Should I have a business page on Facebook, or is my personal Facebook page good enough?
It's a good question for every fitness instructor, and a bit more complex when YOU are your business.
My Answer: Yes, you need a business page. Absolutely.
1) Because you won’t lose anything by creating one. Prior to FB making the changes they did earlier this year (Timeline, etc), you had to “migrate” your friends when you created a business page and basically start your fan base from zero. You don’t have to “lose” anyone when you create a business page now.
WARNING: When you Google “FB business page” or anything close to this, you’ll find hundreds of well-written, credible blog posts telling you how to do this in the OLD Facebook formats. You’ll also see warnings about losing friends. That was prior to the winter of 2012 – old news now and no longer accurate. I had to go to the 3rd page of Google results to find current info on this topic!
You won’t “lose” your friends because you can set up your business page within your personal page. Notice the graphic below: this is my personal Facebook page and my business page is posting to it.
So all my personal friends always see my Marketing Well posts – I didn’t have to ask them to “Like” another page. You can do that, and there are good reasons to, but the point here is that you will NOT lose any exposure by setting up a business page.
That was the "old days" – six months ago. :)
2) The second reason to create a business page is that you can promote posts. This is a more authentic means of marketing than just advertising your page. I’ve done both, and promoting the posts has worked well for me in building audiences. It is more strategic than just hoping your friends share or comment and it feels less intrusive than advertising.
Advertising on Facebook offers remarkable targeting though. You can target 30 – 35 year old readers of Shape magazine in Tennessee -- it’s that specific and personal. Great potential for workshops and your retreats in Puerto Rico! And you can spend as little as $5 to advertise.
3) Even if you don’t want to use the paid promotion and advertising options that FB offers business pages, you can get terrific promotional mileage out of the “Events” and other buttons and tabs in the views and apps toolbar. You can put free things, student “case studies,” photos and even create a “Training” button. You can also highlight “Milestones” on your business page, which is a terrific way to create custom brand for yourself with new friends.
4) Ok, even if you aren’t going to use the free marketing tools on FB business pages, the “Insights” are really helpful to know how many people viewed different posts. I don’t go to the trouble of tracking statistics in any scientific way, but I can get an immediate sense of what my “Friends” are interested in. For example, I find many more trainers read posts that I put up late at night or early in the morning than in mid-day.
5) The most important reason – at the end of the day, Facebook owns this page, not you. Facebook can change it’s formats or options anytime (and have proven that they will). So you want them thinking of your page as a business, even if you are your business.
Most people will tell you that you should have a business page because they offer the chance to have more Friends, etc, but the reasons above are why I believe health and wellness professionals should have a business page on Facebook.
cross-posted from Marketing Well3BF8S73QFMW5
Angela Broderick Bedell
Personal training marketing. Angela Broderick Bedell