SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETINGOn Facebook: Should You Market Voice-Overs
On Your Personal 'Profile' - Or 'Business Page'?
August 1, 2019
By Paul StrikwerdaVoice Actor, Coach & Author
On July 31, Facebook updated its Terms of Service again. Why? Because in their own words, they want to "better explain the rights people have when using our services."
One thing that will not change is the distinction between Profiles and Pages.
It's something many colleagues still don't seem to get. Here's the deal:
There are many reasons for doing that, and I'll give you lots of carrots, but let's start with a few sticks.
FACEBOOK CAN DELETE PROFILE
The Facebook Terms of Service state:
In other words, using a Profile for commercial activities is a violation of those Terms of Service, and Facebook can and will delete your Profile because of it.
That's what someone in my neighborhood found out when she tried to peddle her skin care pyramid scheme on a local Facebook group. Fellow-Facebookers reported her, and without warning she lost all her contacts, messages, pictures, and more.
PROFILE VS. PAGE ...
To some people, the distinction between a Profile and a Page is a bit confusing, so here's the bottom line.
A Facebook Profile is a personal, non-commercial account for individuals. It's the way you connect with friends and family. It's where you share your photos, videos, and life events. You can only have one Profile, and it's managed by you. Only people you've added as a friend are able to see your posts, unless all your updates are public. For some mysterious reason, Facebook allows you to have no more than 5,000 friends.
A Facebook Page is a business account for a company or organization. You can have many Pages, managed by multiple people. Your following is not limited by friend requests. Anyone who clicks the Like button receives your updates, and you can have an unlimited number of followers.
TO CREATE YOUR 'PAGE' ...
In order to create a Page, you first need to have a Profile. You can convert a Profile to a Page, but I don't recommend it.
First off, you only get one chance to do it.
Secondly, the name on your personal account will become the Page's name, which isn't very smart. You want your Page to have the name of your business.
Your Profile picture and cover photo will also be transferred, but it's better for your brand to use your business pictures, instead of those silly summer vacation snapshots.
PROFESSIONAL OR PRIVATE
Before I discuss some of the features you can access once you have a Facebook Page, I want to tell you why I think it's inappropriate to use a Profile to promote your business. It has to do with privacy, professionalism, and boundaries.
Number one: why would you give people you barely know access to your private life? Just because you exchanged business cards at a conference, doesn't mean they should see you on your Timeline sporting a skimpy bathing suit at the Jersey shore, or drinking beer from a boot in Berlin.
The current U.S. administration may think it's okay for Internet Service Providers to share our browsing history, financial information, health information, children's information, social security number, and app usage. I strongly disagree. I don't want my private life to become publicly traded property. It's literally none of other people's business.
Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like the fact that the lines between public and private are getting more blurry every day. I value my privacy. Online and offline. I don't see the need to turn my life into some kind of reality show for the whole world to see. It's not that interesting anyway.
CUSTOMERS OR FRIENDS
Some of my colleagues who are still using a Profile for their business, have accepted friend requests from clients without giving it any thought.
To me, that's shocking. I don't think a client needs to know what's going on in your life or mine. It can have serious consequences.
Let's say a customer asks you to do a rush job, and you tell him you're too busy to fit it in. Then he sees on Facebook that you're taking the day off, and he wonders: "Why were you lying to me?"
It is unacceptable for an employer to ask about your general health and medical condition, so why share that information on social media?
Let's assume a client has a job for you, but you just posted that you're a bit under the weather, so he hires someone else. Had he not known that you're sick, he would have asked you, and you could have said: "I'm totally booked today, but I can do it tomorrow" (if you think you'll feel better by then).
A few more scenarios:
So, you have to ask yourself: should you really give the whole world access to your personal life? Is gaining a superficial Facebook friend worth the risk of losing a good client?
Here's an interesting trend.
When I first brought this page/profile thing up in my voice-over community, I got two kinds of responses:
One girl wrote:
To each his own, but as Dr. Phil keeps on reminding us: "If you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences."
Those consequences can be quite serious.
One of my agents just posted the following:
Of course, you can remove controversial content you posted after that wild night out, but when you need to do that, it's usually too late. Know that it can take up to 90 days for deleted content to be removed from the system.
FRIENDS OR COLLEAGUES?
Now, is it safe and okay to befriend fellow-voice talent on Facebook?
As a popular blogger, many people want to be my Facebook friend, and that's very flattering. If you're one of those people, you've probably received the following message:
In the beginning, I thought people would hate me for blowing them off, but you know what the most common response to this message is?
But when I check in on a colleague a few weeks later, she is still promoting her business on a Facebook Profile, together with pictures of her cats, a couple of bible verses, and some crazy pop quizzes about celebrities and sex. Very professional, indeed!
WHAT'S A FRIEND, ANYWAY?
Sociologists have said lots of things about the way Facebook has hollowed out the notion of (online) friendship.
Yes, some of my Facebook friends happen to be colleagues, but not all colleagues are my friends. It takes a certain level of intimacy and bonding before I let people into that select circle.
Most people who want to be friends, want to connect with me professionally anyway, so why bother them with pet pictures, or photos from lunch at the local eatery?
That's why I send them to my business Page. Sometimes, colleagues become contractors when they hire me for a job, making them my clients. That's another reason to point them to my professional Page.
Making this distinction has another advantage. Because I have fewer friends, it's now easier to keep track of the lives of people I feel closer to, and Facebook is less of a time suck.
CREATING A BUSINESS PAGE
When you're ready to create a Facebook Page, you have to pick a category based on the following options:
Once your business Page is set up, and you have at least 25 fans (or Likes), you should get a vanity URL. For instance, my Page is https://www.facebook.com/nethervoice.
This will make it much easier to find your page for those doing an internet search.
Be sure your 180 x 180 pixel profile picture, and 828 x 315 pixel cover photo (the most important visual aspects of your Page), look good, and reflect your brand.
Last summer, Facebook rolled out a new ad-free business layout, making it possible to add more prominent Calls to Action buttons to your Page. The seven calls to action available are:
Try my Contact Us Call to Action button, and see what happens.
A business Page also gives you an idea how your audience is responding, and how your Page is performing through Page Insights.
Insights tell you which posts have the most engagement (videos and images rule!), and when your audience is on Facebook. You can use that information to increase traffic by creating content people respond to, and post it at strategic times.
Jennifer Beese wrote an excellent article about Page Insights for Sprout Social.
Boosting posts is another way to increase your reach. You can boost a post when you create it, or after it's been published. Simply click the Boost Post button, and you'll be presented with some options.
This is not a free service, by the way. The budget field allows you to select the amount you want to spend, or enter your own.
Another thing a Facebook Page allows you to do (and a Profile won't), is create ads. Facebook itself has written a step-by-step guide, and you might also want to check out this beginner's guide from Hootsuite.
THE BIG QUESTION MARK
My more senior coaching students will often ask me:
Facebook is too big to ignore. It's the largest and most popular social network in the world, with over a billion and a half monthly active users, and over a billion daily active users.
If Facebook were a country, it would be substantially bigger than China (source), and it continues to grow by 18% per year.
According to Pew Research, 79% of internet users are on Facebook, and Forbes estimates that 50 million businesses are now using Facebook Pages.
In other words: this is a huge opportunity, because most of your (potential) customers are already using Facebook. If you were to pick one social media site for your marketing, skip Twitter and Instagram, and choose Facebook.
But please, do yourself a favor, and create a Page for your business today!
Paul Strikwerda is a 25+-year veteran of the voice over industry whose Nethervoice service features German and Dutch voice overs, translation and evaluation services. Born in Holland, he has worked for Dutch national and international radio, the BBC and American Public Radio. Although 90% of his work is in English, Strikwerda also records in Dutch, German and French. Clients include Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and the Discovery Channel. He is also a voice over coach, author of the book, Making MONEY In Your PJs: Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs, and writes an informative and entertaining blog.
Email: email@example.comWeb: www.nethervoice.com
Making MONEY In Your PJs: http://makingmoneyinyourpjs.com
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