If you’re trying to figure out how to manage your Facebook personal profile and your Facebook business page at the same time, you’re not alone. I call it Facebook Split Personality Disorder and it raises questions for many businesses:
“Should I post my business content only on my business page or should I post it on my personal profile, too?” “I have a ton of friends on my personal profile but very few on my new business page. Where should I post my content?” “I want to tell my personal friends and family what’s happening with my business, but I don’t want to annoy them. What should I do?” “Do I really need two pages?”
The answer is:
(Don’t you hate that?)
There are some benefits to posting business content on your personal profile. One benefit is that in Facebook’s algorithm, personal messages are given priority over messaging that comes from a business page, even when a user has “liked” the page. Also, there is a sense of familiarity on your personal profile that is hard to achieve on most business pages. But keep these two things in mind: only people you have friended can view your personal profile (unless you have set your privacy settings another way). But, your business page is visible to everyone. A good metaphor is this: your personal profile is your house and your business page is your storefront.
So let’s see if we can figure this out!
Here are three examples of Facebook user types who own or are the face of a business. You may fit into one of these categories:
- The Walled GardenerYou keep your business and your personal life completely separate. Your friend list is comprised of childhood friends, close personal friends, and your family. Your posts are usually relatively personal so you don’t want your business fans to see them. If you’re a Walled Gardener you will keep business and personal content separate.
- You Love a Party and Everyone’s WelcomeFrom the beginning, you’ve mixed your personal friends and your business pals on your personal profile. Most of your personal friends and your family are fans of your business page. There are also a fair number of people who you know from business that have friended you and you’ve friended them back. Most of your friends are really interested in your business and they love finding out what you are up to. In this case you probably want everything that you post on your business page to also appear on your personal profile. There are a few relatively easy ways to do that, which I’ll cover in a separate blog post in a week or so.
- The Walled Gardener Who Now Wants To PartyMany of you probably fit into this category. You’ve been using Facebook for years to connect and engage with your friends and family. Your business page is relatively new. You’re excited about your business and want to share what you’re doing with your personal friends. But you don’t want your non-business friends to be annoyed by your business posts! What a conundrum!
Consider these three different approaches:
- Use a Different Tone: Publish posts on your personal page that inform your friends and family what you’re up to in your business, but make those posts less “market-y” than what you would publish on your business page.
- Test: Post everything on both pages and see what happens.
- Segment: Send friend requests to the business fans that you want to engage with more. This works best when you are the face of your business and have a very engaged community on your business page. Then segment all your new and current “Business Friends” into a separate list and choose which posts they will see. Warning: Send friend requests only to people with whom you’ve had numerous public conversations on your business page. Be respectful of your fans’ privacy and don’t spam them with requests.
For example, I have a list called “Business Friends.” When I want post an update on my personal page about my business that may totally confuse my other friends and my family members, I simply choose “Business Friends” in the drop down menu. Every status update window gives you the option to choose who can see your post.
Here’s how to segment your Facebook friends into lists on your personal profile:
I haven’t found a way to dump a ton of friends into one list or another, so f you have been collecting business friends on your personal profile for a while, this process will take a bit of time. (If anyone knows a workaround for this, let us all know!).
So the bottom line is this: each situation is a little bit different. You may be a Walled Gardener today but it’s possible that you’ll want to party later on. But, it’s much harder to become a Walled Gardener if you’ve been partying for a while! So think about your strategy and make your decision wisely so you won’t suffer from the dreaded Facebook Split Personality Disorder.
Are you a Walled Gardener or a partier? Or something entirely different? I want to hear from you!