By Janette Speyer and Eric Pangburn, Web Success Team
Many people that have online businesses have climbed aboard the Facebook bandwagon as a means to web success. Plus, you probably have several friends and family members on the network that you share messages and photos with on a regular basis. Facebook makes it remarkably easy for you to share a wide range of content from the these photos to videos, and even use specially written applications to communicate in unique and interesting ways. As you can imagine, this can be a tremendous business aid in your online marketing and social media marketing efforts.
Creating Your Personal and Business Profiles
Unfortunately, this convenient access also makes it easy for certain parts of your account to be seen by people you don’t really want them to see. One of the common challenges regarding Facebook usage is keeping your personal life separate from your business, and it is a concern facing more and more people who use the service for business.
Interestingly enough, it really isn’t all that hard to keep the various aspects of your personal and business lives separated on Facebook, and there are included features such as friends lists and privacy settings that allow you to manage your different Facebook personas more effectively.
The first step is to segregate your “friends” contacts into different lists. As you can see in the example above, you could create a custom group under which you could set up more specific groups. Of course there are many ways by which you can use the Facebook friends list, but one of its best features is the ability to label your contacts for ease in setting privacy options.
The Importance of Privacy Management
You may have two or more different Facebook friends lists (for business or personal use) depending on how extensively you use Facebook. You may have a list for people you don’t know personally for instance, and another for friends that you know in real life. You may also assign contacts to lists for work relationships or business contacts. As you can see, you can get very detailed about the different categories that you place your contacts in.
The purpose of all these different friends lists is to be able to set access levels for each of these groups easily. While you may want to create smaller and more focused lists for contacts that you plan to message or tag regularly, you are pretty much able to make your lists as large as you want for privacy settings.
Friends lists can be created right from the Friends page, or you could select names while setting up your privacy options. You first choose the feature that you want to restrict access to and select the “customize” option from the menu. You could enter the name of the individual or the friends list that you want to block, or you could type in multiple names, upon which you will be asked to create a list. The Privacy settings for each list can then be changed by clicking on the appropriate link on the upper right of the Facebook page.
The beauty of this business solution is that no one on any of your lists will be able to tell that you have made changes to your access settings. You don’t have to worry about any of your business contacts finding out that you have blocked them from certain parts of your account, nor will you have to worry about your personal details being seen by anyone other than the friends you select.
A Powerful Marketing Tool for Your Business
Another way to keep your business separate from your personal is by creating a Facebook Fan Page. The Fan Page is a powerful marketing tool that enables you to help build your business online. You can share your business and products with your customers and your fans, as well as post relevant links, news, updates and specials for your company. Once you get a fan base they will interact with your page and their comments and posts will be shared by their connections, giving you a very broad audience and a quick and easy way to market your services and products.
You may want to start by creating a page for your business so you can use this to promote and share your products and services. The graphics below illustrate how easy it is:
You may then want to create a Page Badge or a Page Feed to place on your website or your blog to further promote your services and capture a fan base. Below are sample Facebook fan page badges and feeds.
Facebook can be an effective business solution for your online social marketing needs. It is always advisable to keep your business separate from your private life. That is not to say you can’t personalize or humanize your business face for a more well rounded profile.
The Web Success Team
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