What’s the difference, and what should you use to build your business?
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 episode 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.
Today we’re going to be talking about whether you should be focusing on using your Facebook Business page, your group OR your personal profile to get the best results for your business.
I’m Steve Harradine and welcome to episode #2 of the Tribegeeks podcast.
Don’t go away.
So, if you’re looking to build your business organically with Facebook, at some point you’ve probably asked yourself the question…what's the difference between a profile, a page and a group, and what should you focus on using to build your business?
This is a question that we get asked a LOT!
So, we thought it would be a good idea 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 you need to know.
So let’s start by looking at the 30,000 foot view of what we’re trying to achieve as business owners… or at least we should be.
Now, 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 pretty well.
Now these are the broad strokes, but in basic terms, here’s what we need to be trying to do when we’re building our business online.
Firstly, We want to grow as large an audience of people as possible around our niche, which means getting our content and our message in front of as many people as possible. Now if you’re stuck as to what this looks like for you, I’d strongly suggest that you listen to last week’s Podcast because I go deep on how to nail your niche and get clear on your message. But suffice to say, we need as big an audience as possible because if nobody knows who we are, then it’s going to be impossible to sell them anything or help them in any way.
Second, we need a way to engage with that audience regularly to build the know, like and trust factor, also known as goodwill. If people don’t know us or like us, they won’t give us the y money they’ve worked hard to get and if they don’t trust us to be able to help solve their problem, they they’d be a bit daft to hand over any money… so we need a way to carry on speaking to the people we meet online to they can get to know us, hopefully like us, and get to trust that we’re the one to help them get what they want. And this happens over a bit of time so we need a way to keep the conversation going.
And Third, We need to make regular compelling offers to our audience, promoting products and services that we know will help them to get what they want easier and faster. (notice I said make offers, not just sling a link in their direction and then move on to the next person).
I know I’ve kinda simplified that a bit, but in broad terms, that’s OUR objective and the size of each person’s bank account depends on their ability and their effectiveness in being able to do these three things.
Really, that’s all there is to it!
Now, you might want to write that down because I want you to remember that as we go through this episode, 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, and 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.
Now this may seem a little obvious to those of you who’ve been around Facebook for a while, but you’d be amazed how many people we come across who are asking about their ‘group page’.
Let’s clear that up… That’s not a thing… Your page is your page and your group is your group… they’re totally different.
Now, 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 we think that’s totally fair… and here’s why.
Facebook are a business.
Their product… the thing that allows them to make money is 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 eyeballs that advertisers want on their ads… 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.
And they’ll 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, I’d ask you to 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.
And if your friends used to ask you out for coffee, but now they don’t… that person might be you 🙂
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 just not a good way to do business. People will see your profile, see all your company banners and pitchy posts and instantly assume they’re gonna gat pitched to as well, so that’s as far as they go. They disconnect.
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 people 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 and try to sell stuff because Facebook forbid it and you run the risk of losing your Facebook account completely if they catch you.
So, seeing as you can’t sell from your profile, Should You Focus Your Marketing Efforts On Your Facebook Business Page?
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. Run ads.
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.
Now, if your Facebook personal profile is a coffee shop, then I want you to think of your Facebook business page as your shop front.
Here you’ll generally want to be more business like and professional as opposed to being laid back and personal like you are 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 follower 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 what about Facebook groups?
Ah, as you might have guessed, we’re moving on to our favourite. The Facebook group!
So if your personal profile is like a coffee shop where you chill with your friends, 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’re going to 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 (metaphorically speaking) 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 behaviour 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 30000 members)
Next she was invited to speak on stage at his live event in front of around 1500 people.
Needless to say our audience grew.
Now, This definitely would’nt 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 than those people 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 stuff inside our 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 advise delivering lots of value first.
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 I’ll leave a link in the show notes where you can find out more.
So, I’d love to hear your comments on where you’re focusing your efforts on Facebook, if you haven’t yet, why not join our free Facebook group and say hi. We’d love to meet you.
So, that about wraps up this episode. I’d love to know if you got value from it.
I’ll be back with another episode of the Tribegeeks podcast snext week.
Until then, take care and thanks for listening.