There’s no denying it. Facebook has become a part of life. Whether you’re a business owner, a student, or a recreational user, there is a good chance that part of your identity is displayed over Facebook. This social media platform has truly become a one-stop shop for your persona! But what do you do when your personal profile also becomes your professional outlet?
More than 40 community members visited Minnesota School of Business to learn how to use Facebook to boost their online presence. The Blaine campus welcomed the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce and speaker, Mary “Bumblebee” Pokluda of Bumblebee Personal Assistants, for the second of a series of three Foundations of Social Media trainings.
Pokluda shared nine helpful hints to use Facebook for both business and pleasure, without tarnishing your personal or professional brand:
1. Don’t discuss politics, religion, sports, or weather. The best way to avoid getting into a heated, controversial discussion over Facebook is to avoid those types of topics. Especially when connecting with individuals professionally, chances are good that you have connections with different beliefs than you. Keep your page neutral to avoid unintentionally offending others or creating friction on your page.
2. Set a timer to designate a set amount of time to spend on Facebook. We all know how much time Facebook can suck out of our day. The best way to effectively use Facebook purposefully is to limit the time you spend. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and make that time count.
3. If you’re a business owner, complete your company profile. If you don’t have your e-mail, phone, address, etc., how would your connections contact you and/or refer you to others for business? Pokluda cautions that they most likely wouldn’t do too much digging, but would go to the next business that does have the information filled out.
4. Don’t oversaturate the news feed. While posting every hour or two on Twitter is recommended, on Facebook, posting that frequently tends to annoy your fans or friends. So, posting once or twice a day on Facebook is ideal.
5. Don’t use Twitter language on Facebook. If you’re familiar with Twitter language, you know that hashtags are used to categorize tweets by keywords. Currently, Facebook doesn’t recognize hashtags (rumor has it, this might change). Some still use hashtags on Facebook, but they’re not click-able. So to most effectively connect to your Facebook audience, ditch the hashtags–at least for now!
6. Clean up posts – people are more likely to click on a link on your page if it’s short, to the point, and has an eye-catching description. For example, if you put a link into your Facebook status, a new link will pop up below with the title of the page you’re linking to and many times an image from the page. You can then delete the link that you’ve posted in the box, because your new link is now below the text box. In the box, you can put a short teaser related to the link to lure clicks. In addition, in the new link that has popped up, there is usually a long description in the box below. You can also delete the long description and put a short description in. Just some simple ways to clean up your page!
7. If your business sponsors an event, promote that event on your Facebook page. Chances are, on their event page they’ve included your logo and possibly information about your company. Promoting their event on your page not only may draw more traffic to the event, but the event organizers may be more likely to help you by promoting your events!
8. Control comments without deleting them – When someone posts something negative on your page, especially on your business page, do not delete the comment. The best thing to do is handle the conflict on your page. Or respond to the conflict, letting the individual know you will be following up with them privately to discuss their concerns. Deleting negative comments reflects poorly on your business to those that have seen the comment, and also to the poster of the comment.
9. Do not post emotionally – On the other side of the previous tip, control the comments that you post. Instead of responding to something when you’re heated, take a day to reflect and consider an appropriate response. Or if you have a negative experience with a business, instead of posting emotionally on their page, the best thing to do is to handle conflicts off of Facebook.
The third of the Foundations of Social Media Series will occur on April 16, and will cover Twitter.
“We are so pleased to offer this social media programming series,” said Lori Higgins, Metro North Chamber of Commerce president. “It meshes perfectly with our mission to provide education opportunities to our members to help them grow their business.”