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Episode 1: Personal vs. Business Social Media Strategies

podcast Jun 25, 2019

Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated because you get more engagement on your personal social media profile than your business profile? This might make you wonder if you should just abandon your business profile and use your personal profile. You shouldn't and I'll explain why. 

You may also be wondering if it's ok to share business content over to your personal profile. YES, you should and I'll help you understand how to do this strategically. 

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Here is a full transcript of this episode. 

Hey, hey, you're listening to the very first episode of the DIY Marketing School Podcast. I'm your host and marketing coach, Melanie Diane Howe, and I am so ready to get this party started! Today, we're going to talk social media — personal versus business.

Well, hello there and welcome! I am so excited to kick off this brand new podcast of mine with these, you know, short and snippety, tip-style podcast episodes. And today's episode is perfect to kick things off. Because this is a question I get all the time. Anytime I do a presentation on social media, or I talk to people or I do like a Q&A, this question always comes up. And it is usually a pretty juicy topic. And basically, the question is, you know, “Should I use my personal page or my business page for my social media marketing?” Or, “Hey, is it okay for me to market my business using my personal social media accounts?” You know, or “How much is too much for me to talk about my business on my personal account versus my business account?” I mean, this question comes in many shapes and sizes, but it all boils down to the topic of personal versus business. 

So here's the deal, when you have a Facebook page for your business, you are absolutely going to struggle when it comes to organic reach. And organic reach is, of course, anybody seeing your posts without you putting money behind it. And so that is organic reach. Now, Facebook does this because of the algorithms, and they're trying to create a positive user experience. And we want that because ultimately we want to have a positive user experience ourselves. But we also want people to continue to use social media because it's a great way for us as businesses to reach them. So we don't want social media to go away. So we want the platforms to always be striving to make a positive user experience. But here's the deal, your personal page is, you know, for you to connect with personal connections. Your business page is intended for you to make business connections with, you know, your current customers, future customers, business relationships with other vendors, partners, community partners, prospective employees, it's your business page. I mean, it is what it is, right? Something that I need you to understand is that, you know, I think a lot of people fall into the trap where they, they see that, you know, getting engagement, getting comments, and getting people to interact with their content, as their business page is challenging. And they will go make a post, you know, or similar post on their personal profile, and all of a sudden, they're getting all these comments, and they're getting all these likes, and all this engagement. And they're just like, “What's the point? I mean, why not go ahead and just talk about my business and use my personal page to, you know, promote my services, or my products or whatever it might be?” I totally feel your pain, and I understand why you would feel this way. And it's a completely legitimate question and thought, but there's something that you need to know that I don't think very many people know — it's actually against Facebook's terms for you to use your personal profile as your business. It is. You can talk about your business and you can… there's a fine line — there's a thin line there — you can, you know, promote yourself, you can talk about things, but you are not supposed to use your personal profile as a business. And there are people that do this and they are noncompliant. And eventually Facebook will discover it, find it, and they will shut that profile down, they will do that. So, that's something I think people don't realize. But I just wanted to get that out of the gate, make sure everybody understands that it's actually against Facebook's rules. But here's what you can do. 

First, actually, let me back up really quick. I need you to understand why it's really critical and important that you maintain your content strategy on your business page, even though sometimes it feels like you're talking to nobody because nobody's commenting or your reach is low, or you're just not getting the engagement that you want. There's a couple of reasons why it's really important. One, when you have a business profile on Facebook or anywhere else, and people discover your business, they might hear about it through word of mouth, they might see somebody talk about it, maybe somebody asks for recommendations on Facebook, for example, and people tag your business page. If those new leads or new contacts come to your page, and it's empty, per se, like there's no activity there, it's going to feel like you're not really an active business. And it doesn't give anyone a way to kind of check you out. And people are going to want to check you out before they decide whether or not you're a good fit for them. And by them discovering this page and being able to look at the type of content and the things that you're putting out there, it gives them kind of a little bit of a way to stalk you or check you out without actually talking to you. And that's what people want to be able to do. And so if your page is empty because you've abandoned the efforts, because of the frustration of the algorithms and all that, you're not going to look like you're in business. So I want you to imagine, you know, your business page, it's your storefront. And if somebody were to walk up to your store, and the windows weren't clean, or the curtains were shut, the lights weren't on, there was really no labeling on the front door and they walked up it was like, “Man, the curbs dirty... is there anybody here?!” That's kind of how it's going to feel when they come to your business page if there's no content there. So that's one reason why you need to maintain a consistent content strategy and posting regular content and continuing to use this business page even if you feel like it's not really giving you a lot of traction. Now, there's a whole lot of reasons why you may not be getting the traction or the engagement you want. I am absolutely so excited to use this podcast as a way to continue to educate you, and teach you, and help you, and coach you so that you can improve your content so that you do get the engagement that you want. And we're going to cover all kinds of stuff in future episodes, for sure. But the other reason that we need to make sure we're using our business page is because when we use our business page and we create content, we can actually create ads, we can actually put money behind some of these posts, we can retarget things, and that is advertising. And you cannot do that on a personal page. And so if you're interacting, you know, all the time on your personal page, you might be, you know, creating relationships, and you might be having communication, but you're leaving an option off the table by not using your business page because of this opportunity for you to use ads. Now, whether or not you're using ads already, or whether or not you're thinking about using ads in the future is pointless for this because I want you to eventually mature to a place as a business where you can utilize some of these strategic advertising dollars in social media. You cannot do that with your personal page. And so again, it's really important that you're creating content, you're growing a following, you're growing an audience, and you're creating an image online as a business page do that these advertising dollars can go even further for you down the road. So that's another really important reason.

Now here is another reason why your business page is ideal to talk about your business. It's optimized for business, okay? On these business profiles, especially Facebook, by far, it is the most optimized for your business. There are places for information that's important for your business that does not exist on a personal page, okay? So somebody can, you know, let's say, they discover you, and you're in business, and they found your personal profile. They have got to click and dig around to even find the business that you own, and that is assuming that you're the owner of this business, or that you work for this business. And really, that's it! There's no other, there's no foot place for them to, you know, contact you, there's no email, there's no phone number, it's not optimized for business. So Facebook, for example, you can put in your business description, you can put in your location, your address, your hours, your website. You can even add these services. So if you go into your tabs in Facebook, you can add your services with pricing and everything with images… you cannot do that on a business page! So if you want to take it to the next level for your business, you've got to be on your business page and make sure that your profile is optimized. And what that means is that all of your information is there and complete. So, go into your page info, go into your tabs, make sure you're leveraging all this opportunity to add content and information about your business. And that is key. And so just keeping in mind that the business page is optimized for business. It's also optimized for business-oriented communication, transactions, and interactions.

Okay, so now, let's talk about a couple of things that you need to keep in mind or ways that you can, you know, leverage your personal profile with your business page, etc, etc. One, I want you to keep something in mind — you can share your business page content to your personal profile. And so what I mean by that is, you know, you can go do, like, let's say, for example, a Facebook Live on your business page. And then you can share that live video either while you're live, kicking it off, to your personal page and invite your personal connections to come check you out. Or, after you're done with your live video, you can take that live video and share it to your personal profile. Now, don't just share it without adding something to it. I want you to make sure that you type something into that, you know, status where you're sharing and just saying something like, “Hey, yesterday, I went live talked about x, y z… would love for you to check it out.” Or, you know, if you're doing it, “join me, I'm live right now talking about x, y, z.” You’ve got to have something in there… it drives me bonkers when people share stuff and they don't add, like, their own little, like, you know, two cents to what they're sharing and why. Give people a reason and help them understand what you're sharing and why you're sharing it. Now, you can do this with regular posts to. What I want to encourage you though, is I want you to use an 80/20 rule. And what this means is — your personal profile, if you're going to leverage it to share content from your business page to your personal page, then I want you to use this 80/20 rule. And what that means is, is you can really only share 20 percent of that business content. So your personal profile needs to be at least 80 percent, like, your own personal babies and puppies, and, you know, what you ate for dinner types of posts. And only 20 percent of that content (at the most) can be shared content or something around your business. Okay, meaning some sort of business post, maybe you're, you know, sharing and inviting people to like your page, whatever it might be, or sharing content, or even just talking about your business. This is really important for a couple reasons. Your personal profile is meant for personal connections, it's meant for your personal stuff. And if you just start promoting your business all the time by sharing content, all the sudden your personal connections are actually going to stop interacting with you and they will stop seeing your posts as well. Because the algorithms that are set in place for, you know, our reach with our business pages, they absolutely exist for our personal pages too. There's a reason why there's certain people that you're friends with on Facebook that you never see their content, because you never interact with it. So Facebook basically assumes you don't want to see it, and they stop showing it to you. And so this is key because if you're always promoting your business are always talking about your business, well, next thing you know, people are just going to be like, “Hey, so-and-so only talks about their business all the time.” If they want to follow your business like that, they're going to follow your business page. And that leads me to my next tip — don't be afraid to ask your personal connections, especially if they are like an ideal fit as a customer for you, to go like and follow your business page. So, you know, if somebody interacts with you, or asks you a question or, you know, they comment on when you share one of these posts, and they comment, send them a DM and just say, “Hey, I noticed that you, you know, enjoyed the live video I shared, I would really love it if you could like and subscribe to my business page. That way, you know, you don't miss other content, because I don't share all of my business content to my personal page. So, you know, it'd be great if you would like and follow that page. That way you don't miss a beat.” So you know, there's different ways you can spend this, of course. I would not do this with, like, everyone you know. So one of the things that I see that businesses also do is they'll create a business page. And then they will literally invite every single one of their personal connections to like the page... like, they say, invite all friends, or whatever. Don't do that. Take the time, make the effort to methodically think about who you are inviting. If you're just inviting everybody, then you're going for what's called vanity metrics. You're just trying to get a bunch of likes. Yes, it's good... I'm a firm believer in a good amount of likes because it makes you look legit as a business, especially as new, and when people are new coming to you, and you have a good amount of likes, it just calls attention. However, what I don't want you to do is focus on vanity metrics because next thing you know, you're going to have, 1,000, you know, likes, but your engagement is going to be terrible because 95 percent of those people actually are not even potential customers for you. And so they're not going to interact with you. And that is not going to help your scores and your algorithm metrics behind the scenes stuff as well. So you've got to keep that in mind, too. But I want you to be methodical about inviting people to like your page. And I want you to be you be, you know, personal about it. So send them a DM, send them a private message, notate why you're inviting them, why you think they'd find it valuable, and why you would appreciate it. And keep it simple. This is going to take time, this is a slow kind of methodology, a slow approach, because, you know, you can't just sit... I mean, you could just sit down and do this, like, in a day probably. But do it over time! Like as people engage with you and as people, you know, show their personal interest in your business, then go ahead and invite them. Pay attention to who's liking your page and invite the ones that haven't liked it yet. 

Another quick tip, when you share this content like this, from your business page to your personal page, is you are going to get interactions on your content — your business content — from people who have not liked your page yet. So it is true that Facebook, you know, for the most part, shows, you know, the people that have liked your page, they're going to be the top priority as far as whether they see your content in their newsfeed. But Facebook will also show your content in other ways to people who haven't liked your page. They're obviously going to see it if you're sharing it to your personal page. So again, you're taking that, let's say that Facebook Live post, you're sharing it over to your personal page. Now, you have, you know, 10 people that are personally connected to you that are liking this Facebook Live, but they have not necessarily liked your business page yet. Facebook has this really great tool where you can see it, it's actually when you click on the little likes, it's going to show you a list of the people who have liked that post. And there's going to be a button, that's going to say “liked” or it's going to say “invite”. And if it says “liked,” they've already liked your business page. But if it says “invite,” it means they have not yet. You are going to click that button. Click that button every time! So every post, I want you to be paying attention to this. And if you have the opportunity to invite these people to like your page, I want you to do that. This is another way to kind of subtly invite that person to like your business page. And again, that's just going to help your business. It's going to make you feel better, it's going to help more people see your stuff. And again, you need to prioritize all of your business content on your business page. It's okay for you to every once in a while, share some business content over to your personal page. But for the most part, all of your business-oriented content, the helpful content you're putting out there, anything that you're offering needs to be on your business page for all those reasons I gave.

Which, let's do a quick recap. OK, so the number one reason why we need to use our business profiles for our business content: because it's actually against the rules to use your personal profile, especially on Facebook, as your business. You cannot use a personal profile, you're not supposed to really use your personal profile to be marketing your business. Now, if you've got a business page, they're going to let you talk about your business and kind of use your personal page. But for the most part, it's actually against Facebook's rules. So that's the number one reason that we have to be using a Facebook business page to put content out there. Second reason, huge, huge, huge, huge reason is that on your business page, you can create ads and you can do retargeting. So if somebody watches your live video, you can go create an ad and retarget those people. You can even retarget as much as to say, anyone who watched past the first 30 seconds, I want to present this ad to them. This allows you to be more strategic with your advertising dollars. So when you're using your business page, and you're putting content on your business page, you are able to actually, I mean, you can create these advertising audiences based on who's interacting with your page, who's looking at your stuff, who's watching your videos. If you're not creating content on a business page, then when you go create a random ad, it's not going to work as well. It's just not. And so also, by having this content out there, you're able to see what content is working, which is going to help you be more strategic when you're ready to create ads on social media, whether it be boosted posts, actual ads, retargeting ads… there's a million different ways to do it. Literally. If you're not using your business page, you just cannot be as strategic. And so that's a huge reason. So, one of the biggest mistakes I see is that people will do Facebook Lives on their personal page to talk about something business oriented, but they are now unable to use that Facebook Live as an actual ad or a strategic, you know, retargeting advertisement on social media. So, if you're using it on your business, you can do that. The third reason is that your business page, your business pages are truly optimized for business. So they have areas, they have places for you to add information that's very, very important — information about your business, for your business that people need to know so that they can interact and understand more about your business. You cannot do this on a personal profile. So your business pages are truly optimized for business info and business interaction. And so that is the third reason why we've got to continue to use these business pages even when it feels like we're getting nowhere. You just have to stay the course, you've got to find the way be strategic. It's all in your content. We are going to talk about content so much on this podcast. I promise you, it's one of my favorite things to talk, is how you can be strategic to create content that works that creates engagement, and creates people that will like, know, and trust you and continue to follow you and eventually hopefully become a customer.

Well, there you have it, my friends. That is episode number one. But up next, let's talk about how often you should be posting to social media. This is a question I also get all the time. And I'm going to dive deep in the next episode. But hey, really quick before we do that, if you found this episode helpful, and you're somebody who wants to do more with their marketing, you want to learn marketing, you feel kind of overwhelmed because it's a lot and it's always changing... You don't have a huge budget to outsource it or hire somebody to do it for you, you are what I call a DIY marketer — you need to do it yourself. You're learning yourself, you're researching, you're always trying to learn the best new tricks and the best ways. If that sounds like you, then I want you to subscribe to this podcast because I am your teacher. I'm your guide. I have gone through this journey before. I am a DIY marketer myself. And I love helping to break down the concepts for people like you who really just can't handle all the crazy complexities and all the fancy-schmancy stuff. But you definitely want to utilize the power of social media and digital marketing in your business to grow and to thrive and to take things to the next level. I am your girl. If that sounds at all exciting or enticing to you, then please subscribe to this podcast because we are going to have so much fun and there's so much more to come.


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