There have been many debates about the use of personal Facebook account for business purposes.
Some people don’t like mixing work and play, some find it inappropriate to talk about business on their personal account while others don’t mind spreading their work around a little more.
And many entrepreneurs and marketers also tell us that Facebook doesn’t allow talking business on your personal account.
I want to talk about how you can leverage your personal Facebook account for business ethically, authentically, effectively and legally.
It is 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 (reading Facebook Help as of January 2020).
In the Facebook Terms, however, Facebook people don’t explicitly say that you aren’t allowed to use your personal Facebook account. In fact, they go on to state that they want people to use Facebook to express themselves and to share content that is important to them, but not at the expense of the safety and well-being of others or the integrity of our community (reading Terms of Service as of January 2020). Moreover, I reached out to Facebook to seek their current opinion about it and received the same understanding that Facebook doesn’t restrict the use of personal accounts to personal use only but expands it to who people really are. What, however, they don’t want is for people to start hard sale on their personal accounts, annoying the living light out of their friends and family.
And this is a thin line but very well felt by most of us. We know what it feels like when someone is trying to sell us something we don’t want or when we are treated as a number on someone’s sales spreadsheet.
This is why I am convinced that this isn’t a conversation about using your personal account for business but about our individual perceptions of business, sales and relationships.
For many of us, our work represents who we are! We impact lives, voice our stand and illustrate who we really are through what we do.
As a social media strategist, for example, I help established not for profits and service businesses on a mission leverage social media technology to reach their community, share their message, build donations and create impact.
My mission is to shift how we use social media to better our lives!
I find it fascinating how many people feel disappointed with social media, addicted to it, exhausted by or feel any other strong emotion towards it. Social media is just a tool – neutral, to me. I believe that recognising this emotionless identity of social media technology can help us create a better relationship with, propelling our mission.
I am not advocating for unethical social media use or breaking someone’s rules. I want to show you how the lines between personal life and business operation are often almost non-existent when we are aligned with what we do. It’s possible that this is something you have been feeling in your work as well.
I talk a lot about my business on my personal Facebook account however I don’t sell, advertise or market but showcase my leadership and what I stand for.
My personal Facebook account illustrates who I am and what I stand for. My business is a manifestation of that.
Over a decade long career I’ve watched social media change lives, assist with national revolutions and personal fund raisers, important projects’ crowd funding, lost family members’ discoveries and many more amazing occurrences made possible online.
People without voices in their lives (due to oppression or the lack of privileges) found strong voices on social media, now inspiring and changing lives of millions.
I’ve also been watching bad or confused marketers and entrepreneurs give empty promises on social media, selling secret formulas that don’t work and damage, witnessing cyber bullying, social media bots and many more misuses of social media technology.
I talk about all of the above on my personal social media account because this is who I am and this is what matters to me – this a huge part of my business and the work I do! Everyday, whether I am at my desk, client meeting or out for a drink.
According to Facebook, this is what personal accounts are for.
If you prefer to keep your personal account private, this is absolutely fine and your choice.
However, if you feel that the work you are doing must be shared and heard than talking about it on your personal Facebook account is simply allowing yourself to be who you are. And I’ll be honest, I love reading these!
I was researching many amazing women who were recommended to me as a guest speaker for one of my Changing Conversations gatherings. I spent couple of days researching all the shared with me names, reaching out to them directly, reading about them in the media and scrolling through their personal Facebook accounts. I loved reading their stories, opinions and stands in the industry – their personalities shine through technology.
Social media is one of the powerful tools that can help spread your ideas and your work, allowing to be discovered and build deep human connections.
This is why I love sharing my work on my personal account. And I wish more people did. I love reading what people stand for, what they find challenging, what is their vision, concerns, hobbies and what kind of work gets them out of bed.
Many already share what they stand for without realising, whether that’s sharing an article about climate change or writing up a rant about Telstra, posting selfies or food snaps. Your sharing can be strategised to represent who you are and you can give away only as much information as you feel comfortable.
I believe there is place and time to use your personal Facebook account for your business. And I think it’s really empowering when you speak your truth (whether that’s on the streets, television or social media).
I design simple and effective social media and Facebook ads strategies helping gifted not for profits and businesses for purpose leverage their social media technology and loyal community to really power their mission, building more donations and creating impact. My work is custom solution aiming at the specific needs of your work.
There are many ways you can reach out to see if I am a good fit for your goals. Check out the Facebook Messanger bubble on the bottom right, contact page on the top and/or a form and a calendar, if this type of communication suits you better.
I look forward to supporting your vision of the future!