Facebook can be a bit confusing when you first start a business. We all know about personal Facebook profiles, sure, but what about pages? What’s the difference between them, and more importantly which one should you be using to build your business?
I’ve been making lots of new friends on Facebook just recently, particularly in the network marketing community. Quite a few people seem to be selling from their personal Facebook profile, and more than a few have added me into their selling groups immediately I have accepted their friend request, before even as much as saying hello.
Imagine you were just walking past a restaurant, minding your own business, maybe going somewhere else, maybe it isn’t even lunchtime. But without even greeting you, the restaurant owner grabs you from the street, marches you inside, sits you down, puts a napkin on you and thrusts the menu at you. Would it make you want to eat there or would you just think it was creepy? I know what I would think and it wouldn’t be polite…..
I’ve seen some great sales pitches online, read some stuff that has stopped me in my tracks and make me think, had some interesting conversations, but I have also been contacted by some people who just make me want to run for the hills. Sadly those are the folks that give all of us in network marketing a bad reputation.
So what works, and what should you be doing, so as to attract people, stand out from the other people in your company and really show your prospective clients who you are and what you have to offer?
In a nutshell, both Facebook Profiles and Pages can be used to build a business. But one method is extremely limited, while the others are highly scalable, so the choice that will scale up is naturally a better option to successfully build your business long-term.
Facebook Groups have their uses too, although many people are misusing them and putting off as many potential customers as they attract – but that is a whole separate blog post….
For today let’s examine the differences between using your Facebook profile and a Facebook page to do business, and let’s begin with the…
Personal Facebook Profile
There are a lot of people out there at the moment selling popular products like wildfire on Facebook, using just their personal profile. As long as you have something that everyone wants, it will probably sell well that way. This year it seems to be weight loss tea and coffee, last year it was the instant wrinkle reducing serum, and a couple of years ago it was the amazing lengthening mascara. When you have the product of the moment, selling from your profile will probably work quite well.
In fact, here’s a link to a blog post where my colleague Ferny Ceballos explains in detail how you can use your Profile to build and recruit.
The first two strategies outlined in that post will allow you to use your Profile in a way that hopefully won’t get you in trouble with Facebook.
And I say that as a very real concern, as you’ll see in a moment…
The Facebook Profile has Limits
The other main problem with a Facebook Profile is that you’re capped at 5,000 friends on a personal Profile. And that is a problem. When I started actively prospecting my doTERRA business I made 900 new Facebook friends in a month. Not too long before I hit the barrier at that rate …
5,000 friends on a profile is a firm limitation, which you can’t pass, because Facebook doesn’t want you to use your personal Profile as a vehicle for building your business.
In fact, it’s against their rules.
If Facebook ever saw that you were using your personal profile for business purposes, such as posting a bunch of links and crowding everybody else’s News Feed with a bunch of self-serving junk they’re not really interested in, then you could have your account suspended.
If Facebook finds that you are using a personal profile account that is not in your real name, and especially if it has any part of your company name in the title, your account can be shut down without notice. You lose all of your content and all of your contacts. Please be warned, they have people at Facebook that scan people’s accounts for the names of popular network marketing companies – this happened to a lot of people in the early days of Younique in the UK.
They shut you down and then give you two weeks to provide a passport or driving licence to prove that it is your real name. If not, the account is gone for good.
The consequences are worse if you use private messaging in the wrong way—you could be permanently banned from Facebook under any name. Too many people reporting your for spam and …….boom!
And if too many people report you for adding them to a group without permission, that group too can just disappear overnight. So it is worthwhile learning the basic rules of Facebook etiquette, so all your hard work doesn’t go down the drain.
To repeat, at this link there’s a specific strategy for how you can successfully use your personal Profile to sell and recruit, especially if you don’t have an advertising budget and you just want to get started.
No Ads on Facebook Profiles
The other big disadvantage is that you’re not able to run ads on your personal Profile. Now, that might sound weird to some of you who have been in traditional network marketing.
You might wonder, “Why would I want to run advertising if the name of the game is to personally sponsor and recruit people?”
Well, it’s because you want a large audience to be exposed to your business, and you can only get that from ads.
Okay, so with that said, let’s switch gears and look at…
In a nutshell, the problems of Personal Profiles are solved by creating a Facebook Business Page.
With a Page, you can run ads to the 1.86 billion monthly active users, so there’s a practically unlimited audience.
Let’s explore that a bit more…
A Facebook Page is intended to have an almost unlimited reach (the number of people who see your updates). You set the boundaries that you want (restict yourself maybe to the countries that your company can supply to and the type of people who are most likely to want your products).
Facebook fully supports you building a huge following, because it’s central to their business model too.
Separate Your Audiences with a Business Page
One of the things I hate, is having my personal life and my business life mixed together on Facebook.
At first, I did what a lot of networkers do…
I added a bunch of people I didn’t know onto my friends list.
I approved anybody that sent me a friend request, and before I knew it, I was maxed out on my Profile .… and I had all these people in my News Feed who I didn’t know and didn’t care about.
…and, to top it off, all those people were just posting stuff about their business, because I was targeting other entrepreneurs who were mostly network marketers.
I was growing tired of seeing my News Feed filled with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and I pretty much lost any meaningful connection with my friends and family. In fact, some of my real friends blocked me, because I was just spamming and putting endless stuff up about my business, and they frankly don’t care about my business.
Then one of the clients I do social media for, said she didn ‘t like some of the stuff I was posting on my profile about my other business, because it didn’t gel with what her customers knew about me…. and I nearly lost her contract.
So first and foremost, a Page allows you to separate your personal life from your business life, and your individual businesses from each other.
Now that I’m moving back towards separating all of my business and personal stuff, it’s great!
I still attract and recruit lots of new businessy friends. But I ask them fairly quickly to come and like one or both of my business pages. And then I can move them out of my friends list, and they only get to see the bits of my life that they are really interested in.
A Facebook Page Creates a Central Business Hub
You can certainly post on your personal Profile and invite people to check something out once in a while, but the strategy I suggest is to use your Page(s) as the central “hub” for all things business.
This legitimises you in the eyes of Facebook.
And it’s more professional because that’s what real businesses do.
Pro: Reconnect with Family and Friends
Once you start posting your business content on your Page, your friends and family won’t be inundated with junk in their News Feed from you, which means they’ll (hopefully) be able to tolerate the small amount of stuff you do post.
It’s liberating because your personal Page can focus on your personal interests, so you can connect with your friends once again and delete and unfriend all the people you don’t know on your personal Profile.
It also allows the people who come into contact with you for business, to see a bit about you personally first, so they can decide if they like you, trust you and want to do business with you or not. I don’t know about you, but when I see a network marketer who only has stuff about business on his or her personal profile, I do wonder what kind of life they lead……
Facebook Pages are Designed for Lead Generation
Facebook Pages are intended for an ever-expanding audience with the purpose of generating leads and sales. And as a business owner, that’s what you want, right?!
Now, what does that mean in the context of a healthy business? That means you can build as many fans as you like, and they are all people you can promote stuff to and share value with, in the context of network marketing and direct sales, because they have shown an interest in that part of your life and you are not spamming them.
A Facebook Page is a Business Asset
The real advantage of having a Page is that you’re building an asset with tremendous leverage.
Once you’ve set up your engagement strategy, you can walk away and your business will essentially work on autopilot.
Compare that to a personal Profile, where you have to constantly post new stuff (that’s only going to annoy your friends and family), and it’s gone in the blink of an eye, likely without gaining much traction or interest.
Plus, other network marketers you’ve friended are probably doing the exact same thing as you too, so you’re basically just spamming each other, and everyone cancels each other out.
So, as opposed to wasting time doing all that stuff, a Page allows you to generate exposure passively, so you can generate leads, customers, and recruits while you sleep, or are out to dinner, or out shopping.
Most of the posts I share on my Pages are planned well in advance, and they’ll go out without me even being at my computer.
You can’t do this on a personal Profile, which only really allows for real-time updates.
That’s the power of a Page: you’re able to leverage Facebook’s industry-leading advertising platform.
The real benefit of running ads, scaling your reach, and scheduling your posts, is reclaiming your life.
When I got online, I was finally able to build a direct sales business without having to pester friends and family, and without having to talk to strangers in public places.
Now I can enjoy my life in public like a normal human being.
As I started succeeding in my business using Internet strategies, I got to go to nicer and nicer restaurants, nicer and nicer places, and more exotic locations, and never once think about recruiting anybody.
All because that was already happening passively on the Internet!
Positions You as a Leader
If you want to build real relationships in this industry, beyond a few scattershot private messages, your audience needs to see that you’re up to something bigger.
And that bigger thing can, in fact, be that you’re building a legitimate business Page—you’re building an asset, you’re generating leads and followers, and you’re doing it passively.
When people in the network marketing space see that, they’re going to be impressed and they’re going to want to know what you’re doing.
In fact, people in any business will want to know what you’re doing!
All of a sudden, you become interesting and attractive in a different way.
It’s not about your company, it’s not about your products, services, or MLM.
It’s about what YOU, as an individual, have to offer.
That’s going to be what takes you to the next level in your network marketing business.
Please take a look at my other posts