Small business owners are quickly becoming savvy to the power of social media and how it can elevate their business. Understanding how to create a company page on Facebook is great, and a fantastic first step in getting more exposure for your business and your brand. But what if YOU are a brand yourself, or hope to be one someday? There are several reasons why small business owners might want to set up a public figure Facebook page.

Facebook profile vs. Facebook page

Facebook actually offers quite a few different types of pages and profiles. Of course, the most common one is a personal Facebook page; actually this is considered a profile.  A Facebook profile is a personal account on Facebook. When you sign up for Facebook you get a profile. This is a place where you can add friends and family members, communicate on a personal level, and share photos, videos, and life updates. Everyone who joins Facebook gets a profile, and you can only ever have one under your name.

A Facebook page is more like a commercial or business account. These pages allow you to advertise your business. A common mistake a lot of small business owners make is using their personal profile to advertise their business, which is in direct violation of Facebook’s policy. Business owners should create a company page and keep business and personal separate.

Facebook pagesThe different types of Facebook pages

Once a business decides to create a page, there are still a few choices to make. There are several types of Facebook pages, each serving a specific purpose. They include:

  • Local Business or Place.
  • Company Organization or Institution.
  • Brand or Product.
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure.
  • Entertainment.
  • Cause or Community.

A local page is for a bricks and mortar location, a physical location that people can visit. If you have an online business or store then ‘Company Organization or Institution’, or ‘Brand or Product’ may be a better match for you. Once you choose a type, you’ll need to choose a category that your company falls into. Make sure you choose both the category and subcategory that are most relevant for your page. This will vary depending on the type of page you choose.

You vs. your company as a brand

Here’s where you may want to stop and think about if you want to take the extra step to create a page (not profile!) for YOU. If you, as a small business owner, have a strong public presence, you may want to create a Facebook public figure page. This is the place where you can share information about yourself with the business world. it is accessible to search engines so you personally can be found online. On this page, people can come and show that they support you by clicking on the “Like” button.  This would be completely separate from your company page where you share news, insights and information about your company. On a company page, it’s all about the company and the news they share. On a public figure Facebook page, it’s about the person; the professional person. You could liken a Facebook public figure page to a LinkedIn profile.

You as a public figure

Why would a business owner go through the trouble of maintaining yet another social media channel, especially if they’re working hard to build and promote their company? Here are a few common scenarios where it makes sense to have a public figure page in addition to a company page:

  • The business owner speaks frequently and is known as a thought leader in the industry
  • The owner is looking to build a brand separate from the company
  • The owner is looking to sell the company and wants to retain a brand of themselves
  • The owner is looking to make a career as a public speaker, book author, etc. where the personal brand adds value
  • The owner is looking to step down from a leadership role in the company as new owners or leadership team take over
  • An employee is a company is looking to build their personal branding outside of the company they’re employed with

How a company page and public figure page support one another

If you decide that a public figure Facebook page makes sense for you, make sure that the two pages don’t conflict, or that neither one languishes. Remember, the company page is for company news, but you as the business owner can and should still be highlighted on that page. For your public profile page, it’s all about you: your expertise, your speaking engagements, your book, etc. It’s about building your brand, though an occasional shout out to your company (whether you’re the owner or not) always helps.

As a small business owner, you should always be looking at what the future holds for you. When you sell the company, is that it, or are you perhaps looking to follow that up with a career in speaking, or perhaps writing a book? If you want your personal brand to stand apart from your company, it makes sense to invest in a public figure Facebook page now. Work with a small business marketing professional to insure you set your page up correctly and grow your audience and your brand!

Patty Hughes
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