A brand presence on Facebook was once seen as a ‘nice-to-have’ but is now increasingly regarded as critical. As Facebook’s saturation into society continues, brands that don’t have any kind of presence on Facebook run the risk of being ignored and as time goes in, it could be harder and harder to break into the channel as other brand continue to lead the field.
Some of the reluctance from businesses comes from the perceived association that is required between a personal profile and the brand page. Businesses may not yet have developed their social strategy in a way that means that they are comfortable for a personal profile to support the brand page. They may not even have the right people to do it. Even if they do, there is often reluctance to allow individuals to ‘personalize’ those brand accounts and there are also workplace productivity issues to consider if the lines between business and personal use become blurred.
Facebook has the solution, however, and now enables businesses to set up brand pages without having a personal profile to support them. To set the page up businesses need to complete the following steps.
1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
2. Select ‘Local Business or Place’
3. Choose the category that best fits your business and then provide the name, location and phone number
4. Check the statement to confirm that you accept the terms and conditions.
5. Click Get Started
6. On the next page, select ‘I do not have a Facebook account’
7. Enter an email address that is not associated with Facebook. This could be the brand manager or the social community manager but really needs to be an email address that is not tied to an individual. A brand group inbox is a good idea. This can, however, be changed via the admin settings at a later date anyway.
8. Select a password and date of birth then enter the captcha verification code.
9. Click ‘Sign up now!’
10. Confirm email address via opt-in link sent to the nominated inbox.
The brand page is now set up and can be built and launched publicly.
If setting up a brand page in this way, however, take care that it doesn’t become too disconnected and still retains a personal touch. Social network users like to feel that they are dealing with a real person and if your brand page is too remote, they will just see it as another corporate portal. That aside, as a means of countering some of the other concerns highlighted, this is a useful workaround for brands looking to maintain a Facebook presence without making it part of a personal profile.