Facebook seems to have a Love/Hate thing with business. On the one hand, they rely on businesses to generate revenue for the company. But on the other hand, they sometimes seem to make things as difficult as possible for business owners. Case in point: the new profile changes. While Facebook has long said that profiles are not for conducting business, we have still been able to provide a description of ourselves (and our businesses) as well as provide links on our main profile page. We could add tabs to our LinkedIn profile, a newsletter sign-up form, etc. Not anymore.
With its latest change, Facebook has removed all but one way to promote your business on your main Profile page. Everything else is hidden behind the Info link, which must be clicked (and your links are way down at the bottom of that info page.)
So what is a business owner to do? How do you keep your business front and center on your Profile, which is your best online access to your warm market? Here are some tips:
Your Profile Description
The first thing Facebook lists at the top of your Profile is your business. (Weird, right, when they give us such a hard time about business?)
This is your best (and only) opportunity to list your business on the main page of your Profile. So think about what you can list here that will make it most likely for people to want to check out more. Is it your blog? Then list your business as your blog address (you can’t use http:// You can only list the rest of the URL…for example JenFongSpeaks.com.)
Your other option is to list the name of your company. Be sure to list it EXACTLY as it is spelled. Then you will be linked to the community page that Facebook creates for your company. (Companies…be sure you claim your community page so no one else can speak for you. There is a link on your company’s community page that you can use to claim it.)
For your position, be sure to use “independent” in your title, so people know you are not a corporate representative. So for example, “Independent Gift Consultant.”
Great, you say. But where do I change that? Take a look at the end of the line that lists your information on the top of your profile. You’ll see a link that says Edit Profile. Go ahead and click that.
This will bring you to a screen where you can edit all the information Facebook has about you. Click the Education and Work link on the left to come to the screen below. (By the way, you can also access this screen by clicking the Info link below your profile photo, and then clicking the Edit link on the right.)
See the field labeled Employer? You can type the name of your company (or website) in here. Remember that you can’t use http:// if you type the name of a website. If your company doesn’t already have a community page within Facebook, you’ll be prompted to add your company. Otherwise, you can just select your company from the list that appears.
ADDED COMMENT: Check with your company before adding a community page for your brand. Your company may prefer to do this themselves. A million different community pages would NOT be a good thing for your company. Let your company centralize the effort! ~JF
After selecting your company name, you can add your position on the screen below:
The fields you want to fill in are Position and Description. You can also click the box that says “I currently work here.” Your Position is your title with your company, and in the Description, include an “I help…” statement, such as, “I help busy moms get a healthy dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Learn more at http://mycompany.com/mysite.” While this statement will only appear on your info tab, it’s worth including.
Then click Add Job.
Your position and company should appear at the top of your profile.
Now I need to tell you I had to monkey around with this a bit to get the RIGHT position to appear. Since I currently have my own business, and also work with Luce & Associates, but I wanted my website to appear as the employer, I wound up having to remove Luce & Associates entirely. Not sure why, but that’s Facebook for you.
Your Website Links
Now you should also have your links available on Facebook, even though they can only be viewed on the Info tab now. (By the way, if you’ve got a lot of extraneous stuff in your Profile (interests, etc.) now may be the time to remove them, so that page is as short as possible. )
Be sure to click Save Changes when you’re done.
It appears as though Facebook needs to update its Privacy Settings, now that it has added your career to the mix. It doesn’t appear that you can set your work to “Everyone,” which means that people have to be friends with you in order to see your Employer/Position. (You get to the screen below by selecting Account (upper-right of your screen)/Privacy Settings/Customize Settings link (blue link above “Block Lists” icon).
Be sure that your Website is set to Everyone. The information you used to have in your info box is now contained in your Bio, so you may want to have Bio and favorite quotations set to Everyone as well. You can click the Preview My Profile button on the top-right of this screen to see how your profile looks to others.
So now that Facebook is making it more difficult for us to interact with our warm market through our Profile, it may be a good time for you to consider setting up that Facebook Page (at least after the last shipping day your company has before Christmas.) But in the meantime, these tips should help you create the best visibility possible for your business through your Profile.
Have you found other ways to add your business to your Profile? What do you think of the change to Facebook Profiles? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.