Using social media to boost your professional presence is becoming increasingly common. Not only is it “expected” that business professionals create profiles on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, but these social sites are also rapidly growing into search engines for qualified talent and industry insights.
LinkedIn is arguably the most popular social networking platform when it comes to business networking (with over 170,000 new users joining the platform every day), but many professionals are also opting to create a professional page on Facebook.
WHY YOU NEED A PROFESSIONAL FACEBOOK PAGE
Facebook provides a wealth of opportunity to expand both your professional network and your credibility as a thought leader within your industry.
As the most popular social network in the world, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. In addition, over 83% of users who make over $75,000 annually list the platform as their preferred social network (LinkedIn reaches 49% of this income category). Notably, 87% of coworkers connect using Facebook.
Here are three key reasons you should create a professional page:
Build your online presence.
Facebook has the largest reach of any existing social site and accounts for over 42% of monthly social media visits. With so many daily, weekly, and monthly logins, Facebook as a social platform makes it easy to connect with your intended audience and build your online presence.
Cultivating a strong online presence gives you visibility and credibility, both of which are essential to reaching new clients and partners. With a strong online presence, you can make it easy to find out more about your expertise, your business, and how you can provide value to potential connections.
A professional Facebook page also enables you to expand your networking capabilities. Not only will you be able to reach out to people across your field to establish connections, but you will also be able to provide solid information about yourself and your knowledge, publish informative articles, relevant photos and videos, and engage with your audience in a personal way.
By being tactical, selective, and authentic about the content you post to your page, you can create an online community of connections within your industry.
Become a thought leader to your targeted audience.
Facebook can also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. By sharing your awards and accolades, informing potential clients about your expertise, and commenting on trends within your industry, you can become a resource of helpful information to members of your online community.
WHAT TO SHARE
When creating a content mix for your new professional Facebook page, you should keep two things in mind: first, your audience and, second, your strategic goals.
The items you publish should have a clear objective (such as driving traffic to your company’s website or providing insight on an industry trend) and should ultimately provide value to the people you are speaking to, whether they are a potential client, a professional connection, or an industry leader.
The following types of content perform well on professional pages:
Because the Facebook algorithm favors content that inspires conversation (i.e. sharing and commenting), blogs are well-suited to incite the back-and-forth discussions that will boost your post in the news feed and give you more exposure.
Blog posts also provide an unparalleled opportunity for you to share your unique insights and build authority in your field. Not to mention, 61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content, so producing original, insightful content can support your personal career goals as well as your business objectives.
Sharing posts from your personal blog is an effective way to promote conversations and expand your audience, but you should also consider publishing some original content directly to Facebook. This provides your audience with value they cannot get anywhere else and more of a reason to continue following and engaging with your content.
Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook allows you to infuse your posts with more of your natural voice.
While your content on your professional page should always provide some sort of value to your professional audience, don’t be afraid to keep it light. Think of something that will engage your followers — whether it’s information about a course you’re taking, a photo from a business you admire, an update about a conference you attended, or even a witty remark about your industry. Remember: you can never go wrong with asking a question.
Don’t be shy!
Professional networking and growth aren’t just about what YOU say; they are also about what you listen to others say. Build your professional presence on Facebook by engaging with other people’s content as well. If you see a post that is clever, funny, or informative, don’t hesitate to smash that share button — you can even add some of your own insights alongside their post!
It’s also a great idea to share posts from notable, credible sources because their content is powerful and it shows you’re paying attention.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE
Don’t forget the ‘social’ aspect of social media. Engaging with other users, replying to comments, and sharing material from other sources is just as critical as publishing content.
To build your audience, consider the following tactics:
Join Facebook Groups.
Joining groups of like minded people can help you make meaningful connections both in and out of your industry. Look for groups that truly align with your interests and passions and engage within them fully. It’s also a best practice to select groups that have many followers and post things regularly.
As with all aspects of social media, consistency is key, so maintain an active presence in every group you join.
Like pages that are relevant to your industry.
Like joining groups, following other pages can be a great way to keep up with the trends in your industry, find new information, and source shareable content.
Friend & follow people that are important in your industry.
While making professional connections on LinkedIn is more common, don’t underestimate the value of your Facebook network. Last year, Internet users spent an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes social networking and the average U.S. adult spent 38 minutes per day on Facebook.
That’s a lot of time to get to know people!
Promote your page on other channels.
There are other ways to promote your Facebook page aside from social media. Don’t be afraid to blur the boundaries of your marketing mix. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Include a link to your professional Facebook page in your email signature. Not only will clients and business contacts be able to keep up-to-date on your insights, new contacts will have access to a portfolio of your work.
- Promote your page on your business website. If your website has an About section, be sure to include a link to your professional page in your bio.
- Publish high-quality content — consistently. Even if you don’t post every day, make sure your audience knows which days to expect your content. This consistency will help you build your page better than any other form of promotion.