This is a question that we get asked a LOT!
And, to be honest, we can almost guarantee the next question that follows will be “so where’s the best place to build my business on Facebook then?”
In this article we’re going to lay out the pro’s and con’s of each different aspect of Facebook and (in our opinion) the best way to use each one to build your online business and grow your audience.
If you’re already a bit confused…
I wouldn’t blame you!
But don’t worry, we’re going to walk through everything.
As complicated as many of the gasbag-gurus would have you believe building a business online is, it essentially comes down to doing just three things well.
In basic terms, here’s what we need to be trying to do when we’re building our business online.
1, Grow as large an audience of people as possible around our niche.
2, Engage with that audience regularly to build the know, like and trust factor (goodwill).
3, Make offers to our audience promoting products that we know will help them (notice I said make offers, not just sling links in their direction).
That’s OUR objective and the size of each person’s bank account depends on their ability to do these three things.
That’s really all there is to it!
Remember that as we go through because different parts of Facebook are good for different elements of this.
So here’s how Facebook works. There are three main parts to Facebook and only one of them is mandatory.
That’s your Facebook personal profile. In order to have a Facebook account, you have to have a profile and it has to be based on who you are.
Facebook say you can’t have more than one, because there’s only one of YOU and if you need multiples then they assume you’re up to shenanigans, and they don’t like that
The other two parts to Facebook (remember there are three) are your business page and Facebook groups.
Facebook don’t MAKE you have either of these but they’re both really useful for building your business.
So, as it’s the one part of Facebook that you have to have, let’s focus on the personal profile first.
One thing that we want to be very clear about is that, although we do use our personal profiles for business promotion, we NEVER sell there.
Facebook forbid selling on personal profiles and if you’re busted doing it, they’ll likely take your account down.
And that’s totally fair… and here’s why.
Facebook are a business.
Their product that allows them to make money are the ads they sell to people and companies to allow them to advertise to their specific market.
Facebook can only charge what they charge for ads because they have what the advertisers want… and that’s the people.
The market share.
Facebook have the people because they give us a great user experience and have a platform that people keep coming back to every single day, sometimes for multiple hours at a time.
They will clamp down on anything that spoils that user experience because they don’t want people to get so sick of being pitched and sold to every time they log in, that they get fed up and leave.
That’s the total opposite of what Facebook wants, so we ask that you never sell from your personal profile.
So then how DO you use your personal profile?
To use a physical comparison, think of your personal profile as being kinda like a coffee shop.
What do people do at coffee shops?
They hang out with friends and talk about their day.
They tell stories.
They catch up with people and build relationships.
They relax and have fun.
Now imagine that you’re meeting with a group of friends at this coffee shop and there’s this one friend who takes every opportunity to hijack the conversation to try to sell you something that they’re pushing… even though you didn’t ask for it.
How long do you think it would be before you stopped inviting that person?
I’m guessing it wouldn’t be long.
But that’s what most people do when they’re trying to build a business on Facebook and then get frustrated when they don’t make sales.
It’s not a good way to do business.
A far more effective way of using your personal profile is to have it optimised in such a way that it tells the people who end up there exactly what you do and how you can help them to solve their problem and then make it easy for them to take the next step if they want to know more.
This filters out anyone who’s not interested in what you have.
This also eliminates just about all of those uncomfortable conversations where you’re trying to think of how you can turn the conversation onto your business so you can make your pitch and sling your link.
Which sucks by the way
Both doing it and having it done to you.
So how do you get people to know what you do and allow them to take the next step with you?
Well there are 13 specific strategic ways actually, just from your personal profile.
We cover them in detail inside the Tribegeeks academy training module on how to set up your personal profile the right way.
In essence though, the first step is to start creating useful content that shows your target audience that you’re someone that can help them.
That you have the answers to their questions.
You can do this by dropping in helpful posts, doing Facebook Lives, posting videos as well as showing how you’ve helped others and showing case studies.
You don’t need to be spammy to sell.
Just show them that you can help them.
They’ll come to you.
And when they do, you send them from your personal profile to wherever you want them to go… which should be to your Facebook group!
So to summarise this section, your Facebook personal profile is great for completing task #1 of the three tasks we mentioned in the beginning – growing a large audience because if you create great engaging content then Facebook will show it to a lot of people.
Unfortunately your content is buried quickly and so it’s hard to build much goodwill with your audience on an ongoing basis.
It’s also not a good place to make offers from as Facebook forbid it.
A fantastic way to get your content in front of new people.
Your content is competing with a Million distractions on the newsfeed.
Facebook forbid selling on your personal profile.
Well the answer to that is, it depends.
Remember that we said that Facebook earns its money through selling ads, well this is where they want you to do just that.
Your Facebook business page is the part of Facebook that hosts your ad manager account and it’s where you’ll set up and run your ad campaigns from.
So if you don’t have an ad budget or a high converting offer yet, you’ll need to use more than just your business page.
If your Facebook personal profile is a coffee shop, then your Facebook business page is your shop front.
Here you’ll generally want to be more business like and professional as opposed to being laid back and personal on your profile.
Now I know a lot of people LOVE using their business pages to promote their business and the one huge upside is that Facebook ARE happy for you to sell stuff using this page.
They encourage it.
The downside is they encourage you to PAY for it because the organic reach on your business page is woefully low compared to your personal profile.
Statistics dictate that your organic reach (in other words the reach if you use free methods) is between 2-5%.
That means that if you have 100 page likers and you put on a post. Facebook will actually show that content to between 2 to 5 of those people.
So should you even bother with a page?
It’s still a great free way to market your business, even if the reach is lower.
Each like that you have on your business page is like a vote of confidence in your business and what you do so we’d still recommend using your page.
It’s just not a great way to build a large audience because the organic reach is so low.
To build that audience you need lots of people to be seeing your content.
It also limits your ability to build know, like and trust with your tribe because your reach is so choked by the algorithm.
And yes you can make offers from your page but if your audience aren’t seeing them you may have to hold off buying that island in the Bahamas for a bit
And from Facebook’s standpoint we totally get it.
I mean if they gave you free access to all of their database of users and allowed you to advertise to them at will, they wouldn’t earn much in the way of people buying ads would they?
Facebook is a business after all first and foremost, and that’s fine. We just have to know the best way to use it within the rules to achieve what we want to for OUR business.
So if we were to score a Facebook business page based on our three criteria, we’d have to give it these scores.
Organic (free) reach is very low so not a great way to build a large tribe.
Again, most of your page likers won’t see your content unless you pay.
Facebook are happy for you to sell but you need to buy ads to get viewers.
Ah, our favourite. The Facebook group!
So if your personal profile is like a coffee shop where you chill with amigos, and your business page is like your shop front, then your Facebook group can be compared to a party back at your place.
You’re the host and it’s your responsibility to get the party started.
That means you have to lay on a few activities to get your members talking to each other.
You’ll need to make introductions, lay on a few party games and make sure that everyone is enjoying the atmosphere.
The good news is that you don’t have to do this for very long.
Soon your group will be a hive of activity with members engaging with each other and before long your community will be in full swing.
So you may be reading this and thinking to yourself “well you can’t use a Facebook group to build an audience”… and you’d be kinda right, but let me expand a bit on what our experience has been.
Our personal profiles have definitely done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to building our audience and our Facebook groups.
Like I said earlier, we have a very specific technique to using our Facebook personal profiles to do this and we show you how it’s done inside the Tribegeeks Academy.
But here’s another way that having a popular Facebook group will help you build your audience once you have a few people inside your group to start with.
Once your numbers start to grow (and they will if you follow what we teach) you’ll start to be recognised as a leader in your niche.
Don’t freak out it doesn’t mean you suddenly have to have a PHD in whatever your group is about, it’s just human behavior kicking in.
We’re all taught from a young age that the person at the front of the room is the expert and they know best.
It’s drummed into us from our first day of school.
The person at the head of the class is the expert.
They have natural authority.
The pupils can interact but they’re not the leader of the group.
It’s how we’re conditioned.
Well inside your Facebook group, you’re the one that’s seen as the person at the front of the class.
All you have to do is show up.
In fact, if you start teaching too much it’s actually a turn off for the members of your group.
Just give them somewhere to call home online.
Then a cool thing happens.
You’ll start to get noticed by other people who have groups and as long as you’re not in direct competition you’ll often be asked to speak in front of those other people’s groups.
Do you think some of those other group members are going to come over and join your group too?
Of course they will.
In fact, here’s what happened to Sam recently.
She started showing up inside Fraser Brookes’ group (among others) and offering some cool advice (never selling), just handing out useful tips.
Then Fraser asked her to come into his group and do some training about Facebook groups (his group had about 3000 members)
Next she was invited to speak on stage at his live event in front of around 1500 people.
This would NOT have happened if we didn’t have a Facebook group and an audience to endorse our authority in our niche.
Without our group and the edification of our members we’re just another couple of faces in the crowd.
Not only this but we’ve been invited onto numerous podcasts and asked to train many other audiences as well.
So do Facebook groups help to grow your audience?
Yes they do, but to get things moving and continually grow your audience you’ll need to use them alongside your personal profile.
So on to part two of our objective, building know, like and trust (or goodwill) with our audience.
By adding themselves to your group your members have essentially told Facebook that they want to see your group content.
Facebook still doesn’t show it to everyone in your group but the content that you put out will be seen by the majority… unlike if you use your business page.
This means that you can regularly get in front of your audience with quality content and warm them up to you.
You can talk to them about why you do what you do, why yo believe the things you do and why you’re on your particular mission.
This builds a very strong bond between you and your audience.
This creates a totally different dynamic to those who try to sell to someone after meeting them online just once or twice.
Stats now say that in order for someone to feel comfortable enough to buy online, they need to have between 25 and 32 interactions with the person they’re buying from.
Facebook groups make that not only possible, but easy to achieve.
So finally, what about selling?
Are we able to sell inside Facebook groups?
Yes you can.
Facebook allow you to promote your products and services inside your group.
We still wouldn’t advise making offers until you’ve built a decent amount of goodwill with your audience though.
Nobody likes to feel like they’re just there to be a payday for you, so always deliver lots of value first.
So, to summarise this section.
Works well but works best if combined with your personal profile.
A brilliant way to build goodwill with your audience for free.
Much, much easier to make offers to a warm audience, just don’t abuse it.
Facebook groups are a great way to build your audience as they show you to be an expert in your niche and give your audience somewhere to plug into.
They’re also great at building the know, like and trust factor much more effectively than either your personal profile or your business page, and because they allow us to warm up our audience so well, they’re a great place to make offers to our audience without breaking any Facebook rules.
If you want to grow your Facebook group faster and easier than ever, check out the Tribegeeks Academy. It’s the best resource there is for building your group.
Let me know your thoughts or what your experience has been in the comments below.