Mixing business with pleasure should be avoided as they say and that is what happened with my Facebook account. In addition, the Facebook business page of this very blog had converted into a showcase of my recent publications, including articles written in Greek, which I understand confused my Facebook followers. So, if you yourself are an active multilingual blogger like me and want to promote yourself in a more professional way, I suggest converting your personal Facebook profile to a Facebook business page. Something you should have done from the beginning.
Yes, an easier way is to set up a Facebook page for your business’ endeavors and leave anything personal to your… personal account (sigh). What is the problem with that? Read on.
In my case, I began by creating a website (the one you are currently reading this post) to let the world know of my online adventures. Back in 2005 there was no Facebook or at least it wasn’t that popular. I initially began writing in English in this website and eventually ended up writing more posts than I could ever imagine for various publishers, websites and blogs. All those posts needed some kind of promotion and by the time Facebook and Twitter went mainstream, I used their services to let my readers know where I recently published a new story.
If you are a dinosaur like me who started their online blogging career with a website before creating a Facebook account, chances are that you created a Facebook business page for your website, thinking that it would act as another way to increase your blog’s traffic. If you have succeeded in your blogging and partnered with other blogs or websites, I suppose you either chose to reference your new articles in your personal Facebook profile or in your website’s Facebook business page. In either case, that is not a wise idea.
First, if you share your stories in your personal Facebook account, your (real) friends might get a bit annoyed of you spamming their news feed and/or wall. Not every friend of ours is really interested in our hobbies. Real-life friends are in Facebook for a totally different reason than virtual friends. The latter might get excited by your newest article, which might have explained how they could make money in a second and told of riches beyond their wildest imagination, but the former would be more interested if you shared your daily workout at the gym! Surely you could create “friends’ lists” sharing specific posts to each one, but that would take time not only creating them, but also every time you wanted to share a simple sentence! I myself have gone through that path, and I strongly suggest against it.
Second and moving over to the Facebook business page, that was created having your own website in mind. It wasn’t meant having that page as a presentation of your blogging or authoring. People pressed the “like” button to become a fan of the website, where they found useful tips or enjoyed your writing. They didn’t expect to read statuses about irrelevant topics or even worse in an entirely unknown language! That is exactly what happened in my page when fans responded to my blog posts:
“It’s all Greek to me!”
And who could blame then, since the updates and posts were actually written in Greek! Some of the fans may have come from Greece and welcomed the updates, but the majority of the fan base must have driven off by that. So, I was looking for the best solution that would allow me to distinguish my blogging business from my personal blog and at the same time use Facebook to share my daily thoughts only with my real friends.
Introducing the conversion of a Facebook personal account to a Facebook page
I have been using an alias for my blogging. The same alias I have been using since I first connected to a 1995 BBS (bulletin board system; I told you I am a dinosaur) and the same I chose for my Facebook needs. Also the same one that was used for this website: j-i-m-m-a-k-o-s.com. What do you know, my online identity is Jim Makos.
As my online blogging business grew, so did my alias. From creating Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to using the authorship markup via Google+, that “Jim Makos” thing was easier identified. The few readers that spent a couple of minutes at my articles began recognizing the name and some were searching for it at Facebook. And that is how my virtual friends quickly overcame my real ones and how I was invited to become a member of innumerous Facebook groups.
Enough was enough. No more becoming “friends” with strangers or websites promoting (awfully) their business. I would even be afraid of activating the chat at Facebook, risking to get contacted by totally strangers who would ask me endless questions. Therefore I began looking around and came across a well-written post by Ken Morico about converting your Facebook profile into a Facebook business page. He mentions:
“Yes, you can [convert your facebook personal profile to a business page], but this isn’t a great option. If you want to convert a personal profile to a business page it’s probably because it wasn’t setup properly.”
Yeap, that’s me. But when I decided to open a Facebook account, I really didn’t expect that I would turn out to be a part-time blogger, posting articles at other blogs or discover my web designing skills along the way and publish new blogs! So, yes, I admit that my personal Facebook profile wasn’t set up properly. And that is why I opted to go that way.
What do I get by converting my personal Facebook profile into a business page?
Now I have a Facebook business page for my alias, where I will share all of my posts, no matter the subject or the language. Fans are “liking” a blogger/author’s page, so they should expect news of fresh publications of that author. No surprise for them. You want to keep up with Jim’s latest articles or investing ideas? Be sure to “like” his Facebook page.
At the same time this blog’s Facebook page will be free of confusing posts and non-understandable updates. The blog’s Facebook fans will be notified strictly only when a new post at JimMakos.com is published. Not each time Jim Makos decides to share his thoughts of the economy in a Greek blog or give his opinion of the latest Apple’s earnings report! You can find all that in his business page as a blogger/author.
Finally I can once again use Facebook as I was intended to, sharing photos when biking, tagging real friends in meetings, checking-in wherever I go or posting my latest results in iRacing! Or using bad language and swearing. Or giving marriage advice. In other words I can make a fool of myself without the risk of hurting my business Facebook profile. Or worrying if CSI is watching my back. Free at last! (Sorry, I am not looking for “Facebook friends” any more)