I have been seeing this a lot: Entrepreneurs using their personal Facebook timelines to promote their businesses.
And it’s not an occasional post. Some entrepreneurs are using personal Facebook timelines in lieu of a business page.
And I get why: You want people to see your stuff. The organic reach on a Facebook Page is crap. You get more eyeballs when you post it on your personal timeline.
However, as someone who teaches authentic marketing principles, I have to warn you against this practice. Not only does it violate Facebook Terms of Service, it’s against the principles of permission-based marketing.
The video you see below is a 30-minute Facebook Live, where you can get the full training on this topic.
If you need a “Reader’s Digest” version, then please read my blog post below.
Either way, I hope you will learn some valuable nuggets on how to market through Facebook – authentically and with integrity.
I love to create graphics that enhance the learning in my weekly marketing strategies. Please feel free to share these on your social media!
Not too long ago, I posted on my personal Facebook Timeline about a big pet peeve of mine – when entrepreneurs post about their businesses on their personal Facebook timelines all the time.
My Facebook friends responded in droves. Most agreed, a few disagreed, and some shared my post or mentioned it in their own Facebook posts.
What was clear from the response is that I needed to educate more about this topic, which is why I am writing this marketing strategy for you today.
In a nutshell, I propose that you don’t use your personal Facebook timelines for business promotion.
(When I say “promotion,” I am referring to posts where you are trying to get a customer or a sale. In other words, when you decide to share this business news on your personal timeline, your intention is to sell.)
I am not referring to posts about your business, like when you want to share good news. I am speaking of posts that are intended to get in someone’s wallet. (Just keeping it real…)
Let’s look at why this is a bad practice.
#1: Facebook prohibits you from using your personal timeline to represent your business
First, let’s look at what Facebook has to say about personal timelines and your business. Here’s their exact language:
“It’s against the Facebook Terms to use your profile to represent something other than yourself (example: your business), and you could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.” (Source: Facebook Help Center)
Furthermore, I have known business coaches who have lost access to their personal Facebook timelines, business pages, and Facebook groups for promoting their businesses on their personal timelines.
So, if you consider their language and the consequences you face for violating this rule, I would interpret this as “don’t promote your business on your personal timeline.”
Why risk it?
#2: Promoting on your personal timeline violates permission-based marketing
As a proponent of permission-based marketing, here’s my take on promoting your business on your personal timeline.
Becoming your friend of Facebook doesn’t equal opting in to your marketing.
If they wanted to hear your business promotion, they will like and engage with your Facebook Page or Group.
Here’s what Seth Godin says about permission marketing:
“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” (from Seth’s blog)
You see, the foundation of authentic marketing is respect. Respect for your customer’s time. Respect for your customer’s attention. And respect for the boundaries your customer wants between you and your marketing messages.
When you are selling through your personal timeline, you are not giving them this respect. I am so sorry if this triggers or angers you. It’s the truth, and I say it with enormous love.
#3: I can hear your objections from here
I can guess some of your objections. The Facebook algorithm sucks, so no one sees your Facebook Page posts. If they were my friends, they would respect my business. Or, they can just click the unfollow button. My business is my passion and life.
I know, and I know, and I know.
I know it’s frustrating to market through Facebook Pages. I know you want people to hear about your stuff.
But I don’t want you to lose your Facebook “assets” because you make this decision. I don’t want you to piss off your friends and potential clients because you make this decision.
I want you to succeed, and yes, I want you to do it authentically and with integrity.
There are no shortcuts in marketing. There is no magical marketing pill. That includes your personal Facebook timeline. It appears to be a shortcut, but it’s not. I promise. If it was, I would tell you use “go for it.”
Finally, remember that you own nothing as it relates to your Facebook timeline, page, and group. Facebook owns it. Please don’t put all your marketing eggs in the Facebook basket. If Facebook closed tomorrow, what would you do?
(If you have additional questions, be sure to watch my Facebook Live because I go more in depth there.)
I am rooting for you, always.
Need more marketing inspiration?
If you need more ideas on how to get clients, check out my Magnetic Marketing Checklist (it’s a free download!). It’s packed with ideas on how to authentically attract more customers to your business.
Hi, I’m Jill Celeste. I teach purpose-driven entrepreneurs (just like you) everything you need to know about marketing so you can become the Director of Marketing for your business.
Because when you put your Director of Marketing hat squarely on your head, marketing is your number one priority (which will result in more clients!).
When I am not teaching about marketing, you’ll find me hanging out with my husband or my teenage boys, or taking a nap with my basset hound, Emma. I also like to play with my two kittens and feed the backyard ducks (much to my neighbor’s chagrin).
If you’re feeling alone in your entrepreneurial journey, I invite you to check out my monthly membership group, The Celestial Circle. Affordable, loving, supportive, informative, and fun – that’s how we roll in The Celestial Circle. We would love to welcome you!