I believe Facebook can help build the brand of an entrepreneur, while also be useful as a way for an entrepreneur to stay in touch with friends, family, and even co-workers/business partners. Here are a couple of tips an entrepreneur can use to help build their brand on Facebook:
Build your brand on Facebook
1. Maintain a limited profile
Facebook allows you to add new friends to a limited profile or your general profile. I believe this is very valuable, as it allows you to add new connections (which, most likely, will either be friends or people you encounter in your entrepreneurial adventures). Instead of maintaining two profiles, you can maintain your normal profile and restrict access to it.
For your main profile, allow people you have a “real-life” connection to (so you can feel free to post content on there and know it won’t be widely disseminated). For your limited profile, you should focus on allowing access to an area of your profile that allows you to tell your entrepreneurial story and has links to your business. This could be the “about me” or the “work info” portion of your profile. You may even want to consider allowing unlimited access (anyone can see it) to those portions of your profile. Treat those areas as more of an advertisement than personal content.
2. Create a Facebook group or fan page about entrepreneurship – and be active in it.
If you are looking to further your brand as an entrepreneur, you should create a facebook group or fan page about entrepreneurship. Post articles about entrepreneurship. Discuss the certain nuances it takes to become an entrepreneur. Recommend good books for building a business. Just make sure if you decide to dive in – to remain active. Show that you are an entrepreneur who is truly building the fan page or group – answer questions, respond to links/content in the group. This will further demonstrate your level of expertise to people just encountering you on Facebook.
3. Encourage people to post on your wall
If you have an active wall, it shows people have an interest in you. If you have an active wall where everyone is posting entrepreneurship tips, advice, articles, and content, then someone who comes to your page for the first time will see someone who is involved with entrepreneurship 24/7. It’ll show entrepreneurship is in your DNA and is something that has become a main focus of what you do and what you do online. And that’ll help to continue to build your brand.
Ben Cathers is a young entrepreneur and author who successfully built three different internet startups before he was 19. Ben is the author of Conversations with Teen Entrepreneurs and was named in 2005 by CNN as a member of “America’s Bright Future.” Ben has been quoted/featured in the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo! Internet Life, The London Sunday Times and in over 40 different publications. Today, Ben is working on his 4th startup (stealth mode – in the social media space), does web strategy consulting for small to medium companies, runs the social media group for Lightspeed Financial, maintains a blog on social media and entrepreneurship at BenCathers.com and is on the advisory boards of BranchR.com, ZepFrog Corp and iGot2Know LLC.