social media how to

Are you wondering how to use your personal Facebook profile for your business?

One of the reasons Facebook is effective is the personal connection you can make with people.

In this article I’ll show you 10 ways you can use your personal Facebook profile to impact your business.

Why My Personal Facebook Profile?

Your Facebook profile and Facebook business page can work together today.

On one hand, it’s important for a company to have a professional Facebook business page that’s in line with the company’s messaging, target audience and branding.

But the way you use your Facebook personal profile can also play a role in the success of social media for your business, and this is often overlooked.

First remember that according to Facebook’s Terms of Service, you’re not allowed to use your personal profile strictly for business.

facebook registration info

You can't use your Facebook personal profile strictly for business.

However, there are many ways you can leverage the activities in your personal profile to benefit your business and build relationships with current and past customers.

That being said, you may decide to keep your professional and personal lives and social media activities separate.

But as we connect and keep in touch in ways that were impossible before, our personal and professional personas blend together today. So you may consider this separation is no longer realistic for your social media marketing.

When you open up and allow some of your personality to blend into the conversations you have with your professional contacts, you can gain trust and respect from your clients and customers. And you can do this on your Facebook profile.

Here are 10 ways to leverage your personal Facebook profile for business.

#1: Allow Follows to Your Personal Profile

The Follow function allows people to see all of your public updates without you having to accept them as a friend and see their updates in your news feed.

connect with follow function

Connect with anyone on Facebook with the Follow function.

After you turn on the Follow option in your settings, you’ll want to pay attention to the privacy settings in the posts you share on your personal profile. When you post a status update to your profile, you can choose to make it visible to Friends, to any lists you have set up or to Public.

Use this feature to filter updates about your family to Friends, and updates about your business or things that you’re comfortable sharing publicly to Public. Your privacy stays intact and your industry content remains highly visible.

choose your audience

When posting to Facebook, choose your audience.

The other great thing about this feature is that anyone you don’t accept as a friend automatically becomes a follower, so you can quickly and easily build up a big audience with little effort.

number of followers

You can quickly amass a large number of followers.

#2: Celebrate Moments

How do you share about your business or company without talking about it in an annoying way? Celebrate moments.

You’re sure to have amazing moments at your company that are awesome to share, a fun Friday afternoon BBQ, a promotion for someone on the team or the addition of an exciting new feature or widget to your product or service.

The way that you talk about these things is key.

This isn’t a press release, and this isn’t your company business page. This is your personal Facebook page, so use language and tone that’s in line with who you are and your personality.

Check into company events or post a fun photo. Share something exciting, funny or behind-the-scenes, just as you’d share a moment that happened with your family or friends.

check into event on facebook

Checking into a company event on Facebook is a great way to connect with people personally.

#3: Catch People Doing Something Right

Use your Facebook personal profile to publicly recognize and congratulate a colleague on a job promotion, a career move or just for doing an incredible job. When you post the status update, make sure to tag the person.

Depending on the context, you may want to post the update publicly or within a private company group. People crave recognition, and what better forum to recognize someone than in a group with their peers!

recognize your peers publicly

Recognize your peers publicly. Make sure to tag them!

#4: Use Graph Search to Reach Influencers

With the new Graph Search, you have the ability to expand your network and connect with people who are influencers in your world. Perhaps you want to reach out to someone at another company, a potential client or customer or even a journalist.

In Graph Search, type: “Friends of friends who work for (company)”.

graph search

Use Graph Search to expand your network.

Leveraging the power of friends of friends is still in its infancy in the social media world, but in real life we’ve been doing this for years. Ask your friends and colleagues to introduce you to second- and third-tier connections.

Now with Graph Search, you can easily see whom you’re connected to via friends of friends and then reach out to them to see if they would be so kind as to introduce you to each other in a private message.

#5: Tell Your Story

When your personal profile becomes more focused on what you’re excited and passionate about, it’s natural to include a small number of posts about your company. It’s a great opportunity to tell the story of what it feels like to love what you do or where you work!

These posts provide a great opportunity to include a tag for anyone in the post who’s appropriate and to use relevant hashtags that are now searchable, so your post is seen by a wider audience.

tell your story

Tell the story of why you love what you do.

#6: Tag Your Company Photos

While you can’t tag people in a photo on your company Facebook business page, you can tag people you’re personally friends with. You can also revive the life of an old photo post by tagging it, which brings it back into the news feed.

When you tag someone, they receive a notification, it goes onto their timeline and, depending on their settings, it may also get into their news feed. This widens the number of people who see the post, thereby increasing likes and engagement for your page.

Make sure you tag responsibly and only tag people who are in the photo.

tag photo

Tag photos posted on your Facebook business page.

#7: Leave Facebook Voice Messages

One of the recent upgrades to Facebook private messages is the addition of Facebook voice messages. This easy-to-use feature is often overlooked.

Simply go to your Messages using either the Facebook mobile app or the Facebook Messenger mobile app and record a message of any length.

Reach out and send someone a personal voice greeting for a birthday or any other occasion. It’s a little thing that most people still don’t know about, so it’s a great way to surprise colleagues, customers or clients to let them know you’re thinking about them.

facebook voice message

Facebook voice messages are a great way to connect with people.

#8: Give a Facebook Gift

People are sharing more than ever before on social networks. Are you paying attention to what’s happening with your key clients, customers and contacts? Did one of them recently get married? Receive a job promotion? Have a baby?

Facebook Gifts make it easy to surprise them with a thoughtful and unexpected gift. Simply choose the gift, pick the recipient, fill out a card and add your credit card information. Then, the recipient gets a notification that they received a gift, accepts it and fills out their mailing address. It’s that simple!

facebook gifts

Facebook gifts are a great way to surprise and delight customers, clients and colleagues.

You can spend $5, $100 or more to send a Starbucks card to a coffee addict, a donation to someone’s favorite charity, a nice bottle of wine or even some yummy treats.

give to charities

Facebook Gifts let you give to charities as well as send physical gifts.

#9: Find More Intel on the People You Want to Work With

Before you pick up the phone or send an email to a potential client or job applicant, do you Google them? Do you Google their Facebook profile?

It’s one thing to see their professional experience on LinkedIn, but it’s another to see what they post publicly on Facebook—to see who they are as a person. View your customers’ Facebook presence to help you get to know them and learn how to build a rapport with them.

You can search for someone on Facebook using Facebook Graph Search, but I’ve found Google searches to be more effective.

google search

Google someone to find him or her on Facebook.

#10: Set Up Facebook Lists

I saved my favorite tip for last. One of the most important things you can do to leverage your personal profile for business is to set up custom lists.

I recommend you set up a list for current customers and clients whom you’re connected to on Facebook, and remember to set up a list for potential customers and clients.

Now, instead of seeing posts from the hundreds of people you’re connected to, you see the people who are most relevant to your business. This makes it easy to comment on, like and share any of their content that resonates with you. But it must happen from your personal profile for it to feel and be authentic.

facebook lists

Look at your lists on a daily basis to keep in touch with important people.

Make it a point to look at these lists every day. This is where you see people share their ups and downs, their family, their vacations, their favorite restaurants and the things that make them tick.

Engage with them. Every like, comment and share adds up because relationships are built with small interactions over the course of time. Connect with them through a post, a Facebook voice message, a Facebook gift or even an old-fashioned phone call to build a long-term relationship.

Over to You

Instead of approaching your Facebook updates randomly, put a plan in place and connect with people intentionally on your Facebook profile.

Start thinking beyond the status update and take advantage of the enormous opportunities to leverage your personal profile for business to build stronger relationships with your professional contacts.

What do you think? How you are leveraging your personal profile to build your business? Please leave me a comment below or send me a tweet!

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  • Great article Katie. We couldn’t use attractive features of Facebook business page while promoting a business through personal Facebook profile, but you have shared these amazing ways to drive potential customers to a business with Facebook profile. Facebook voice message feature is new for me, I will look into it. Thanks once again for sharing your valuable thoughts 🙂

  • So far, I like the idea of giving a Facebook gift as a thank you the most. Showing your customer a token of appreciation this way will not go unnoticed!

  • Pingback: 10 Ways to Use Your Personal Facebook Profile for Business - The JD Wheeler Company - The JD Wheeler Company()

  • I love how you explained why we should consider using our personal
    profile to build our business. I need to start doing this! I loved the
    tips on sharing our business pictures and stories to our followers.
    Rockin stuff Katie!

  • Afzal Shad

    Masterpiece as usual. I really didn’t knew about the Gifts and Voice Messages thing. I am managing the Facebook LIsts already which is quite an ease now.

    Thanks for Sharing
    Afzal Shad

  • Jorge Montero

    Wow, wow, wow, and more wow! everyday I realize more that real life is something of the past, because internet is real as well, so I prefer the term AFK(Away from keyword), because for example with facebook there is so many things to make your business grow exponencially.
    I really liked this information, very fresh and helpful.
    And now is time to use it,
    Keep rocking guys!!

  • Katie,

    Great article! People usually think a profile is off-limits for business. It’s definitely a viable option – when you use it right!

    Also, thank you for referencing the Facebook Graph Search article!


  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great tip!

    I thought about leveraging my personal Facebook page for business, but I don’t know. Even though I’m careful about what I post online, I’m not sure I’d want to use my personal Facebook page. Hmm…I’ll think about it.

  • Very useful tips. I feel like when I am using Facebook I do tend to separate my personal and business accounts. Celebrating moments and telling a story are both good points to emphasize because you dont want to come off as selling people stuff but rather sharing your own experiences.

  • Excellent article filled with gold nuggets of information. I’d love to implement it all but knowing myself, it’s got to become a habit of doing these, Do you happen to have a cheat-sheet version?

  • Good tips. Although I’m not a fan of searching people out and cold calling them as you suggest with Graph Search..

  • Very powerful. Thank you for writing this.

  • Margarita Cruz-Amaro

    when you say make “fb list” what exactly do you mean…

    I went to the pic just like you have in the image above… and mine is different. Mine show the same thing except below the photos icon I have a magnifying glass to browse to refine my search

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    I cant believe I hadn’t come across an article that touched on this specific topic. I always get asked, “Do I need a personal or business page on Facebook.” This helps them take a step back and actually build a strategy to implement in their personal page and leverage the relationships they have there. I LOVE this article and will share the crap out of it. Thank you Katie for this article.

  • I love this post, Katie! Such a great example of how to use a tried and true social channel in a lesser known, but meaningful way! I never knew about voice messages, and I sometimes neglect the follow button on Facebook (instead connect with a person I find influential on Twitter).

  • Sarah Bauer

    You’re right, Katie.The reality is that our personal and professional lives are blending more and more online these days. Bringing our personal social media presence to the forefront of our companies could very well be inevitable one day. For those feeling wary about it now, I would recommend easing the transition by reviewing account privacy settings to ensure confidence in everything being tagged, posted, and mentioned on the personal Facebook page. Take control of how you present yourself to the world online!

  • Jan

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  • Katie Lance

    Thank you NavNeet! Yes, Facebook voice message features are a great new feature. I appreciate the comment!

  • Katie Lance

    Absolutely Viktoriya! Thank you and happy gifting!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks so much – I really appreciate that! Being a storyteller is a huge opportunity. Happy to have helped!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks so much Afzal! Gifts and Facebook voice messages are a great opportunity to surprise and delight people!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks so much Jorge and I like the term AFK 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Katie Lance

    You are welcome Christian! Yes, when done right, you can definitely use your personal profile as a way to build relationships! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  • Katie Lance

    Glad to have given you some food for thought!

  • Katie Lance

    Agreed – being authentic is key and remember one of the reasons people connect with you is because of who you are personally!

  • Katie Lance

    Thank you Yohann! My advice is to pick one thing and start implementing it. Start with sending one FB gift a month or one FB voice message – maybe even add it to your calendar to do once a month. Start small and then go from there!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks Scott – remember, it’s not so much of a cold call but thinking about how you can leverage your extended network.

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks Brandon!

  • Katie Lance
  • Katie Lance

    Thank you so much Raquel!! I appreciate it – I get asked all the time too 🙂 And thanks for the share!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks so much Sarah! Appreciate the comment!

  • Katie Lance

    Absolutely and looking at privacy settings is a great place to start. Thanks for your comment!

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks Jan!

  • Ellie

    Some great tips for using FB in your business. Thanks Katie!

  • Thx! As advised, I started with the voice message this morning. I almost had it if it wasn’t for the fact that I got lost reading my wall feed for 20 minutes!! sigh… 🙂

  • Bill Williams

    You couldn’t be more wrong. NEVER allow following from your personal to your professional site. My high school buddy who inherited his father’s business said: I don’t play on Facebook unless I can make money; there are only so many grandkid photos a human can stand looking at in one year. To further make my point: imagine someone jumping from a great professional site to the personal site and finding something embarrassing… what happens? Answer: the potential customer clicks: “next”….

  • Katie Lance

    Thanks Ellie!

  • Katie Lance

    Hi Bill – thanks for your comment, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here 🙂 There are a lot of benefits to connecting with clients and potential clients on a personal level – sharing photos of grandkids, family, hobbies etc is how we connect with people. It’s not for everyone but it is very effective for many business owners trying to build a relationship with their customers.

  • Katie, this has sooo much info! Thank you for sharing. I did not know about the voice message or the lists & will definitely be using both of these. I have several associates on FB & I see they publish everything on their profiles. I try to keep my profile more secluded & have a Business page so your article is big help.

  • orville

    You know something? Those points are spot on. Sometimes we instinctively know what we should do,but lack of concentration cause blips in action.
    Thanks much for this eye opening Piece.

  • Great article! Very informative and easy to understand. Also it is nice to find new friends to follow on twitter feed who leave such valuable and complimentary feedback here!
    Thanks again for your contribution to us all.

  • Kadiann Atkinson

    Great article Katie. Always love when the author responds to a post on their article. Always a plus. Can you tell me how do i get the ‘Invite Your friends to like this page” on my FB Business page?

  • Maddy

    Great article Katie! I myself am a college student looking to advance my footprint on social media. This post is very helpful on how to brand myself for the future and make a further impact. I guess finding the balance of business and personal may be one of the hardest parts, because really when does it get to be “too much” of one?

  • Nikhil Kapoor

    Thanks, katie

  • Deepika Dadu Agarwal

    This is an extremely informative article for one who is managing a Facebook page..Thank you Katie for sharing such valuable info with us 🙂

  • Great tips. I need to start using some of these!

  • GREAT tips, Katie! So nice to see you blogging for Social Media Examiner. Congrats!

  • Tamarray Cain

    I really appreciate the wealth of info….I plan on implementing ASAP!

  • Pingback: Should I just use my personal profile for business? | Michelle Fontaine, FBSmarty and Social Media by Michelle()

  • David

    Hi Katie, I like the idea of building client lists…but can everyone else snooping around my page see my lists? Do you have any specific info for Realtors?

  • Laura

    Wow this is FANTASTIC thank you so much Kate – I have always been a stick in the mud wanting to keep my professional and personal life separate but with your tips and tricks my mind has been completely opened
    Thank you so much

  • Beth

    Hi Katie,
    This is a great post with great info! Do you know when you add a person to a list if you see all of their posts or if you are still subject to the “this is what we think you’ll be interested in” part of the FB algorithm?

  • andrewdelacruz

    I’ve been struggling on how should i market my mlm business on facebook. thanks for this article i will definitely share this to my business partners! 🙂

  • Anice Smith

    Awesome tips.
    Really enjoying reading your posts.

  • Drishti Khanna

    nice techniques will use them when i will open my own business.. but i think at starting we can hire an agency for the promotion work of our that it reach masses and people come to know about that.. is an agency that provides services to start up at very reasonable rates..

    Thank You.. 🙂

  • I do a lot of sporty charity work because I persoally enjoy doing it, I don’t have any employees & work from home selling home and garden products on my website as well as other selling platforms, I also have a business page with facebook. In what way could I incorporate my personal charity work with my business social media accounts? as I feel this would be a great thing to promote for the business.. Any ideas?? how could I aproach this?