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I teach a workshop for small business owners on how to use social media for their business. The majority of the workshop focuses on Facebook. It is my professional opinion that every business and/or public figure should have a business page. A frequent question I am asked is, “should a personal Facebook profile be used business?” The question is often asked by businesses who market via networking.My answer is simple; you need to have a business Facebook page.

Yes, it can be argued that by using a personal profile, it’s easier to add people to your network, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to Facebook’s rules and regulations. It’s actually against “Facebook law” to use a personal profile for business. The risk of getting caught is huge in my opinion.

So what happens if you get caught? Facebook will delete your profile along with all the friends (potential customers) you have worked so hard to add to your network. If you are currently operating your business via your person page, I would highly recommend creating a business page and inviting all of your current connections to “like” your new page. Yes, it will take some time to convert all of the connections over, but it will be well worth it in the end. There are several ways in which you can still use your personal page to build your business though. One of the many methods used on Facebook for business marketing is to cross promote. Basically, this is creating a post on your business page, then sharing it on your personal page. However, you shouldn’t do this for every post. Just occasionally.

By using your business page you are not only operating within Facebooks’ rules and regulations, but you are also able to grow over 5,000 “likes” (personal pages cannot have more than 5,000 friends), as well as take advantage of Facebook’s Call-to-Action button, social media apps, reviews, and more!

Also, be aware that if your friends on Facebook don’t like the frequent business/sales content you post, they can hide your posts from their timeline, delete you as a friend, or even report you for inappropriate posts or spam.

While using your personal profile can pay off short term, think about the long term life of your business. You want your business to be successful online andoffline.

I will leave you with some tips on how to have an engaging business page:

  1. Choose your cover photo and icon wisely. These are the first thing people will see on your page so you want to take advantage of all that space and use engaging graphics.
  2. Fill out your about section. This is the first place people will click on to get important information like your hours, website and phone number. Make sure you keep it up to date!
  3. Utilize your “call to action” button. Facebook rolled out a new call to action button you can install at the top of your page. Use that button to gather information about those who like your page or to point them to your website.
  4. Invite people to “like” your page. One of the easiest ways to get more likes is to simply ask people to like your page and share your page.
  5. Watch your Insights Tab. Insights can tell you so much about your followers. You will see when they are on Facebook, if they are engaging with your post and when you should be posting. These insights are not available using your personal page.