Facebook currently has over 750 million active users, and that number continues to grow steadily. According to Compete.com, it is currently the second most popular website in the world (behind Google) in terms of unique visitors, and according to ComScore, the most popular social network overall.
Think your customers aren’t on Facebook? There are tens of thousands of work-related, collegiate, and high school networks. According to InsideFacebook.com, approximately two thirds of U.S. Facebook users are outside of the college demographic, and users age 26 to 64 make up more than half of Facebook’s U.S. user base. While Facebook started off as a community for college students, it has expanded far beyond that, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a demographic not yet represented among Facebook’s 750 million users.
Here are 5 good reasons why businesses should participate and maintain a presence on Facebook:
- Get found by people who are searching for your products or services
- Connect and engage with current and potential customers
- Create a community around your business
- Promote other content you create, including webinars, blog articles, or other resources
- Generate leads for your business
I want to get something straight here before we continue: On Facebook, Profiles are meant for People – Pages are meant for Businesses!
However – To fully engage and leverage Facebook’s features, you should create a personal profile. If you’re worried about privacy or balancing business and personal contacts, we’ll discuss that more in a later post.
Do not create a personal Profile for your business. Facebook has built significant functionality specifically for businesses, and all of this functionality is only available for Pages. We’ll talk about Pages more in a later post.
So what are the key differences between Business Pages and Personal Profiles?
- Pages allow you to designate multiple administrators so you can have more than one person help manage the account. In addition, if one of your administrators leaves the company, you can still have control over the Page.
- Pages are, by default, public, and are starting to rank in Facebook and public search results.
- Pages are split into different categories (local businesses, brands, musicians) that help you get listed in more relevant search results.
- Personal profiles have friends, which require mutual acceptance, whereas anyone can become a fan of your Page without needing administrator approval.
Worried about privacy? Facebook is very flexible in letting you control your exposure on Facebook. In another post, we’ll discuss how to customize your privacy settings to control who sees which parts of your profile so you can safely engage on Facebook with both personal and business contacts.