For a lot of small business owners, social media is used primarily for marketing purposes.
Maybe you’re not interested in using Facebook or Twitter in your personal life, or maybe you just don’t have the time to spend on LinkedIn or Pinterest.
But while you may not want to use these sites in your personal life, you don’t want to limit your potential to reach new customers or clients because you are not using social media to market your business.
This brings up the big question, “Do I need a personal profile to create a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest Page for my Business?”
Here’s what you need to know:
Yes. You will need a personal profile to create a Facebook Page.
Facebook wants everyone on the platform to be using the site as an individual, not just as a brand. This doesn’t mean you need to actively use your Facebook Profile or that your Facebook friends need to see all of your activity on your Facebook Page.
By creating a Facebook Page you will automatically separate your business activity from your personal interactions.
“Can’t I just use my profile to market my page?”
No. By using a profile for marketing purposes, you are violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
But more importantly, if you’re not using a page, you won’t have access to Facebook Insights or other tools Facebook created specifically for businesses on the site. You will also limit your potential to build relationships with people who want to show support for your business by becoming a Facebook Fan, not a friend on Facebook.
If you’re already using a Facebook Profile to market your business, you can convert your profile to a page in a few easy steps! Here’s how.
No. You do not need to create a personal Twitter handle before creating an account for your business.
Twitter does not differentiate between the different “types” of Twitter users. All you’ll need to do is make sure you’re using a Twitter handle that reflects your business and that you’re filling out the right information.
If you do decide to use Twitter for personal reasons as well, you’ll want to create a separate Twitter handle. This is especially true if you plan to share content or participate in conversations that are not relevant to your business’s target audience.
New to Twitter? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
No. You do not need to create a personal Pinterest Profile to create a Pinterest Business Page.
To set up a new business account go to Pinterest.com/business/create.
“What if I already have a personal profile?”
Not to worry. If you already have a personal page, you can convert it to a business page as well. Similar to Facebook, there are a number of marketing benefits associated with making the switch to a Pinterest Business Page, including access to Pinterest Analytics and other tools to promote your business.
If you do want to use Pinterest as an individual, you may want to create a separate profile that’s not directly associated with your business. This will help you avoid having potential customers or clients seeing your personal activity on the site.
New to Pinterest? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Yes. You will need a personal profile in order to create a LinkedIn Company Page.
And this is actually good news for small businesses. As a business owner, you will want to have a personal profile to help build your own professional relationships. You can connect with other local business owners and join LinkedIn Groups to build relationships within your industry. You can even follow other Company Pages to learn how businesses and organizations are using the platform for marketing purposes.
“Do I really need a Company Page?”
While a profile lets you tell your story, a Company Page lets you tell your business’s story. You can highlight your products and services, engage with followers, and even post job openings to help you find your next successful employee.
When your Company Page is set up, you will be able to link your personal profile to your page by editing “Experience” in your profile. You can also encourage your employees to do the same.
LinkedIn also offers its own analytics dashboard that’s exclusive to Company Pages.
To set up your Company Page go to Interests > Companies. On the right side of the screen you will see a link to “Add a Company.”
New to LinkedIn? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Managing your personal and professional social media presence
The bottom line is that whether or not you have an interest in using social media yourself, the people who matter most to your business are on these sites and they’re waiting for you to be there.
When you are ready to try any of these social networks, make sure you’re using the right type of pages to market your business. This will help separate your personal and professional activity, and will open you up to new opportunities to generate results from your social media marketing.
We recently held our advanced social media webinar and received a ton of questions from attendees! If you missed the webinar, you can order it on-demand here.