Separate Business and Personal Social Media
In order to run a Facebook business page, you need to have a personal one. This means that those who begin following your page can easily find you, and find out everything about you that you have chosen to keep public - even that picture of Michael Weatherly brushing his teeth you shared publicly ten years ago pops to the top of the list (make sure you check your profile share settings, you’d be surprised what might still be public).
With starting a new business, creating social media pages is a strong step in building an audience and finding customers, especially in your local community. It’s kind of a paradox to think that the internet can get you closer to the people within walking distance of you, but it’s true.
It can be difficult to keep both your personal and business profiles distinct and separate. Sometimes it can be easy to share everything on both profiles.
If you find yourself falling prey to the profile blender, read on for our tips on keeping your profiles distinguishable.
Keep your personal and business “friends” separate
Creating a Facebook business page can be one of those defining moments when you know your serious about beginning a business venture. Many of your first customers are already your friends on Facebook, which is great, but soon you’ll begin bringing in new customers who will start liking your page. If your customers begin sending you friend requests on your personal Facebook, it doesn’t mean that you need to accept them. Let them know that you’d prefer keeping both separate and to follow your business page instead. If it’s your own Instagram page that your customers are beginning to follow, you should take my second tip into consideration.
Keep your personal private and your business strictly business
Especially with Instagram and Twitter, unless their profile is private (which happens less often than Facebook), it’s simple to follow anyone without the need to request to follow. With a business profile, it’s important to stay public (your business page, not your personal one) so that your customers can find you. Everything you post should be oriented with your business values, motives, and goals in mind. You don’t need to share the things that are happening at home, because that should be saved for your personal page. Unless, of course, it’s something exceptionally amazing. If you’re running a business and a 10k marathon, that’s something you’ve got to share! On the flip side, don’t share all of your business content on your private page. Chances are your friends are already supporting you, so they’ll be seeing your post twice. If they want to see news and promotions from your business, they’ll follow your business page.
Keep separate handles to avoid confusion, and stay consistent
Try and keep your personal and business handles distinct. You don’t want someone confusing your pages. If you want to make it as easy as possible, have your business handle include your business name, and your personal handle include your actual name. If your name is your business, such as “Caitlynn’s Delivery Service,” try using @caitlynnsdelivery and @caitlynnsmith. It’s also a good idea to add “personal page” in your bio and something about your business in your other to keep them distinguishable. And, if you’re going to use @caitlynnsdelivery on Instagram, use the same on Twitter, etc. so that your audience can find you everywhere.
Keep an eye on who can see what you post and “like”
If you choose to keep your Facebook profile open and allow customers, clients, and business acquaintances to become “friends” on one profile, be sure to take some settings into consideration. Before sharing a meme or other article, think about who you want to see it. You should separate your followers into different “groups” from which you can choose who can see what you post. This means that you can share the post with the people you want to see and not with others. When you “like” a meme or post from someone else, many of your followers will see it on their Newsfeed. Be sure before you click that thumbs up, take a peek at the privacy settings of the post and who can see it. If it says “public” or “friends of friends” that means when you like it, your friends will know.
If you’re following your personal friends from your business page (we recommend to not do this unless they have their own business), be careful what you “like” of their posts, especially if some of them could be controversial or conflict with your business’ values. Viewers can easily see your handle name on an image you’ve liked, link back to your profile, and instantly correlate those likes with your business. This could be positive if you’re liking the right stuff - not so good if you’re not. Better yet, be careful what you “like” from your personal page as well. There’s always a way of tracking everything back to you. You’re a business person now, which means your business’ perception will and should always be on your mind.
Kimberley Falk - Multimedia Writer