I was a latecomer to Facebook. As soon as I found out about blogs (they were called weblogs back then!) I started one, and the same with Twitter.
But I just didn’t get Facebook for a long time. It didn’t appeal to me for some reason. So when I did get around to joining in Facebook I had the time to figure out what I wanted to use it for.
Most people use a personal Facebook page to post pictures of their holidays and keep up-to-date with friends and family.
I do that, but I also use it to connect with more personally with business contacts, journalists and clients.
For me, my personal Facebook profile is a collection of friends, family, clients, journalists, business associates. I choose who I connect with on Facebook; I don’t connect to everyone I know or meet.
My style of Facebook page provides an opportunity to share my interests outside of my business, so my professional contacts gain an insight into me as a person. I think it leads to stronger relationships and a great opportunity to build rapport.
Style of updates
Using Facebook in a professional way means that you can’t share those drunken photos or bikini shots from your holiday! It is less formal that Twitter or LinkedIn, however it you need to treat it as a professional platform.
Your updates should be a mixture of personal and professional information.
Your professional updates can be on about topics relating to your industry, business or job role. In order to increase your profile as an expertise, share information about what is going on in your industry. You could share links to news stories or blog posts relating to your industry and topics of interest.
Your personal updates can be as personal as you choose. Just because it is Facebook don’t feel as though you have to be overly friendly or share too much. Keep in mind that you want to manage your reputation.
Facebook is a great place to share images such as photos of you doing a presentation, at a work event or doing other work related activities.
Creating two Facebook profiles
If you don’t want to mix personal and professional you can create two Facebook pages. There is a growing trend of people creating two Facebook profiles, one as a professional page and another as a personal page, allowing them to keep their two identities separate.
For example; one page could be Sally Smith and the professional page could be Sally Smith CEO, to be able to differentiate between the two.
Of course, there is always the option to have just one profile as a professional one if you’re not interested in Facebook for personal use.
You can use the Sally Smith CEO for professional connections and only share professional updates. For Sally Smith, that’s where you connect with family and friends. In this is case you don’t need to be as careful about how personal your updates and photos are.
Facebook personal ‘like’ page
I have just started a ‘like’ or business page in my own name in conjunction with the launch of my book and online products From Unknown To Expert. (Jump over and like it!)
I’ve done this so I can share specific messages and content about the book and also connect with a whole bunch of people I might not connect with on my personal page.
There are several options to making Facebook work for you as an expert. The key is to do some thinking about it and apply the strategy.