Why You Should Remove your Facebook Business Page

Are you under the impression that, as a small business owner, you need to have a business page on Facebook? Think again. Social Media prefers people to businesses. Your Business Page can even work against you. Away with that page and rather boost your personal profile.

Take the case of that poor freelance event planner from England. I spoke to her at a conference where I was manning the Social Media Genius Bar. She had just closed a deal with an agency that would create a Facebook Business Page for her and would use it to advertise her business.

We advised her to:
1. Delete her Facebook business page and
2. Certainly not to use it for advertising!

Waarom Facebook Bedrijfspagina opheffen Why You Should Remove your Facebook Business Page by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Social Media are for people, not for companies

Why is a Facebook Business Page a waste of time for small businesses and the self-employed? Very simple: Social Media prefers people to businesses. Did you know that every time you log onto Facebook, there’s an average of around 1,500 messages to be shown to you? Facebook filters and sorts these, and posts from people score far higher than business pages.

If small businesses want to be seen, this can only be achieved with paid ads. But here’s the thing: does it make you happy to see those ‘sponsored posts’ in your timeline? Enough said. And it even costs you money!

What do your contacts want? Personal attention!

What is the core essence of Facebook? Connecting people. Probably you already sell your services or products primarily through your personal network. Why does that work so well? Because business is done through personal contact. One-on-one interaction. That means you not only talk, but are also able to listen. This also applies to Facebook. Technically, a business page can’t invite people, praise anyone, or reply to messages. As a person, you can.

The Personal Profile does work

So what did I recommend that event planner? Use your Facebook personal profile for your business contacts as well. Post messages that are relevant to your network. Messages that will make them laugh, teach them something, or strengthen relationships. Add your top 10 dream destinations, or tips on how to select a great event app. But above all, respond to people when they talk about events or meetings, give advice and don’t be shy with compliments. In short, share your love for the profession.

Children’s Photos? Share them in a group

“But what do I do with all those great pictures of my kids?” asked the same event planner, crestfallen. There are other channels suitable for that. For example, make a Facebook or WhatsApp group for close family and friends and share your private business there. Of course, you can still occasionally share personal items, as long as it supports your professional image.

And be honest: surely as an entrepreneur you identify yourself powerfully with your work? If not, then perhaps you should pose yourself a very different set of questions rather than what to do with Social Media!

3 Smart Social Media Lessons – from our own experience at IMEX

Three learnings from the @IMEXSocialTeam reporting from #IMEX12 in Frankfurt

During the IMEX in Frankfurt show in May, the “IMEX Social Team” reported live from the show floor. Our objective was to provide a participant’s perspective in real-time to the rest of the world and to help people with all their questions about social media so they could join the conversation online. In this post we share some of our key learnings for the use of Social Media at live events.

1. Make a connection between online and offline

From a cynical perspective, one could choose to view Twitter as a place where ‘people have a conversation with themselves, hoping that someone will respond’.  A more optimistic perspective sees the platform as a great opportunity to make potentially valuable new connections.  In practice during IMEX this meant the social team scanned the #IMEX12 timeline in order to identify people who were tweeting from the show floor and then we went to look them up and make a personal connection!

“Excuse me Melissa, you have been Tweeting at us, right?!” After a first look of surprise, we were always greeted with a big smile. “Yes indeed! How nice to meet you in real life!”.  Of course this usually led to a ‘photo opportunity’, which then resulted in a tweet, and often a re-tweet quickly thereafter.

Imex Social team Frankfurt 2012 meets Melissa in real life  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)We believe it is vital to make a connection between the online and offline worlds at live events. Whether with a personal ‘lookup’ like we did, with a Tweetup Drink like the #EUventprofs community did, or with a physical ‘Tweetingpoint’, often supplied by the organiser. It is often the perfect – and the only – way to make online networking relevant to the offline networking goals and ambitions of a live event.

2. Add a personal touch

We were quite amazed that no less than 40% of our messages were ‘re-tweeted’. This gave us a much larger reach, compared to the 137 followers we collected in the five days we were active. We really made an effort to add a photo and someone’s @username to almost every message which gave a strong incentive to the re-tweeter. This tactic alone, although requiring a bit more work and attention to detail, seemed to be almost a guaranteed recipe for a ‘re-tweet’. Why? Because people love to be in the spotlight!

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012 with Ray Bloom  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And they want to tell their friends about it. Have you ever been mentioned in a newspaper when you were a kid? I bet you saved that clipping and showed it to your parents, grandparents, neighbours and classmates didn’t you? For now that principle still seems to hold in the Social Media arena. Our tip: next time you write up a Social Media message, try to add a personal touch to it and see what difference it makes.

3. Integrate with other media

Twitter and live events are made for each other. Due to the fact that all updates are public, it makes it really easy to connect with people at the same event, whether you’ve met them before or not. However, Twitter has a drawback: it still only reaches a minority of your total audience. That is why we strongly believe in integration with other media such as print and e-mail, which are accessible to everyone.

Adding a selection of ‘user generated content’ to your existing editorial media is a reward for the crowd that is already tweeting about your event (see previous learning). And at the same time it will show those who are not yet participating in the online conversation that there is some good stuff going on.  And of course, the more people tweeting about your event, the more exposure and reach you (and your sponsors!) can enjoy.

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)You’ll be able to see the @IMEXSocialTeam in action again at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 9th – 11th where we’ll be sponsored by MEXICO.  Don’t forget to send a tweet to @IMEXSocialTeam once you get there. We’ll do our best to find you on the show floor!

Social media for beginners: the ice cream of Scoopville

Do you wonder what this social media fuzz is all about? The video below explains the principle of social media with a brilliant scenario about ice cream. Learn why online networks are successful where standard marketing strategies fail.

What do you think about the ice cream scenario? Or do you have more questions about social media? You are welcome to ask them.

Social media for beginners: the social media revolution

Even if you do not like social media, you cannot ignore that they are there. Even if you refuse to have an account on facebook, twitter or instagramm, your friends will be buzzing on these platforms. Even if we try to ignore it, the world will change. Here is an impressive video about the impact of social media on our lives – online and offline.

How do you feel about the social media revolution? Do you think this is a good trend? Please share your opinion with us.