In our previous post, Why Facebook, we continued our series on Facebook by asking and answering the question of why using Facebook is so important.
In this post, we continue on with our discussion with an in-depth look at how to use Facebook professionally.
Use Facebook Professionally
If you’ve read the other posts on getting started with other sites, you’ll know lots of the basics, and we’re not going to repeat them here. If you’re just skipping around, we suggest you read the LinkedIn posts on setting up your profile. Most of the same principles apply to other social networking sites. We’ll just hit the differences in this chapter.
It’s easy to sign up for Facebook. But you should do some planning first. For example, whose email address should you use to sign up? Facebook does allow you to associate more than one email address with an account, but you might want the first address you use to be a generic or group account, something like firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to add at least one more address in case you forget the password, and especially if you use someone’s personal address and that person leaves your organization.
Another thing to plan is your name and your profile picture. Among Facebook’s terms of service are provisions that state that:
- You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
- You will not create more than one personal profile.
- You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
- You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
- You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
- If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).
Based on these provisions, it’s open to interpretation whether you are allowed create an organizational account, but hundreds of organizations do. Just be aware that Facebook changes their terms on an irregular basis, and you should check them from time to time.
Choose your business’ logo or other appropriate picture for your organization’s profile. If you decide to go with one or more personal accounts, be sure the picture is professional, only of the person, and clearly legible. In fact, you should ensure there are no embarrassing pictures anywhere on your account — this also goes for everyone involved with using Facebook on your behalf.
By the same token, you should only offer information in your profile that you want supporters, prospects, or others involved with your organization to see.
Keep your main Facebook page simple using minimal graphics and widgets. Avoid adding Facebook apps that are not consistent with your business purpose. That means no Farmville!
Post content relevant to your products, your business and its mission. This is no place for gossip or polemic. While your major presence is likely to be your Like page, your friends and fans will probably check out your home page as well, so keep it organized and to the point.
Next up: Friending on Facebook
Use Facebook Professionally is the 121st in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 326. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2
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