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.
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.
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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.
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.
#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.
#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!
#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)”.
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.
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#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.
#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.
#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.
#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!
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.
#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.
#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.
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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