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How to Use Your Personal Facebook Profile as a Marketing Tool

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Before I launch into this topic let me be clear: Facebook profiles should never be used for business/marketing -- but that said, I've used my Facebook profile to connect and offer helpful guidance and it's worked extremely well for me, it can for you, too. Just remember, no selling.

When we work with clients, they often come to us with Facebook profiles that have lots of friends, but Fan Pages that don't have a ton of fans. Yes, you can try to move them over -- in fact, at one point Facebook would even let you migrate people from your profile to your Fan Page. Candidly, I don't know anyone who ever did that and I'm not even sure you can actually do that anymore.

The biggest problem most people face with a personal profile is that they have a lot of content that's, well, personal, and most people want to keep sharing personal information. So what I'm going to talk about, largely, is segmenting information out because that's the only and best way to capture some additional people to your message, and perhaps also fans to your Fan Page.

How to Separate Your Content on Facebook

Let's look at how you can segment out your lists, personal and public. With all the Facebook changes and updates, it's actually pretty darned easy to do this. Let's have a look.

First, you want to allow subscribers to sign up for your public updates. If you haven't set this in your account, now is the time to do so. Head to Account Settings and then click on "Subscribers."

When you've done that, head on over to your photo albums and set the privacy settings there, too. You'll see privacy settings by each group or photo album you have on Facebook.

And be sure to change any settings to indicate that you want to include particular groups only (as opposed to sharing publicly).

Managing Your Account Settings

Once you are in your account (you've clicked on Account Settings) you'll see on the left hand side toward the bottom where it says, "You can also visit your privacy settings." This will take you to where you need to go next and allow you to control each post as it's added to your personal profile.

You can also modify your personal Timeline settings so that this information is only visible to friends, but I feel like if you're going to use your profile for networking, why wouldn't you want people to learn more about you? I left my settings public, but you can decide what works for you!

This way, you can keep your personal "about" information private. I would suggest keeping things like your website listings public so people can always get to your business, blog or other websites.

Now to Update

Now that you're ready to use your personal profile for networking purposes, you'll want to post helpful information. Links to articles, even helpful tweets, videos and any other content that your consumer might benefit from. Remember: be helpful, not salesy.

And finally, one of the biggest benefits to using a personal profile is that the updates tend to show up better in the news stream, and it only takes four Likes and four comments to rise to the top of the newsfeed. One of the things I'll do on my Facebook profile occasionally is go to www.someecard.com and create something funny, or use a quote around my area of expertise. People love quotes and love humor, you can do this to help drive more engagement to your profile page and, more exposure. Just be sure that when you're posting stuff that you want to share publicly that you modify each of those status updates so it will push the content out publicly. If you have your security set to keep your updates isolated to your friends, you will need to modify each public update as you post it.

If you've got a lot of people on your profile and don't want to give up the connections you've made there, these easy tweaks will let you stay connected and keep them informed, without giving up any of your personal information. Marketing on Facebook doesn't have to be limited to Fan Pages but again, be careful not to sell. Inform, inspire, engage, you'll be amazed at the great connections you can make that way!

To see how I work my profile with these strategies, click here: https://www.facebook.com/penny.sansevieri

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