I received yet another request from a business on Facebook to be a friend. Here are six reasons why I don't recommend businesses use personal profiles on Facebook to market themselves.
- It's against the Facebook terms of service and if someone complains or Facebook decides to enforce their rules, all your work will be for naught.
- There is a limit to how many friends you can have (5000) for both personal profiles and groups. There is no limit to how many can "like" your business. What happens when you hit your limit? (Think WHEN, not IF.)
- You can't message all your friends at once. You can contact everyone who likes your page in one fell swoop. This makes communication much easier.
- Facebook pages for businesses can be customized through the FBML application. Profile pages and GROUP pages can't be. For a business trying to put its best face forward, this is important.
- Pages also give you demographic information as well as usage information. Profiles and groups don't. If you're going to put effort into your Facebook marketing, shouldn't you have some ability to measure how you're doing? If so, then a Page is definitely for you. If you're a Google Analytics user, you can add tracking code to your main marketing page. You can't track the wall of your page - only the FBML page you've created - but it's better than what Facebook provides.
Marketers know that measuring results is vital. How do you know if you're succeeding otherwise? Pages give you the ability to directly market and measure. If you have a personal profile AND a business page, you'll be able to reach people in two different ways on Facebook and it's the combination that in my opinion provides the best value for marketers.
Happy Marketing Monday!