As soon as I tell people I am a Social Media consultant, I instantly get some questions on how they should improve their online presence. It also happened at Fundalucia, a quiet oasis near Granada where I was staying after attending the Spark congress. Axel, who runs the place, was wondering how to better use the internet for reaching his customers, mainly young backpackers travelling around Spain & Europe.
I told Axel how Social Media has completely changed the way of doing promotion today. It’s not about selling anymore, it’s about gaining trust. About making your customers love your product so much, that they will recommend it to their friends (on Social Media).
Word-of-mouth is now happening online. You can monitor it and you can measure it. You can get into a dialogue with your customers or would-be customers. All you need is to have the right channels in place and know how to use them. The guidance you might need here, is part my job.
‘Being’ on Facebook
‘To be or not to be’ on Facebook for a Bed&Breakfast and Hostel business like Fundalucia is not the question, it’s a must. Because that’s where the target audience of young travellers are ‘living’, where they will express their love for the place and where word-of-mouth is going to happen.
The question is how. Fundalucia opened a personal Facebook profile instead of a Facebook business page. A typical mistake so many other small businesses make. That’s why, in exchange for a freshly cooked meal, I consulted Axel on the differences between both profile types.
Friends versus Fans
A personal profile is for persons. Persons have friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Businesses don’t have ‘friends’. They have customers that like their products or services. They have ‘fans‘.
Asking your customers to like your business page and become a fan instead of asking them to become your friend is the first important difference between being on Facebook with a page or with a personal profile. On a Facebook page, people don’t need your ‘acceptance’ to become a fan. They can simply click the ‘Like’ button under your cover photo.
A Facebook page timeline is also viewable for people that aren’t logged in or registered on Facebook. If you have no resources to build & maintain a website or blog, a Facebook page is the best alternative. Especially if you take care of getting a branded link such as www.facebook.com/fundalucia instead of something unremindable like www.facebook.com/pages/Cozette/262347590490920.
On a Facebook page, anyone can directly post on your timeline. On a personal profile, only friends can do this. For Fundalucia, this option is extremely useful as it allows guests to directly write a review on the page. It’s also an easy way to ask questions, share experiences or get in touch with other guests.
Of course, you can adapt the page settings to moderate which content goes public. You can also decide if you want content to be published to the timeline or to be listed in the “recent posts from others” box on the top right.
Converting towards a Facebook page
There are many more advantages for a business to have a Facebook page instead of a personal profile, but I guess that, just like Axel, you’re already convinced you should change your personal profile into a Facebook page as soon as possible.
The process is very easy. Just follow the instructions under the Facebook help pages of Converting Your Personal Account to a Facebook Page. Your friends will be automatically converted into fans, but you will loose the content of the timeline of your personal profile and any other content added there. As for the timeline you will have to start from zero again, but believe me, it’s worth it!