Facebook personal profiles are not for business use. With that said, plenty of people use their personal profiles to interact with their target audience through sharing blog posts, industry news, and events. So today, we’re going to look at how to set up your personal profile for marketing and eight things you can do with your personal profile that can’t be done with Facebook business pages.
Before we begin, there are a few things that you will want to do before using your personal profile for marketing, in terms of privacy and making sure the right information is displayed on your profile.
Keeping Personal and Public Facebook Content Separate
One of the top concerns you might have about mixing your marketing messages with your personal profile is keeping your personal things personal. You can keep everything separate by turning on the allow subscribers setting. To do so, go to your Account Settings > Subscribers.
The benefit of allowing people to subscribe to your profile is that they can see your public status updates without actually connecting as a friend. Just check your privacy settings on anything that you want to share with friends only like your photo albums.
Or your status updates.
You can also configure more settings under your Privacy Settings menu, such as who can post on your Timeline or tag you.
Last but not least, you can edit your Timeline About Info (this link only works when you are logged in to Facebook).
This way, you can keep your personal about information private. I would suggest keeping things like your website listings public so people can always get to your business, blog, or other websites.
Key Areas to Update Before Going Public
After you have edited your privacy settings, there are a few things you will want to make sure you have set up on your personal profile before you start using it for marketing. These things include the following.
Your Timeline Cover Photo
Just like your business page should have an awesome Timeline cover photo, your personal profile should as well. Your personal profile’s cover photo should be just that – a little more personal or professional, but not dedicated to advertising your business. A great example is KISSmetric’s own, Neil Patel’s cover photo.
It’s a great example of showing personality and professionalism all in one go. Just be sure that your cover photo is a reflection of you!
Your Current Employer
Why is your current employer important? Because your current job title and employer is the first thing listed under your profile photo.
When set up correctly, people that hover over or click on the link to your employer will go to your employer’s fan page.
To get this to work, make sure you select the correct fan page for your employment from the dropdown when adding it as a place you have worked.
Then make sure that the fan page you want on the front of your Timeline is listed as the most recent and current job.
And, of course, make sure your Work and Education section is publicly viewable.
As mentioned earlier, make sure you have listed your main websites (blog, business, other social profiles, etc.) in your Contact Info and make sure it is publicly viewable.
If you are an admin of any Facebook pages, you can list them on your personal profile. Click on the Edit button to make sure only the ones you want showing on your profile are.
Your Status Updates
As a part of your ongoing marketing effort on your personal profile, you should be sure to keep updating your profile with great updates by sharing questions, photos, videos, and links that your target audience will find interesting. Make sure to mix in some personal updates that everyone can see so they can get to know you as more than just a marketer – help everyone get to know you as a person!
In order to spread your message to your friends, you need to have friends! You can start by going to Facebook’s Friend Finder page (this link only works when you are logged in to Facebook). Here, you can search your email or Skype for contacts that are on Facebook.
Beneath that area, you can look at the People You May Know section to see people who you have mutual friends in common with. Or you can use the Find Friends Browser (this link only works when you are logged in to Facebook) to filter people you may know by location, school, or employer.
To make sure you get more friend requests and subscribers, be sure to share your personal profile link publicly on your website, blog, forums, and other social profiles like Google+.
What You Can Do with Your Personal Profile
Now that your profile is all set, here are nine things you can do with your personal profile on Facebook that you can’t do with your business page.
1. Wish Friends a Happy Birthday
Want to make a really personal connection with your audience in just a few minutes a day? Go to your Facebook news feed and see who has a birthday. Then simply wish them a happy birthday right from your news feed. You don’t have to go from profile to profile which makes it a fast and easy way to let someone know you thought about them! Just personalize your happy birthday wish with the person’s first name and you’re set!
Why is this an important thing to do? EdgeRank of course. Chances are, the person will like your happy birthday wish and/or comment back. This means that they have interacted with you, and that makes it more likely that you will show up in their news feed.
2. Send Private Messages
Although Facebook has opened the door to allowing business pages to receive private messages, they still can’t send them unless it is a reply to one they have received. With your personal profile, you can send private messages to one or more friends at a time. Just because you can send messages to multiple people at once doesn’t mean you should though. Individual, personalized messages go a long way.
3. Segment Friend Lists for Targeted Messaging
When it comes to posting updates on your Facebook business page, you can either send your update publicly or target it to people in a specific location.
On your personal profile, you have a lot more options. You can target your status updates to particular people or people on a friends list.
This gives the Facebook personal profile functionality similar to the Google+ profile where you can send status updates to particular circles. To send a status update to multiple lists and people at a time, just select the Custom option. Change the dropdown to Specific People or Lists and then start typing in the lists / names.
The key to being able to do this effectively is making sure that your friends are segmented properly. This means that you need to create your friends lists early on and continue to maintain them as you add new friends to your personal profile. This way you can send personal status updates to just your personal connections, and send business updates to everyone else.
Also keep in mind that if you have your profile open to subscribers, anything that is sent to a specific friend list is not visible to your subscribers. Subscribers can only view publicly shared content.
4. Influence Bing CTR
Sure, more people use Google than Bing. But for those that do use Bing and have their search results personalized based on their Facebook connections, they will see search results with your name next to them when you like those links.
This can greatly help increase click through rates as people are more likely inclined to choose something endorsed by someone they know vs. an unknown search result.
5. Participate in Groups
While many groups on Facebook are polluted by spam, there are some good ones.
Finding groups within your industry and participating in them is a great way to gain exposure for brand, and you can only participate in Facebook groups through your personal profile.
6. Subscribe to & Comment on Personal Profiles
Want to get your name in front of someone specific, but don’t know them well enough? Why not subscribe to their personal profile (if available) and start engaging on their public updates (if allowed).
This can be a great way to start a conversation with someone in your target audience without having to request their friendship. And it is something you can’t do with your Facebook page.
7. Create Interest Lists
Interest lists are like Twitter lists for Facebook. It allows you to compile people and pages together so that you can easily follow their public status updates. The best part is, when you create them, they are shared publicly for others to subscribe to.
This means that you can create an awesome list, add yourself AND your business page (if they cover the same topics), and have the change to be followed by lots of subscribers. To create an Interest list, go to the Add Interests page (this link only works when you are logged in to Facebook). Then click the Create List button.
Once compiled, be sure to share it with your friends so it starts building up subscribers. The more you have, the more likely you will be suggested!
8. Suggest Your Page to Friends
If you have lots of friends on Facebook, but not lots of fans on your business page, you can suggest your business page to them. Go to your Facebook page’s Admin Panel > Build Audience > Invite Friends.
You can filter your friends by location, friend list, or use the search box to find specific friends to invite to your page. Your invitation will show up in their notifications where they can’t miss it!
What You Can’t Do with Your Personal Profile
Facebook is a stickler for rules, so be sure to reference this page about receiving warnings from Facebook. It includes a lot of helpful information about how not to get your personal profile banned from Facebook. Also don’t miss Facebook’s Community Standards and Terms.
Do you use your personal Facebook profile as a part of your marketing strategy? What other things do you do with it that you can’t (or wish you could) with your Facebook page?
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.