Facebook Marketing: Do I Really Need a Facebook Page? 7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself

“Do I really need a Facebook Page?  Isn’t my Personal Profile (friends page) enough?”  These are questions that I get asked a lot as a social media marketing strategist.  First of all, let’s clarify what is meant by each of these terms:

Most B2C & B2B businesses need a Facebook Page.

Personal Profile – Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name.  This is your “home base” for Facebook – the entity that has Friends, LIKEs things, joins groups, and more.

Facebook Page – allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. 
My opinion on this has changed over time and I must say that it really depends on a number of factors.   Every person does not need a Facebook Page.  The following questions will help you decide.

1.  Do you want to be found by the Search Engines?  Facebook pages get a lot of “Google juice.”  This can be important if someone is searching for you or for one of your targeted key word phrases that you are trying to rank for.  Even if someone is not a member of Facebook, your Facebook Page can be seen by anyone – not so for a Personal Profile.  Frequently, a Facebook Page will rank higher than your website.

2.  Who is your target audience?
Remember when “friends” were people that you actually knew?  Are all of your potential and current customers people that you actually know?  If you only do business with people that you have personally met, then maybe you don’t need one.  However, if you want to connect with people that you haven’t actually met in person – or don’t consider a friend – a page is a better way to do that.

Facebook is clear when you issue a friend request that you actually need to know the person.  You’ll never know how many people will never reach out to you since they might not have met you or they might not actually feel like you are a friend – even in the social media sense of the word. (Remember when friends were people that you actually knew?)

3.  Do you want to be able to customize and create a mini-website?  Facebook apps for Pages have become so flexible and powerful that you can create mini-websites within Facebook – not so for personal profiles.  You can add custom landing pages (Welcome) with videos, email optin boxes, blog feeds and more. 

To see an example of several Facebook Apps that can enhance your Facebook page, visit my Page at http://www.facebook.com/GinaCarrFanPage.  A great example of a mini-website on Facebook with lots of clickable links is this Welcome page that my team designed for Senate Majority Leader of Georgia, Senator Chip Rogers:

4.  How much posting about your business are you planning to do?  I recently spoke with someone who actually had her personal account shut down by Facebook because she was clearly using it to promote a business – a brick and mortar business.  Although I had seen this threat from Facebook for years, I had never actually heard of it happening.
I think that the lines blur for consultants, speakers, attorneys and others who are in the “thought business.”  It seems that Facebook is much more lenient with that type of promotion, education and sharing.  However, as the old Donny and Marie song used to remind us, you need to be “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll.”  (Thanks social media guru and friend, Gina Schreck, for the great analogy.)
5.  Do you really want to mix business and personal?  For most people, it is good to keep these separate.  Personal friends don’t always want to hear about your business and vice versa.  Think of your Personal Profile as your Home and your Page as your Office.  You wouldn’t post pictures of your vacation all over your office.  Similarly, most people don’t have their business papers spread out all over the house.  Separation can be a good thing.
These first few questions might lead you to think, YES!, I want a Facebook Page.  However, here is the key question you must ask prior to launching one.

6.  How much time and energy are you willing to put into a Facebook Page?
 A Facebook Page takes a lot of work to get interaction and engagement. Because of the way the Facebook “Edgerank” algorithm works, people often don’t see any posts you do from your Page.  You can usually get much more interaction on your Personal Profile.
Many people essentially abandon their Pages after spending a lot of time and effort to get them set up.  One option is to hire someone who will regularly post your content to your Page so that you have a consistent presence.  Then, all you have to do is to visit the page often and interact with the people who comment on your posts.

7.  Should you convert your Personal Profile to a business Page?  Facebook now allows you to do this.  Be forewarned that it is not for the faint of heart.  There are several serious issues that must be considered before you do this and steps to be taken.  See How Do I convert my Personal Profile to a Page?  Drop me a note at www.fb.com/ginacarr if you need help with this.

My recommendation for most business owners:  Yes, you DO need a Business Page.  Even if all you do is set it up and make a post that says, “I hope this page provides some important information about my business.  I spend most of my Facebook time on my Personal Profile.  Please send me a message there at www.facebook.com/username.”

What do you think?  If you have a Page, are you glad that you have it or do you feel it is a waste of time?  Do you feel that your Personal Profile is all you need?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

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© Copyright 2011 Gina Carr International.

 To publish this article in your ezine or website, please include the following:

Gina Carr
 is an Entrepreneur, Speaker and Marketing Consultant who works with entrepreneurs and thought leaders to leverage social media marketing for publicity, profits and success. Combining her street-smarts learned as an entrepreneur with her book-smarts learned at the Harvard Business School, Gina helps business owners turn great ideas into profitable money-making machines. Known around the world as The Tribe Builder, Gina helps passionate people build powerful tribes of raving fans for their business or non-profit organization. Get connected with Gina at www.tribebuildingtips.com and www.ginacarr.com .

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links for products and services I endorse and promote. These are always products and services that I have personally used and highly recommend.
Gina Carr
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Gina Carr

Gina Carr works with business leaders who want to get more great reviews and fewer bad ones. A serial entrepreneur and business growth expert, she has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Gina is the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book, Klout Matters - How to Engage Customers, Increase Digital Influence, and Raise Your Klout Score for Success. Schedule a free strategy session today to learn easy ways for you to get more great reviews ... and, more great customers! www.ginacarr.com/strategy-session.
Gina Carr
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