social media how toAre you wondering how to best use Facebook for your business?

Should you open your personal profile with a Facebook Subscribe button? Would a Facebook Group work well for your business?

The simple truth is that Facebook Pages are not being seen as often in the news feed.

Facebook reported that on average, brands reach about 16% of their fans in a typical week through posts. This news has many people wondering if Pages are still a worthwhile endeavor.

Find out how to choose the best marketing strategy that fits your business by answering these simple questions.

#1: Have multiple employees?

If so, I still recommend having a Facebook Page despite the visibility issues. Let’s face it; every marketing channel has visibility issues. You will never reach 100% of your customers all of the time. Facebook Pages have advantages for your business that Groups and the Subscribe button don’t.

First, Facebook Pages are branded. You are using your company name and logo to increase your brand awareness, and your Facebook Page can showcase your brand personality as people read through your Timeline. Find out more about creative ways businesses are using Timelines.

You can also participate on Facebook as your brand by commenting on other Pages as your Page to increase visibility.

facebook branding

Use a Facebook Page for great branding and added apps.

Second, you can advertise a Facebook Page. Even with GM’s announcement that they will not be using Facebook Ads, they are still effective for other brands and companies. Test to make sure Facebook Ads are working for you and follow these tips on how to use Facebook Ads.

facebook ad

Advertise your Page to get the Like, but the text can also provide an offer.

Third, you can run contests and have special apps that give your Page some bells and whistles. Facebook Offers and check-in deals are also perks that many companies can use in their Facebook marketing strategy that are only available through Pages.

facebook offers

Use Offers to provide a unique way for people to get discounts and offers from you.

#2: Want to brand yourself?

If you are the face of your company or you want to brand your name, you may also want to consider opening up the Subscribe button on your personal profile. Some people will want to connect with you personally rather than on a Facebook Page with a logo. Find out more about the Subscribe button.

subscribe button

If you are the face of the company, people will want to connect to you personally.

You don’t have to worry about your privacy because you can easily control who sees your posts.

public posts

Use your public posts to talk about your business and things that you would like to publicly share.

#3: Are you self-employed?

If you’re a solopreneur or branding your business with your name, deciding your Facebook strategy could be a little more challenging. Because posts from personal profiles are showing up better in the news feed, people who have their Subscribe button open on their personal profile are seeing more new subscribers than fans.

So does that mean you should ditch the Page altogether? Not necessarily. Take a look at some of the advantages of having a Page listed in point #1. If you would like to run a contest or an ad, or have special apps or coupons, then you will need a Page.

There is also the consideration of promoting your business on your personal profile. Facebook terms state that you aren’t supposed to “use your personal profile for commercial gain” as shown under their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, but this statement is not exactly crystal-clear.

To be on the safe side, if you are using your personal profile for business postings, I would talk more in terms of what you are doing in your business rather than telling people outright to purchase your products or services. A soft-sell approach usually works better anyway.

#4: Manage groups of people?

Groups are perfect for businesses that are “naturally” groups:

  • Networking groups
  • Groups of coaching clients
  • Social groups
  • School groups
  • Niche-focused groups

We have a great post on how to take advantage of Secret Groups for your business.

I don’t believe that Groups work well to promote an entire company or brand unless your business is only about bringing together a network of people in some way.

There are a few reasons Groups will irritate your potential clients if you use them as your main vehicle for marketing on Facebook. Here are the main irritants:

  • You may be adding people to the Group who don’t want to be added. Anyone can add other people to a Group once they are in it. And that can irritate people who don’t want to be part of that Group.
  • Many people don’t know how to turn off the notifications in a Group and they may get irritated and opt to stop getting all the updates. If you do run a Group, make sure people know where the settings can be changed.
group notifications

Make sure the Group members know that they can change their notifications.

If your business is about networking or bringing people together into natural groups, then Facebook Groups can be a great addition to your marketing mix. You can use Groups to communicate, schedule events, share documents and more.

facebook group events

Use the Events and Document-sharing features of the Group to enhance the experience.

A local group of business owners can be a great way to stay connected and promote your business news. You may want to set up promotional rules of the Group so that group members know how often and what to post.

local business networking

Be a leader and start your own local group of business networkers.

You can also use Groups as an added bonus for your coaching business. Give your clients an inner circle where they can connect and ask questions and network together.

coaching group

Use a Group to give an added bonus to answer ongoing questions if customers purchase a product.

Hopefully by answering these four questions, you can make the right choices on where you should be participating on Facebook to get the most out of your marketing strategy. And possibly these suggestions have sparked some new and fresh ideas to take your marketing to a new level!

How about you? Where have you found the most success on Facebook lately? Groups, Pages or your personal Profile? Tell us in the comments section below!

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  • $44796859

    Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing this information. Some really interesting ideas and strategies to mull over 🙂

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  • Facebook Groups are a great tool but it also depends on how one uses. Great thoughts shared Andrea 🙂

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  • Perfect…Superb…Thanks!

  • Andrea – I am very familiar with groups and use them a great deal.  Just yesterday I was mousing over the LIke button on a page and it served up a menu for create a “special interest list.”  

    What do you know about this?  Is this new?  It was to me anyway.  I began to wonder how lists differ from groups.  Are they just a means for organizing your Likes?

  • Thanks for this informative post. Good info here!

    I have a question re the infamous 16% figure:

    There’s conflicting information (including from Facebook itself; no surprise!) as to whether the 16% figure refers to the total fan reach over a given week (as you characterize it here) or whether it refers to the fan reach of an individual update.

    There’s a big difference, obviously, since individual updates could be reaching different sets of fans—16% at a time—which means that cumulatively a brand would be reaching more than 16% of its fans per week.

    Any insight on this would be appreciated!

  • Andrea,

    I enjoyed your blog post but had two comments.   One about sharing your blog post on a Facebook Page and one about using in-line video on a Facebook Page.  For More…

  • Chiming in because I happen to be right here…

    Jeff, Facebook introduced interest lists in March of this year. Pretty neat feature, IMO, with lots of potential. Here are a couple of links, the second from Facebook itself:

    Lists are definitely more than a way to organize your likes, as you’ll see.

  • Thanks so much!  Glad to give you mulling fodder 🙂

  • Thanks Prasant!  Very true – many people are adding people to groups that don’t make sense and then irritating them in the process 🙂

  • Yes, Special Interest Lists are a way of organizing Likes and you can also add people who have the Subscribe button open.  They are public (as opposed to the Lists that you create yourself in Facebook which are only available to you) and are similar to Twitter Lists.  People can subscribe to them and pass them around.  The bummer is that you don’t know when you’ve been added or your Page has been added to a Special Interest List unless the List Creator tells you.

  • Emeric

    Back to basics is always useful! Very clear and right to the point. Andrea, you rock, as always 🙂

  • Emeric

    Hi Mark, the 16% reach that everyone is always talking about is a “per post” figure. Over a 30 day period, in my experience, a page with effective community management does reach between 70 and 80% of its fans, at least once.
    On the per post stat, 16% is an average. I manage some pages with a very active and engaged fanbase that has a 45 to 50% reach for each post!
    So be careful with the numbers, yours are probably different!

  • Great tips Andrea! I did enable subscribe on my personal profile a month or two ago. No rush of subscribers, but regardless, I do get tons more interaction on my personal page, even on business-related posts. Does it help our Fan page EdgeRank to post there first, then share to our personal profile?

  • Thanks, Emeric. I have always assumed the 16% figure was a per-post figure. Just makes more sense.

    But one of Facebook’s own links, which Andrea points to in this post, characterizes it as per-week, which I really have to conclude is a mistake.

    “Right now you may only reach 16% of your fans each week.”

  • Is there such a thing as a “special interest list”? Facebook makes no mention of them. Can you point to a link that describes them and/or where they can be managed?

    I know about “interest lists,” but not “special interest lists.” Maybe I’m just missing something here.
    BTW, interest lists you create can be public, limited to friends, or private, as this Facebook help doc explains:

  • Thanks for clarifying Andrea. I almost created a Special List because it did say I could keep it just to myself.  My default mode is nearly 100% public, but if I choose to go private with a list I would hope FB would keep it that way. 

    I’ll keep studying it.  Thanks again.

  • I have an entertainment blog, and I prefer to keep my internet persona and personal FB page separate. How can I know if my blog FB feed gets through to fans? Is it better to switch to a personal page where readers can subscribe?

  • i never knew what the facebook subscribe button does until i read this post.the idea is perfect and i will share this post on twitter.

  • I’ve had my personal Facebook page for quite some time now, but I am planning on taking it down and focus on the “subscribe” button on my personal profile instead. Any suggestions on how I can attract my current “likers” to be “subscribers”? Thanks!

  • Liz

    “You can also participate on Facebook as your brand by commenting on other Pages as your Page to increase visibility.” So simple and obvious yet easily forgotten! Thank you – great post!

  • Your fans can also choose to see the page’s status in their updates. It appears FB is making it more tough because they are wanting businesses to pay for promoted posts, kind of scared it will be comparable to spam in client’s eyes.

  • Yes, Facebook is notorious for being a little unclear on their numbers 🙂  The 16% is supposed to be per post so I was probably not using that 16% figure correctly in my statement because as you said, you will cumulatively reach a larger percentage of your fans if you are posting multiple times. 

    And it really depends on your Page’s engagement.  I know pages that reach 30% of their fans with each post because their fans are very engaged.  Thanks for helping to clarify that to the readers!

  • Aww, thanks Emeric!  🙂

  • 45-50%  That is awesome!  Yes I also clarified my 16% figure with Mark’s comment – I was not clear in that it is per post and it depends on your page.  Thanks!

  • Thanks so much Louise!  Yes, I see more people opting to open up their subscribe button.  It can’t hurt to let people connect to you in different ways and some people will prefer to connect with the personal profile but not be friends.  
    The more a post is shared from your Page, the better in general – the Edgerank isn’t going to be a big deal with your own personal profile because you always know what you post on your own Page 🙂  But Edgerank also takes into account the overall popularity of a post so it can help.

  • You are welcome!  No I think it helps to establish your brand to have a Page.  That being said, you want to know what you are about before publishing a Page.  If you call yourself a Consultant to CEOs and then change to Consultant to Small Business, you may have a hard time changing your Page name after 100 likes and you may have set your URL to something you don’t want.  So make sure you at least know the focus of your brand before beginning.  Hope that helps! 

  • I think the only way to do it is to just post your personal profile URL frequently.  Tell them that they are going to get more of your updates that way.  If you have an e-mail list, make sure they know too.  Hope that helps!

  • Glad to help!

  •  Thanks Andre! But would you suggest I shift to my profile and take down my page? Especially now that Facebook is evolving with the Promote + Post Reach features? Or should I just keep both?

  • You can’t tell for sure except when you get interaction on that post.  Sometimes I post something easy for people to interact with just to tell who is seeing my posts.  Something like “Click Like if you are glad it’s Friday” or something basic.  

    If you want to keep your personal page separate, that is totally fine to do and don’t feel that you have to open up the subscribe button.  Some people will prefer to connect with you that way and since you can really control which posts are public I think it’s not a bad idea.

  • Glad you liked it Liz!

  • The interesting thing is that a fan will never know that you paid to get that post into the news feed.  That is only visible to you.  But it is interesting to see what Facebook is doing and hopefully they will still allow organic methods to work – if it’s all paid, I think brands will leave.

  • Tough call!  I think if you have a brand and have a lot of Likes it makes sense to keep both.  But then the problem is that you have to maintain both.  No perfect answer, it really depends on how you want to operate.

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  • Devra

    Great blog some of these we are trying currently with our FB page (ETSIS Hats) and I have just set up my subscribe on my profile so I will look forward to sharing some of our results. I am defiently seeing more subscribers then fans some days. I also started sharing some of my blog post from my page to my profile. Noe of these actually talk about our product spicifically but topics of  interest that have to do with our hats and sun protection. I also highly recommend taking one of  Amy P’s profit lab workshop-well worth the time and monies.
    much aloha

  • Devra

    I agree Liz we work on this alot-much aloha devra Etsis Hats

  • I love this article. I’ve reposted on my blog and facebook page. I’m so lucky to have found your site. Thanks again. 

  • Glad to know those techniques are working well for you!  And Amy Porterfield is great 🙂

  • That is an awesome
    post. You have really layed out your points in great detail. Very easy to
    follow with good content. We should take get hold of this post,
    read and impliment the points outlined.

  • I’m not sure I understand the link you’re trying to make between having multiple employees and the use of a Facebook Brand Page in your first chapter… If you wouldn’t mind explaining further, that’d be great. Thanks.

  • Thanks for this post, while reading, I went ahead and activated the subscribe button on my profile. Sharing this with our team 🙂

  • Good advice Andrea. I liked Group section & saw here how to manage group. If we can make good network in Group & update regularly than we can get more visible in facebook.

  • Your endeavor in coming up with such
    brilliant tips is appreciable. Facebook is a great tool amongst all the social
    media networks. It has indeed emerged as platform for exchanging views as well
    as promoting businesses. I agree with the point that the groups needs to be
    well managed as adding people who are not interested can surely irritate them.
    Thanks for sharing such a valuable piece of information.

  • WOW thanks I have just enabled subscribe on my profile very hungry to build my fan page so will see what happens.

  • Its been awesome that face book have been given lots of options to get promote your business in different ways and you have elaborated I almost all of them in very concise manner and learnt few things from the list.

    Thanks for sharing very informative article 🙂

  • Beth M. Wood

    Andrea, perfect timing on this blog!  I’ve been considering whether Facebook would benefit our agency. I don’t believe in Social Media just for its own sake, but since the advent of Timelines, I’ve been giving Facebook more serious consideration.  Very helpful blog as I determine first steps for us.

  •  Andrea –

    Yes, it seems logical and very helpful as well. Thank you!


  • No it’s the same thing – Interests Lists.  We were just making it “special” 🙂

  • For consideration of good business , there is one and only choices are social media. However some advantages of this usages in social media would be very helpful In case I start business in my future. Thanks 

  • Thanks for the very thoughtful article, Andrea! I have a personal Facebook page and a business page for my @convoluted notions by caren stuart so I’m always trying to balance what to share where and with whom and how! You’ve given me some great points to consider!

  • Great article.  Appreciate all the articles on this site and the comments that people add.  I’ve learned alot in a few short weeks.

    My questions is about that 16% people keep talking about.  Another person commented that they are getting around 50%.  How do you know what percent you are getting?  I look at my pages insights and I see my Weekly Total Reach is 1,987 and it has a green arrow pointing up saying 49.85%.  Does that mean I’m at almost 50% instead of the average 16%?

    Appreciate any clarification

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  • Integra_kho

    thanks for sharing this! 2 thumbs UP!

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  • So sorry I didn’t circle back and see this comment earlier, Audrey!  Yes, what I’ve been finding is that some people want to forget the Facebook Page all together and just use their personal profile with the Subscribe button.  But if you have a larger company then people may be searching for your brand or company name on Facebook.  I just wanted to show that Pages are still relevant even when they aren’t showing up in the News Feed as much as a personal profile.  Hope that helps!

  • Awesome!

  • Thanks Ella!

  • Glad to help Beth!

  • The percentage of people reached on each post is shown right below each post.  I know that some regions still don’t have this feature.  The weekly reach is 50% so that combines all the posts for the week and I think that’s what people should focus on.  If you are reaching 50% of your fans each week, that’s pretty good!

  • Glad to help Caren!

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  •  Which is the best offer to promote on Facebook, which converts well, and get high Returns on investment (ROI)

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  • Great idea! I definitely will try this so I can promote my site almost for free. 🙂
    I also have a small business in Florida but I find it costly to hire internet marketers to promote the site for me so I usually look on helpful blogs where I can find information. Sometimes I just speak to some people from some sites like or pages where questions are entertained and answered.I’m telling you if you are just persistent on researching, you can surely promote your business without spending too much.

  • Support Team

    Good article… 

  • This is very awesome ways on helping small business rise

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  • Hi Andrea Vahl, I have read the post. Can I use my Webpage URL on facebook? Will it work for an SEO? How can? If you write about it next time, I will be very happy. Thank you.

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  • Marcel

    Great post and the pictures make it easy to follow and understand!
    I hope you don’t mind that I’ve placed a backlink to your site. 😉

  • Claude Poliakoff

    Nicely written Andrea,
    Doesn’t Facebook place ads on secret groups? I tried a test secret group with a number of posts on sensitive subjects, to see what type of ads they would attract. None appeared! Are ads limited to public pages? Is there a way to have all posts filtered through a group admin before posting to the group?

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  • Gareth Utilities

    any referrals would be highly appreciated and i always aim to help others also

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    Free Baby Items! :] All you have to pay is shipping & handling! help promote, share these coupon codes for this month!! 😀

  • Aqib Nami

    After 4 years later, I found this artical in Posion . How amazing