Over the years Facebook has become a staple in the daily lives of most Americans. In that time, Facebook has made a wide variety of updates and changes to meet the needs of its users. With such a large portion of the population using Facebook, it has become a must to use this tool to reach more potential customers for your business. For a long time, users were creating “pages” for their businesses that were actually Personal Accounts, and using them to gain traction in the online market. As more users created these sorts of pages, Facebook took notice and began to guide them towards the use of a tool that better catered to a business’ specific needs rather than the workarounds that they had been using. While some businesses try to hold on to the idea that using a personal page for business is better, Facebook has taken a more aggressive stance against this, saying “It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your personal account to represent something other than yourself (example: your business), and you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.” (Facebook.com/help). Keeping this in mind, we will go over some of the other differences between the two types of accounts and show why you should choose to create a Business Page for your online marketing needs.
With all of the updates Facebook has made over the years, it has added a large amount of resources that are available to its users that help with customization and content control. When you post on a personal account you have the ability to add linked content, add pictures, record videos, tag friends, and much more. This seems like plenty to create an online presence for your growing business, but why limit your capabilities. With a professional business page on Facebook, you have all of the previously listed customization controls while adding a great deal more. Using a business page gives you access to analytic tools to track how your posts are doing, allows you to see demographics of the audience they are reaching, and a more fine tuned set of controls to adjust your posts that helps to ensure the time you spend on your social media account is as profitable as possible.
2. Customization Options
Years ago when Facebook was in its infancy, another social media platform held the title of “cyber hot spot” to web users across the globe, Myspace. Just before their decline (and the rise of Facebook), Myspace allowed for obscene amounts of customization to your profile page. If you used this particular social media outlet at the time, visiting someone’s page often felt like a sensory overload, stimulating the need to leave the room due to the onslaught of music, “glittery” background imagery, and whatever else all of the “would be” site designers could find to stack in their page’s code. When Facebook took power, one of the selling points for making the transition (in my opinion) was the limited customization options offered to users. On Facebook, you can show how unique you are via shared content, rather than screaming glitter and Flash animations at anyone that passes by. Over the years Facebook has maintained this Apple-esque quality, only slightly increasing options to change the overall look of a user’s page.
The same idea holds true to business pages as far as maintaining the overall clean look, but more options are given. As a business page manager you are offered the opportunity to add and arrange sidebar options for your page that give visitors easy access to information and/or capabilities you determine to be essential. You can add links to your website, access to forums focused on your products or services, events you are hosting or sponsoring, and even the ability to purchase right from your page (via Facebook Shop). The options available to you with a business page cast a large shadow over what you can customize with a personal account, creating yet another reason to make the switch for your business. You want your customers to feel at ease when interacting with your business and the extras available to business accounts are there to help accomplish that.
It is safe to assume that the more people that know about your business / brand, the greater the chance you have of making some of them into customers. That being said, if you decide to use a personal account, Facebook limits the amount of friends you can have to 5,000. With around 7.4 billion people on the planet that amount is barely a “drop in the bucket” and can severely limit your potential for growth. Using a business page however, “likes” and “follows” are limitless and give users access to all of the information you put out with the simple click of a well-placed button on your page. There is no need to worry about a potential customer feeling slighted for not being added as a friend by your business or having to sift through countless requests to add users while weeding out spam accounts. In this case, by offering less, you are gaining more.
4.Advertising & Sponsored Content
Without a staggeringly large amount of followers (since friends are limited see above), the reach of an organic post is very limited on this social media giant. You could have the most engaging, well thought out, informative content ever to be created and still miss most of your target audience on Facebook. With such a large feed of information being shown to users at any given moment, you cannot rely on the idea that users will find your content so breathtaking that they will find no other option but to share and “champion” your post. Having only a personal account with Facebook limits your options to hoping this will occur and nothing else. One of the most attractive features of creating a business page through Facebook is that the control of who has the opportunity to see your content is put back in your hands. Facebook ads / sponsored content allows you to reach beyond your current audience and target those that have yet to discover what you have to offer. Using this service allows you to adjust who sees your content by adjusting specifics such as age, location, interests, sex, and more so that you are given the tools necessary to find your audience. This allows you to aim your message towards those that would be most open to hearing what you have to say and making the most of your valuable time.
Starting and growing your own business is no easy task in today’s highly competitive market. As an owner, it is in your best interest to take advantage of every opportunity you have at your disposal to be a success. With Facebook’s users consisting of 68% of American adults with access to the internet (http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/ 2016) it is an asset that can benefit any business when used correctly.