well over age 35.

One of my customers told me the other day that they checked their stats to see when their customers typically check Facebook.  This helps them know the optimum time to schedule their posts.  They said at 5:00 a.m.  Really!  So, see it has become a daily part of our lives.  Their customers are middle aged and senior.  Not the under age 35.

So why does this matter?  It matters because Facebook has become one of the leading methods for businesses to showcase themselves.  People are on Facebook daily looking through their newsfeed to read post messages.

So, what is the best strategy to tap into this market if you want to strut your stuff on Facebook for people to view?  Well a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs are using their Facebook Profile.  That might seem a brilliant idea at first blush.  After all, their friends and family will see their business posts and may even share some of those posts with their friends.  Great idea right?

Many businesses are using this strategy whether from skin care programs to real-estate.  Flood your friends and family with your posts and they will surely take action or refer your open house to a friend.

However, if a business owner shares too much and it’s looking very commercial, your friends might get tired of it and just want to dump you as a Facebook friend.  Yes, “un” friend you.

It’s one thing to actually share your success or share advice that would be interesting to your friends.  It is another story when you are outright commercializing to them.

I have heard and read many reviews of certain businesses that use Facebook to market their products.  The bad reviews include that they hate their friends that are constantly marketing their products on Facebook.  They are tired of it.  So, two things happen here.  They have a negative opinion of the product.  They stop looking at their friend’s posts.  So, either way, it is not a win-win.

So that is one way you are putting your Facebook Profile at risk.  But there is a worst one, if you can imagine.

The second is according to Facebook rules, you should not use your Personal Profile for commercial use.   Don’t believe me, here it is in print:  https://www.facebook.com/terms   Here is a screen capture of the specifics on commercial use. That is why they created Business Pages.  For businesses.

To sweeten the deal and encourage you to use a Business Page and it does make sense, they add a lot of features to a Business Page that are not available in your Personal Profile.  A Facebook Page provides analytics on visits and posts, allows posts to be scheduled in advance, and provides additional fields and tabs for your viewers to know more about your business.  They have various categories to help you find the right Page design.  Oh, and it’s free!!  You can link your Personal Profile to your Business Page so your friends can find it easily.  Let them make the decision if they want to see more about your business.

Once they are on your Page, they can “like” it.  Friending is only for Profiles.  It’s a different world in the Business land.  They “like”.  Once they “ like“ your Page, your posts will show up in their newsfeed just like your personal profile posts.

You can schedule your posts to coincide when you know your audience is on Facebook.  If one of your friends “likes” a post their friends will often see that post too.  Expanding your reach.

Potential customers can find your Page and “like” it without you being friends with them.  This is huge.  Your Business Page is 100% public unlike your Personal Profile where you can limit access to your stuff.  You can share your Facebook Business Page link via your website or email address and anyone even if they don’t have a Facebook Account can get to your Page.

Plus, because of the “like” strategy you won’t have to “friend” people that you would rather not be “personal” with.  I don’t want to share my personal interests and travels with strangers.  So, when someone you know in a business situation requests to be friends with you, gently decline and ask them to “like” your page.  Your Profile is for your friends and family, not customers.  Its personal and it should stay personal.  If your business associate has a Facebook Business Page, offer to “like” theirs.  Now you are networking.

Now you can ignore my advice here and just keep doing what you’re doing.  But what would you do if Facebook one day decided to shut down your Profile because you violated the terms of Facebook?  Your business would take a real hit.  We have heard of people having that exact experience happen to them.

So if you still want to occasionally share with your friends about what is happening in your business or your success, that’s ok.  But please make sure you set up a Facebook Business Page to compliment it and use that to actually do your business marketing.

Once you check out a Facebook Business Page you will be shocked at all the good stuff that is available to you that you won’t find in your Profile.

If every evening Facebook hosts over 100 million Americans in Facebook to both socialize and keep up with newsworthy information you want to be there.  But be there in the right way.

Don’t risk your Personal Profile by thinking you can do what you want.  You don’t own Facebook.  It is rental property.  If you don’t obey the rules, you can go to Facebook jail.  Not real jail of course, but I wouldn’t want to lose my status on Facebook, why would you

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

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