Well if you ask me, I say both. Both has their advantages to getting your business out there, as long as their done right.
How do I do it right? Well, first and foremost, I am not an “expert” when it comes to Social Media. I don’t have an online marketing degree or an MBA. I have, however, had a lot of experience in the subject. I have used it personally and professionally for almost 5 years now. My ideas and practices have been both commended and copied on a large scale. That being said, there is no exact science to Social Media. What is “in” today, might stay in the day and tomorrow will bring something new. Everybody has their own opinion and system and what works for them. This is what has worked for me.
A friend profile. Put your Social Media Manager, Community Manager, Customer Relations Manager or all of the above here. Have them create a separate profile from their personal profile. Use their name and put the business name as the alternate name. They must use this regularly but professionally. No complaining, no cursing, no ranting, no raving. Act in the same professional manner as you would or should in your store.
Use this profile to network. Other people in the industry, friends, family (just remind them this is the professional profile, so no “tagged” pictures of drunken nights or things of that nature). co-workers, affiliates, customers, & potential customers in the area of your business.
You are now “humanizing” your business. You are putting a face and a name in front of all of these people. You are giving them someone to identify with. These profiles can be used to create personal relationships with your customers and potential customers. You will be able to wish them and their family Happy Birthday. You will be able to congratulate them on their child’s graduation or sports team win. You will be able to find out there likes and dislikes. How great would it be when John Client or Suzie Customer walks in the door and you recognize them by face and know their name. How much more of a WOW factor would it be if you knew some of their likes or dislikes and can strike a conversation based on that? A favorite sports team, an important recent event in their life, etc …
Just please, please remember, while it is ok to have “fun”, keep it professional & positive! You have now become the online face of the business!
The business page will be the “Fan” page or “Like” page. Here is where you will interact with fans. These are customers, potential customers, employees and affiliates that chose to follow your business directly. These people did so, so that they may stay up to date with your business, receive special discounts and coupons, receive relevant information and more. Here is where the business becomes a business again. While you can add to the “humanizing” of the business, people are here for the aforementioned reasons. Conversation and engagement are key to put your business name out there, because keeping them there is important!
A Facebook Business page has many benefits. Unlimited amount of fans, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Statistics and Analytics (Facebook Insights) and more!
This is what I would recommend being the best practices for businesses regarding this topic. Now you may feel differently, you may agree. You may have felt differently and now have changed your mind. You may have not even had an opinion or any idea on what to do. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments!
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