Should You Use a Personal Facebook Profile for Business?
Facebook’s recent changes to their algorithm means that the platform will show you more “meaningful” interactions from your friends and less content from business pages. Does this mean it makes sense to use a personal profile for your business instead of a page? We explore the pros and cons below.
First thing first: Facebook does not want you to use your personal profile as a business profile. Using a Facebook Profile for business is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. They even added a facility that allows you to report a user right from their profile page if they are suspected of using a personal profile as a business.
You also need to bear in mind that when it comes to a personal profile, unless your “friends” regularly comment on your posts, Facebook will automatically start showing them fewer and fewer of your posts in the same way as posts from a business profile. The difference is measurement. You can measure post reach with a business page, however you can’t do anything of the sort with a personal profile. You could be making a huge effort with your marketing only for it to be a complete waste of resource. With a personal profile you have no idea if any (or how many) of your “friends” are even seeing your posts.
The Pros for using a page for your business:
- Facebook Tabs and Contests – These allow you to explain much more about what your business is, highlight the history of your company and so on. You can run contests which you can’t do from your personal profile.
- Facebook pages, unlike Facebook profiles, allow small businesses to quickly build a following without any limitations.
- Pages only require a “like” to start that relationship with a fan, prospect or client.
- Being able to track and measure results is another reason why you should use a Facebook Page for business. Facebook Insights allow you to track the positive impact and results of your social media efforts.
- Access to Facebook Ads to improve those results.
- Access to Insights – Pages offer you access to a host of measurements when using a business page.
- Ability to assign user roles. What if you want some help with your marketing efforts? If using a profile, your only option is to give out your username and password.
- Ability to Schedule posts.
- You can link to a place in order to add days and hours of business operation.
- Facebook Offers – an official way of promoting a deal you have to your audience. Using a Facebook profile? Whoops, you can’t use Facebook Offers. Good luck on your strategy of pasting a link & driving them to your website to promote your deal.
The Cons for using a profile for your business:
- Your “business” now has a birthday and a gender. Reading that it is x company’s birthday and to wish her a happy birthday just looks silly.
- No ability to Schedule posts
- Profiles Limited to 5,000 “Friends”
- Profiles Look Unprofessional. It looks sloppy. It’s bad planning. It screams, I don’t know what I’m doing! Not the message you want to be broadcasting.
- Using a Facebook Profile for business is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service.
- You’re only able to create one profile, which includes only your personal information – no business information.
- Profiles force you to send a friend request before you can make connection, which can be problematic as people are hesitant to hit ‘accept’ if they don’t already know you.
- Having no page can create the perception that your business is out of touch with technology and social media users. It can raise questions about the progression of your business as a whole and significantly reduce customer trust.
- No Metrics – Would you keep running your business if you did not know if a profit was being made. No you would not. Why would anyone invest the time and effort in marketing their business if they are not able to measure the return on investment?
You are welcome to make up your own mind, however we think the benefits to using a page to promote your business has far more benefits than “bodging” a personal profile for business use.