When you think of “Social Media,” what is the first tool that comes to mind? Most likely, its Facebook. And theres a reason why! Facebook is the largest existing social network.
While we’re not going to give you a full lesson on regular Facebook use and its features (you can find that here), we will give you some good reasons you should be using Facebook to build your brand, and how exactly to go about doing it.
While we believe you should be using several platforms to promote your personal brand, Facebook is one of the most important.
As of March 2013, Facebook had 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps, making it the top social networking site in the world. Used correctly, and you can really cultivate a following for yourself!
Some people may disagree with us, but here at Online, on trend we believe you should maintain a separate Facebook “page” (separate from your personal profile!) to promote yourself and your brand. What’s the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page?
According to Facebook’s Official Policy on Pages:
Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.
Increasingly, organizations, artists, businesses, media agencies and more are using Facebook much like they would use a separate website to promote themselves. You shouldn’t be any different! Using a page allows your Page Admin to (privately and anonymously) see how people are engaging with the content you post (see Facebook’s Help Section on Insights for more details), and allows the public to see how your audience interacts with you, as seen in the example below (side note–Lady Gaga has a massive online following, and that’s because she interacts with her fans…she calls them her ‘Monsters’):
Want to create your Facebook page? Visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php, and choose your Page type (screenshot below):
Once you have created an account for yourself, here are some basic tips for getting started:
- “About” section: Use this section to give new fans/followers more information about yourself. Who you are (you can use your “stage name” or your real name here), what you do (artist, comedian, entertainer, actress, public speaker, etc.), where else they can find you (your website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) how they can reach out to you, and most importantly a note about your gratitude! Our favorite online fame idols are ALWAYS thanking their fans/followers, are open to connecting and are humble/approachable. Make sure your “about” section reflects that!
- Cover Photo: What you choose for your cover photo is really up to you—it can be a picture of your latest album cover if you’re a musician; a picture of a photo you’ve taken if you are a photographer; you gets the gist. The point is, your cover photo should be a reflection of who YOU are and what you want your personal brand to represent. For example, if you are a dancer, you wouldn’t want your profile picture to be a random picture of a cute puppy—it should be something that is relatable. Remember, this is not your PERSONAL page. This is your page that represents your brand and how you want it to be represented to the world. As always, make sure whatever photo you use for this is consistent with the branding that appears on your other social media accounts. We’re not saying use the same photos across—just make sure your fans are not confused as who YOU are as a brand.
- Profile Photo: We highly recommend using professional (or professional looking) photos for your main profile picture. We do not mean “professional” in the business sense—we’re not looking for LinkedIn photos! What we mean is your picture should not be taken from your cellphone or be a candid photo of you eating an ice cream cone. Your profile picture should represent you and your brand. Yes, it can be silly (i.e. if you are a comedian or actress), however it should seem that you put some thought into it—it should help legitimize yourself as a brand.
- Posted Content: Like with every medium, make sure your Facebook includes some exclusive content. If all of your content is available everywhere, users will choose one medium and never visit the others. We don’t mean you have to post an exclusive blog post or video or piece of art on each medium on the regular—but make sure you’re saying something different on your Facebook. The beauty of Facebook is there is no character limit—if you want to send a long message to followers or make a more lengthy announcement, do it! Or if you want to post a YouTube video but want to give your readers an exclusive story behind how you came up with the concept, post that on Facebook. Also, don’t forget to “like” and respond to their follower comments!
- Supplemental Content: Facebook allows you to include boxes in the upper right hand corner of your profile, next to the “About” section to photos, Instagram, your “band page” or “fan page,” videos, etc. Use this section to drive traffic to your other social media websites.