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Many companies are considering building Facebook Business or “Fan” pages to interact with their customers. There are a few things to know and consider before setting up a Business page. Facebook prefers that people use their personal accounts to create Business Fan pages, but it can be done without one (they like to trace everything to a personal profile). There are some drawbacks to using a separate business account; for example, they will appear in the search results, which might be a major drawback for visibility of your page. Facebook says the following: "Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created; however, they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests."
You need to weigh the pros and cons of a personal account versus business account setup for your page and decide which is best for your situation. Here is a great discussion about the pros and cons of doing it under your personal account or creating a separate business account.
Having it linked to a personal account makes it easy to manage, but it does get confusing about what information appears where. Whatever you do, avoid creating two accounts with the same e-mail, as Facebook will probably remove them. Another alternative would be to create separate accounts for your personal e-mail and business e-mail, but you would have to log into them separately to make changes or comments.
You can also choose to create a business fan page from your personal account. Fan comments only show up on people who are fans of the page and not on my friends accounts (except when you created or make comments on the page yourself). You can also adjust the security settings to restrict people who can view the page or where the information shows up (public to all, just fans, just friends, etc.). Just select the Ads and Pages icon in the bottom navigation, choose Pages at the top and enter the information about your business to create a page. Here is more information from Facebook about pages and how to get started.
Once you have created the page, go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and select the desired “username” to be in the URL after the facebook.com address (assuming it is available). Make sure to select the username for the business page and not your personal account. This customizes the URL to something that is easily recognized and advertised as your business.
You then need to market the business page to build up a fan base. Without any fans to interact with, the page is not of much use. Consider the advertising programs that Facebook offers, but, more importantly, promote it as part of your regular advertising and promotion. Add a link to it on the company web site, include it in e-newsletters, ads, marketing materials, e-mail signatures, etc. This will get the word out about the page so fans can join. Consider offering an incentive to join or have a promotion dedicated to building the fan base.
Facebook does make the whole thing confusing as it was never designed with businesses in mind, so they have just made some accommodations for them. For FAQs on this subject, try this link. Here is the Microwave Journal Facebook page as an example of the content we post on our Business Fan Page.
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