Facebook has over 900 million active worldwide monthly users; and becoming one of the major social networks for both your business and personal life.

Whether you are a business owner, or work for a company this site is fast becoming a place where you need to be. But the question of how to accomplish that effectively is the reason for today’s post.

Even though Facebook provides for small to midsize business owners, the opportunity to have a separate business/fan page at no charge, less than 40 percent have taken advantage of it.

This results in both personal and business content being posted on your profile page, and being sent to the same audience. 

Does this help your business?  Many think they are saving time by doing this; however your customers and clients will be able to see things which may not be appropriate when you are seeking to build a great working relationship with them.

Recently I have been amazed at some of the posts and pictures I have seen come across my personal timeline. Some of it is not appropriate to post anywhere, let alone know that your business community and network is seeing it too.

I want to urge each of us to THINK about the impact before we ever decide to respond to someone else’s post, share a picture or note, or post about our business and life.

One of my team members, Carol Caffarel, shares this about posting to Facebook:

          “If you can’t publish it on the front page of the newspaper, or hear it on the nightly news, don’t do it!”

Because the truth is, that is exactly what we are doing when we answer or initiate a post for all to see. 

What do you think is appropriate for our business customers and clients to see? How about: our political views, our religious views, our social views, our health status, our financial situation, our use of inappropriate language, our bad grammar and spelling, our family, our pets, where we go, whom we associate with, how we react to the latest world news, or how much information and time we are spending sharing on FB?

To be a successful business or non-profit on Facebook, you need to have a business page, and not use your personal profile to establish your business presence. Did you know, Facebook has the right to cancel your account if you are using it for anything other than the name on the account? I am not sure how strictly that is enforced, but it could happen.

Facebook, when done with the right content and plan, can help you grow your business and network resulting in: gaining exposure, increasing creditability of your business, re-connecting with business contacts, and meeting new people to expand your network.

I want that for each of you; but it will only happen when you make a conscious choice to be excellent in your business and realize the gift Facebook can be to your business when handled professionally. Otherwise, be prepared for people choosing to “unlike” you;  and it is hard to recapture that audience once they are gone.

Have a great Facebook week!