I had this email from a musician friend of mine today complaining that he had been banned from Facebook:
“I know many of you use Social Networking Sites to promote your musical activities, particularly Facebook.
Be aware! They’ve just deleted my account without warning because I “was using Facebook to promote a business”. My crime? Telling the lovely people who’d agreed to be my FB friend that I was doing a gig!!
Just be aware that it’s not worth putting any effort into promoting yourself or your band/business via Facebook”
It’s easy to see why he’s so annoyed – after all, the people who he was “promoting his business” to had all agreed to get posts from him, so it was hardly spamming.
But his experience is worth learning from – whether you are a musician or a business looking to drum up trade on Facebook.
Social media is promoted strongly as a forum for promoting businesses – and with good reason. So it might seem odd that this can happen.
The trouble is that while Facebook is trying, commendably, to stop people blatantly spamming about their business online it isn’t always as clear as it should be about it’s rules and regs – unless you are one of the 1% of people who actually reads all the terms and conditions you sign up for.
Facebook can be used to promote your business – as blatantly as you like – but you have to do it in the right place.
What my friend – and many businesses who use Facebook as a platform – didn’t realise is that while Facebook doesn’t want you to use your personal page as a selling platform, it’s more than happy for you to do the same on a fan page.
What’s a fan page?
Essentially its a Facebook page that, in their words, “looks and behaves like user Profiles”, but can be used to “engage with customers and amplify your voice to their friends”.
Why do they make the distinction?
For two reasons mainly: Firstly to stop abuse of normal personal pages by spammy businesses, and secondly because Facebook can look to “monetize” these pages in a way that might appear, well.. spammy, if they did it with personal pages.
So, if you are a business just starting out in social media – make sure you put your promotional content in the right place or you could risk losing all your hard work. And if you are Facebook – try to make this point a bit clearer to ordinary users.
How to set up a Fan Page
Open a Facebook account, then go to this page on Facebook. Simple!