When I started to write this post, I began with with all the stats and numbers to support the idea that you should be using Facebook for your business. It was turning into a big proof for Facebook rather than a backdrop for what I want to say, so I’m going to start from the assumption that you already know all the benefits of using Facebook for your business. I wanted to write this post because I’m amazed at how often I hear people in heated arguments over the one right way to use Facebook for business. I’ve heard everything from use only a business page (what used to be called a fan page) to use only your profile and everything in between. The truth is, like may business issues, there isn’t one right answer and the best choices depend on the situation, the individual and the desired outcome of using Facebook for your business.
I’ve seen people get great results using only their profile for business. The two broad categories would be people that only use their profile for business and don’t do any personal interacting on Facebook and people whose business is so closely tied to themselves, their lifestyle, values and personality that their business is indistinct from the person.
I’ve also seen great results from people making full use of a business page. This is pretty much what I do. When I first got onto Facebook, it was before it was used much for business so I made all sorts of personal connections there. Since I focus on a small niche, my work isn’t relevant to most of my friends so I don’t post it on my profile. Similarly, my business community probably wouldn’t find the mundane details of my life interesting. Those people are part of my business contacts because they trust me to bring them valuable business information, not because they care about the killer parking spot I just found.
Then of course, there are myriad ways to use both your page and profile to promote your business. Some people are very comfortable mixing both.
The bottom line is, Facebook is a great free resource to get the word out about your solopreneur business in a forum where people already are. The important point here is that there is no one right way to promote your business on Facebook except that which fits you best. I would avoid the extremes though – don’t post too much information about your work to your personal connections if it doesn’t apply to them, and don’t inundate your business community with mundane details of your personal life if it’s not interesting to them. Above all, don’t make your Facebook strategy choice based on someone else’s advice unless that person is a trusted advisor with a proven track record.