Facebook is notorious for blurring the line between our personal lives and our businesses. So much of what we do everyday is intertwined – this makes it especially challenging when navigating the seas of social media. However, there are a few steadfast rules that when followed, will help you separate your social life from your business life – at least online!
First of all, every business owner should have two separate Facebook accounts: one for socializing and one for promoting their business. The goal of the business page is to provide an online gathering place for your customers. You want to grab their attention with short posts about upcoming sales or special services. Business posts should be clean, clear and to the point. If not, the posts will look like spam and will quickly be dismissed by your readers. Now, this does not mean that your business page has to be cold and rigid. An occasional personal story that relates to your business is a good fit. After all, people relate to people. Showing your son fishing with one of your most popular poles for kids is an appropriate business-personal tie in. Other than a story with a strong tie to your business, reserve the personal comments for your individual Facebook page.
On the other hand, your personal site gives you the opportunity to share your stories and your thoughts with friends. It is suggested that you should keep your customers on your business page and your friends on your personal page. However, it is really important to keep in mind that many of your friends are either current, former or future clients. Not to mention their circle of friends who will have exposure to your postings as well. For this reason, it is imperative to always be aware of what is being posted on your personal Facebook page – by you and by your friends. For example, if you run a before and after school program, it may hurt your business if you post at 3:00 am Monday morning about your wild and crazy night out with your girlfriends. The next time a friend is asked if she knows of any good childcare providers, she may think twice before giving you a recommendation.
The same principles hold true when befriending and posting on other people’s Facebook pages. If it is a professional contact, be sure to post only from your business account. If the PTO president wants to friend you, put her on your personal site. The bottom line is simple – your public image has a direct impact on your business. It is always best to err on the side of caution. Just remember, you are a walking, talking, posting advertisement for your business at all times, whether you are at work or out socializing with friends.
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