FaceBook is fun, no doubt about it. You can find friends from high school, college, previous jobs…it’s a hoot to see what everyone is up to. However, the biggest challenge business people have with FaceBook is how to draw the line between personal and professional. I for one am a very open person – I pretty much say what comes to mind and will typically tell you more about myself than you really need to know. However, there are some things that I don’t really want clients or colleagues or prospective clients to see – like the picture of me falling off a swing last Easter at our family easter egg hunt in the park…hysterically funny for my family, but definitely not flattering and not something I want out there in my professional life.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, branding yourself versus your business can be confusing. FaceBook can help or hinder you in this area if you don’t use it appropriately. You can use Fan Pages to distinguish between your personal and professional lives. My personal profile I try to reserve for family and friends. Professionally I try to use my Fan Page.
A Fan Page is a page that can be created by a business, a non-person who doesn’t require a profile. This was done to allow businesses, bands, non-profits and others to have a place to gather just like with FaceBook profiles. Individuals can become “Fans” of your page, which is completely separate from your personal profile. The benefit for us entrepreneurs is that you can provide business related content to your fans without them seeing the picture of you falling off the swing at Easter.
To create a Fan Page, start on an existing Fan Page…you can use mine if you like (42 Rules Fan Page) …and please be sure to remember to become a fan! Scroll down to the bottom of the left hand navigation bar, there is a link that says “Create a Page for my business”. Click that and off you go. You can classify your business as local or product specific. Then you add your content: your bio, in this case is going to be your business description, and your image will probably be your company logo and your links should go back to your company webpage.
Now you can begin telling people about your Fan Page and inviting them to “become a fan”. You can advertise within FaceBook and target specific groups of people who would be interested in your stuff. On your Fan Page, you want to give folks things to do, learn, try…you can create events recommended reading lists, discussion boards, videos, product reviews….almost anything you can think of. And remember – this page is specifically for your business! Use it to promote new services, seminars, events…offer value added information like white papers, discussions, question and answer discussions. Whatever you find that your Fans like – remember back to our earlier comments – its always good to ask them what they might like to get from you, from other fans, etc.