If you use Facebook as a professional, you should be on networks, not marketing. Here is an overview about the different ways to make a network like a pro on the approach toFacebook.
First, you must recognize that different types of “pages” on Facebook:
Personal profile. ”Friends” This is the default profile is given to you when you register and when you connect to
Business Page: This is what companies can use (and professionals) to promote their brand. People ”, like” Your business side (as opposed to profiles, where people ”friend”you).
- Personal Profile: This is the standard profile that you are given when you first sign up and where you connect with “friends.”
- Business Page: This is what companies (and professionals) can use to promote their brand. People “like” your business page (as opposed to profiles where people “friend” you).
- Community Page:These are for general topics and items of interest. You “like” these pages to connect with them, but a single author does not run them and they do not generate News Feed stories.
- Group Page:These are good for discussions around a particular topic but do not have all the functionality of a Business Page.
Facebook for Business Networking
When it comes to using Facebook to build your business network, you have a couple of options:
- Use your Personal Profile professionally.This is where you can connect as an individual with other individuals but you are using Facebook to communicate professionally. This works best if you either use Facebook completely for business or with a professional mindset, or are very comfortable with your privacy settings and able to divide out friends from business.
- Lock down your Personal Profile to just close friends and family and create a separate Business Page for your company/yourself.This is recommended for business owners and individuals with a public persona, who want to keep the two separate, or those who want some of the features available only to business pages (more below on this).
- Convert your existing Personal Profile into a Business Page. More information about how to do this and what it entails can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918. Note, if you are using a personal profile as a company page (i.e., to promote your company brand and not yourself), you MUST do this. This is only an option for someone who does not want to also maintain a personal page.
No matter which of the above you use to network, you need to remember the platform and the audience. The following are tips for those of you who use a personal profile for business networking.
If you are going to mix the professional and personal on Facebook by using your Personal Profile, you should first create “Friend lists” and put all the business contacts into one list. Then go to your privacy settings and block them from seeing things like “photos tagged of you” and other selected Facebook activities that you consider more private (politics, relationships, Farmville). In addition, here are a few tips for using your personal profile to network.
- Remember that a lot of people are on Facebook for fun; so consider this “light” networking like you would do at a kid’s sporting event or dinner out with friends.
- Facebook is a way to stay top of mind, especially for someone in a business that is all about timing and referrals, i.e., a real estate agent or consultant. Pace yourself and try to post daily, or at least a couple of times per week.
- Be informative and not self-promoting. It’s ok to promote a seminar you are teaching if you are inviting your friends and it might be of interest to them. But, make sure posts are written in a way that invites response.
- Set your privacy settings so that no one can see “tagged” photos of you, this way the five photos that appear at the top of your page will default to your profile photos over which you have more control.
If you create a Professional Page for networking, you have more leeway to be all about your business. However, tips 1-3 listed above still apply.