Socially StephanieDear Socially Stephanie,
With the recent algorithm change for Facebook pages, should my business look at making a profile along with a business page? I was thinking about creating a personal page under my business's name. What do you think?

Facebook Frenzy in Fresno

ImageDear Facebook Frenzy,
I like what you're thinking. But there are some things to be wary of. Sit tight. I'm going to tell you exactly what I think you should do and include a few new strategies that you might not have been aware of.

So first, I really want you to rethink the idea of using your business name. First of all, it is prohibited by Facebook. So unless you want to risk the possibility of being banned, you need to use your real name. Unless of course your business name is also your real name.  Beyond the legalities, though, it's still not a good idea if your business name isn't your real name, and here's why. In order to be successful on any social platform, you have to think about the way people use and interact with the site. On Facebook, it's likely that people will be searching for you. Now, when you use your business name on a personal page, that's going to be the first thing that pops up in search. (You should follow Mari Smith, she's great!) 

Facebook graph search
See what I mean? The real goal is to get more people on your Fan Page, not your personal page. Plus, there is a limit to the amount of friends you can have with personal pages. So think about using an avatar for your business instead. This could be, say, a person who's associated with your business. Because people expect to communicate with people on personal pages, and brands and businesses on Fan pages, you want to make sure you give them what they want, when they want it. Your interaction will be a lot stronger this way.

Business MascotSo now that that's settled. Let's talk about the pros of using a personal profile. For one, it can allow you to create a mascot for your business. This can be a humanized version of your business. I'd use this person to share the posts originally made by the brand page. That will allow you to really boost your reach, assuming you're friends with the right people. Another benefit is that you can invite people to events as a host. Again, this should be all moving people to the event page on your Fan page and not vice versa. Remember: you want your business page to be as strong as possible. Your personal page should only act as the street team helping you spread the word farther.

Don't think this is going to solve all your Facebook algorithm problems either. There are some cons. The most obvious issue is the lack of analytics, and you won't be able to access insights. You also have to think about the amount of posts you're pushing out there. Since the business page and the personal page are likely to have many of the same followers, that means if you're constantly sharing the same thing, your friends and fans are going to see the same posts over and over again. At that point, what is the goal?

To do this right, you need to act like a brand ambassador to your page. Use your personal profile to share, highlight and reactivate posts made on your fan page. Make sense? Good.

Want to make the most out of your Facebook fan page? Think about posting really great content that all of your patrons can relate to. This is the best strategy. Period. But with all the changes happening on Facebook, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to boost performance. The newest one is using Facebook's new call-to-action posts. That's right, you may not have known this, but Facebook just introduced a new feature that will increase your click-throughs. Whether you want your fans to shop now or learn more, there's a button for that.

Facebook Calls To Action

And it looks pretty snazzy.
ImageAnd best of all, it doesn't cost money to use it. But of course, if you want to get more action, a little money can go a long way.

Lastly, Facebook just bought WhatsApp. You should start thinking about text messages as a way to reach your audience, no matter where they are. While nothing has been said about how this buy-out will affect Fan pages, there is definitely an opportunity to reach people through mobile phones. Start planning your strategy now.

I think you've got it!

Socially,
Stephanie

Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?

Please email SociallyStephanie@socialmediatoday.com and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)

Illustration by Jesse Wells