Make Facebook about business, not you

McClatchy NewspapersJune 7, 2009 

— Pop quiz: what's wrong with this e-mail?

SUBJECT: Niala Boodhoo suggested you become a fan of Niala Boodhoo.

BODY: Niala became a fan of Niala Boodhoo on Facebook and suggested you become a fan, too.

OK, so this isn't an actual e-mail, but we got something similar to this recently, which sparked today's column: how to properly promote your business on Facebook.

The biggest problem with the e-mail: You shouldn't create a fan page for yourself unless you're a celebrity. If you're a business, the fan page should be about your company, not you -- even if you're the only employee.

No. 2: When you suggest that others become a fan, you should be aware that the suggestion comes from the person who created the fan page. That's not a problem if you, as a business owner, have created the page. For example, if Bridget created a Facebook fan page about our column, it would read: Bridget suggested you become a fan of Poked.

But when you make it all about yourself, it just looks pompous.

So here are a few tips to make a fan page on Facebook for your company:

First, use Facebook for yourself before you use it for your company. You should understand how it works before you promote your business.

Second, make sure the entire page is filled out correctly. Have someone else read it through to check for typos, grammar and punctuation. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than a fan page with errors.

Finally, it's important to know your fan base and how many messages they can tolerate. We're guessing that you send more messages than they care to read, so remember that you risk alienating people when you send too many.

A way to achieve good balance on communication is to mix up the style. Don't always send messages. Do a status update or post a note or link on the fan page's wall. That way, your messages show up on a fan's News Feed.

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