Living in the Netherlands I was used to using LinkedIn to network with my business. On the Costa del Sol business owners tend to use Facebook more as a social medium for business networking. Having said that, many entrepreneurs are not optimizing their personal Facebook profiles for business networking. Hence, 4 tips.
Tip 1: Tagging your Facebook Page as Your Employer on Your Facebook Profile
When you go to my personal Facebook Profile you can see that I list Dots ´n Ink Marketing & Media as my employer. Clicking on the blue link right under my profile picture, takes you to my Facebook Page.
This is important because if you network with people through Facebook, people should be able to find information on you.
Also, you like other pages with your profile. So, when you like someone’s Facebook Page and hope they will like your Facebook Page back, you have to be able to direct them from your Profile to your Page. Tagging your Facebook page as your employer in the About section is the way to do it.
This also helps if you want to become a member of certain Facebook groups. The admin of the group may want to know if you are eligible to be a member of this group. If they cannot see that you are eligible, they may refuse your request. We, for instance, run a Facebook group for Dutch speaking entrepreneurs on the Costa del Sol. I estimate that two-thirds of the people that request to become a part of this group, do not have a link to their business on their profile. This takes me time and makes me guess so I will not accept them. Not because I do not want to, but I have better things to do with my time than to play detective.
Tip 2: Use Your About Section
Not using the About section is like not using the display window of a brick and mortar store. It is prime real estate and you should use it.
You can use it to give people an idea about your background. It is easy to claim that you are an expert in a certain field, but if your background doesn´t support your claim then you are not building your brand properly. Know-Like-Trust is important when it comes to doing business, so be sure that your About helps do that.
Tip 3: Use a Suitable Profile Picture on Your Personal Profile
Many people say: “But it is my personal profile. I want to be able to put up any picture I want.” I understand that, but if you are using your Facebook profile to connect and network with potential clients or people who can refer you to their contacts, it is logical to pay attention to what you use as a profile picture.
I advise to NOT use profile pictures with:
> an overly professional headshot (it is your personal profile so it can be more informal or fun)
> glasses (or even bottles) of alcohol in them or any other type of drug for that matter
> just your pets
> just your kids
> any form of nudity or other inappropriate clothing or accessories (e.g.leather thongs and whips, but less so you in your bathing suit)
> other people (for people who have never met you, it could be hard to figure out which one is you)
> icons, symbols, logos (networking is always with people)
Tip 4: Make it Possible for People to Follow you Instead of Becoming Your Friend
If you do not want to befriend all these people in your network there is the option of offering them the option to follow you. They will then see your public posts. That way you can keep things separated.
The good thing about is, is that when someone sends you a friendship request you can ignore it and they are automatically follow you.
I hope this post will help you network for your business on Facebook. Please forward this post to entrepreneurs in your network who may benefit from this information. It is a perfect alibi to network with them 😉