There are advantages and disadvantages to the different strategies for using what type of profiles you want to use for your social media strategy.When you are creating a social media strategy for the first time. There is often a discussion on where you need to have your profiles and what type of Profiles you need. Should you create a personal profile for your Facebook page or a business page? There is advice that is given and logic that can be flawed when coming to a decision. That can seem sweet idea at the start but suddenly turn very sour.

What are the key points that you should look at? The biggest one is the terms of service (TOS). This often lays out what you are able and not able to do one their site. For example Facebooks Real name policy they also will

Facebook

Facebook is picky. I think most people who try to use Facebook for commercial reasons will find that out. Whether you are trying to get an ad set up or you are just trying to get that cover image to be in just the right place. Facebook is very particular about how their platform is used. The big one that many companies don’t realize is that Facebook has a real name policy. That means they don’t want fake names on their profiles. Facebook doesn’t like anonymity. They don’t like people to be trolls and since most trolls like to hide behind fake names Facebook has setup the Real name policy.

That means your profile can be shut down if you have an unusual name.  Many people have had this problem. It is typically people of who have legally changed to their names to something very odd. It is then upon you to prove that your name is real and then if the name is really far out there then you may still not get it turned back on.

There are times that Facebook will also get a report on your profile and they will ask you to verify who you are. And to do this you have to send in a copy of your driver’s license if name and birthday don’t match then guess what is shut down. This particular bit of trouble can be created by an angry customer or an unscrupulous competitor. If you are a business then you don’t want to expose yourself to that type of problem where you are just starting to get people to follow you on Facebook you don’t want to have the stress and aggravation that comes with your profile being taken down.

The better bet is to have a page, in fact, I emphatically recommend that you have a Facebook page.  Now before you start bemoaning that problems with pages. I understand the reach for a Facebook page is a pathetic miserable piece of aggravation. There are steps you can take to increase the reach but if you want most of your audience to see a post. you have to pay. That is because Facebook has to generate money. That is the bottom line. So they have to have to incentivize pages to pay for advertising. How do you do that by making it pay to play? But there are other advantages to having a page.

You are not limited to the number of followers you can have, on your Facebook page. Your profile is limited to 5000 friends which yeah is a lot but it is a limit. Some people may point out that you can have an unlimited number of follows. This is true but, there are some people who turn off the follow option thinking they are being safe and never think to turn it back on. Then there are the people who want to be your friends and don’t understand the “Follow” option. So you are still losing out. Because People are not going to work that hard to follow you. If you make it a challenge then they will decide to not follow and would rather trip over a post from time to time.

So for all the headaches, you hear about with Facebooks fan pages you want to get one for your business. If for the main reason is so you don’t suddenly wake up one day and find that your profile you have been working on for 3 years is suddenly closed and you will not be able to get it back open.

If you have a profile that you have started and you are wanting to turn it into a page. You are in luck there are ways you can do that.

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for businesses to use for customer service. There are not any rules in place that you have to worry about violating. If you are the owner of Kates Happy Holistic Haven Then, by all means, have a twitter account for that business. People often will turn to twitter for customer service before they pick up a phone and call. So it is important to have a twitter account even if you are not posting everyday monitor that account every day. Have the notifications on for when people @ mention you, or if you get a DM. With that also don’t turn off the Direct Messages. Allow for people you are not following to contact you. You will not get nearly as many spam messages as you would think. In fact, I get more spam messages from people I just follow than from just random people sending out 10,000 character messages.

You can get yourself into trouble if you are trying to portray yourself as someone you are not. With the exception of s spoof account if you are running an account and saying you are George Clooney then you can and will be shut down. That is a violation of the Rules for Twitter.

Unlike Facebook, you are able to have more than one profile. But before you think you need to have an account for Shipping, an account for receiving, an account for Support and an account for Customer service know that each account adds to your work load it is often better to just have one account and allow a person from each department access to it. You can setup for teams so that multiple people are able to access the same account this can be done through apps like HootSuite.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is great for Business to Business networking. So having an account for you is important. It is also important to have a profile for your company. These profiles are called Company Pages. LinkedIn has its share of problems from the ever shrinking options they provide to the odd culture on Linked of people thinking that “Connecting” with another person is permission to sell. So creating a Company page isn’t very straight forward. It isn’t a herculean task either. You can get on setup and ready to go within a 15 -20 minutes.

The big drawback you will see is that when you post to your company page no one will know it’s there unless you share it out and tell people about it. You can do some advertising through LinkedIn but the results you have might be limited.

Google Plus

Now before I hear any complaints let be hit you with yes Google plus is still relevant. Now as a Social network? No, it isn’t really being used as that anymore. But Google+ is a part of google and for SEO I would recommend you have a page for your business. I would actually recommend you set your account through Google My Business So that you have even more advantages over your customer. My Business allows for you to see and interact with your reviews. This is the big advantage you can gain over your competition. Cause their customers can add them to Google maps. Yet, if someone gives a bad review then guess who is not going to be able to respond to that negative comment? So there are a few hoops to jump through but Google My business is a good thing.

My Business also places you in the results and you get a special place in the knowledge graph. So when people are looking for your brick and mortar business you will show up with your phone number and what hours you are open. This platform gives you control if someone for whatever reason places your business as Permanently closed you can instantly go in and change those hours back to what they are.

As I mentioned earlier there is also the SEO incentive to using Google Plus. If you have a google plus page and you add a blog post. Add that blog post to your Google Plus page. Your content gets indexed faster and it still seems as if it gets served a little higher in the results. Not bad for a platform everybody likes to think is dead and gone.

Pinterest

There are not any special profiles for a business on Pinterest but you can turn your Pinterest profile into a business account. With this, you are able to get analytics and you can see how well your different pins are performing.

Instagram

Instagram is a lot like Pinterest. You can have an account that is for your business. With that account you get analytics on the “who’s” and “how’s” your account is performing. So it isn’t a bad thing to have. Now with Instagram using the dreaded algorithm some people fear that if a business will be forced to use advertising to get in front of their audience. This could be true but I haven’t seen any evidence of it as of yet. If you are worried the best tip I can give you is stay relevant with your posts. Keep aiming for the best Instagram images you can generate and keep the text down. The vast majority of people actually don’t like them.

I hope this post has helped clear up whether you should or shouldn’t’ be using personal profiles for your business page. With most Social networks it doesn’t actually matter except for Facebook and that will get you shut down. So take the time generate good relevant content and our audience will respond. Have you had a profile shut down on Facebook or any other platform? Why was it shut down? How did you get it back up? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Do You Use a Personal Profile or Business page?
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