By Reliv International.
You’ve logged in, set up a profile and learned how to follow, post updates and engage with others. Facebook can be a powerful resource for connecting with family and friends, but what’s the best way to use it to grow your business?
- Should I use my personal profile to talk about my business?
- Should you also have a business page?
- Are Facebook groups useful for business?
It all boils down to this: how can you maximise the time you spend on Facebook?
Because there are so many options for how to use Facebook for business, it can feel overwhelming. Even more importantly, two of the above options are useful, while one can be a big waste of time. Let’s break down some of the options and best practices you should consider when using Facebook.
Your Personal Profile
Let’s start with your personal profile. It’s the page that you create when you join Facebook for the first time. Everyone who uses Facebook has a personal profile, even those who moderate business pages or groups. On this page, you set up a profile picture, cover photo and add some information about yourself. This is your most important Facebook asset because it’s where people will come when they want to get to know you.
To answer the first question above, yes, you can talk about your business on your personal page. However, as with any social space, there are some rules you should follow and Facebook has some guidelines. When you talk about your business, the content should be natural and conversational, not like an advertisement or “spam”. Posting this kind of content will result in people “unfriending” you (unfollowing your profile). Facebook is clear about this: your personal profile is for sharing updates, not pushy business promotions. If you fail to adhere to these standards, they can shut down your profile.
What to Share
What sorts of posts are good to share that will promote your business? Think about your Reliv lifestyle! Share pictures of your shakes, create recipes and talk about what positive changes Reliv has brought to your life. Your posts should be educational, entertaining, interesting — or all three! Ask questions and take a real interest in what your followers are talking about. This will provide you with a natural way to build relationships with your friends, followers and their networks.
Note: Facebook limits you to 5,000 friends but you can have unlimited followers. That’s a wide enough audience to make this your primary online space for building your business.
If creating a personal page is like inviting someone to your home, creating a business page is akin to inviting them to your office. This is the space where you can make your business the primary focus and you can speak directly about Reliv products and the Reliv opportunity. For many, it is the page that they direct their prospects to for more information.
Business pages have waned in effectiveness because of the Facebook algorithm (the way Facebook determines who sees what content in their news feed). Business pages no longer have the same reach or engagement that they once did. It is estimated that around 1% of the people following your page (likes) actually see your updates in their news feed. That means that you’re taking the time to create thoughtful posts and very few people are seeing the content.
Advertising on Facebook
Why would Facebook do this? Although it is known as a social platform, Facebook makes money through selling ads. They encourage businesses to purchase advertising to ensure their content shows up in users’ feeds. If you want to create and run ads, a business page is the only place you can do it. These can be effective for reaching your ideal customers through targeted ads, but you must have an advertising budget for your business. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune! Even £5.00 can go a long way if you put the right message in front of the right audience.
The best, most cost-effective way to reach prospects and potential customers today is through Facebook Groups. These spaces are like a club that you invite people to join and then the group can have discussions, answer polls, share photos and more, all within a private space. It’s like an online shake party where you select the guests! These groups look like business pages, but they function very differently.
There are groups for nearly any interest you can imagine and they are a great space to find other like-minded people. Think of a Facebook Group as a space where people connect with each other, share tips, encourage each other and seek answers to their questions. It’s a great place for lead generation because the group is focused on a theme (e.g. fitness and weight loss, healthy living, entrepreneurs, nutrition). Because group members have to be elected to join, you can safely assume that they want to see your content and participate.
Facebook favours the content posted in groups because it encourages users to login and use the platform more often. That means that when you post things in a group, members are more likely to see it than they would on your personal or business page. When you post, Facebook sends them a notification that invites them to view the update. It’s a win-win for business builders!
Where to Begin
Start by creating a robust personal profile online and share as much as you’re comfortable about yourself. Then, consider using Facebook Groups to share content with your prospects and network. Remember that they will check out your personal profile when they want to learn more about you, so it’s the best place to start. A group that is based on a theme that is relevant to your Reliv business will attract people who are interested in learning more about what you offer. However, you choose to use Facebook, remember to be positive, share your story and encourage others.