Friends Or Fans? Making The Personal Into Business on Facebook

Facebook Like ButtonI've been asked this question two times in the past week:

I've got a ton of friends on Facebook and not nearly as many fans on my page. What's the deal and how do I get more fans on my business page?

Or put another way, how do you jump start your brand new Facebook business page? Mix personal with professional.

If you've been using Facebook chances are that you've connected with a few friends, perhaps a few hundred. But now you're putting your company on there and have a brand spanking new business page. But as we all know just because you build it doesn't mean they will come. And to get numbers you need numbers. The first place to get them is your pool of friends on Facebook.

Let's look at at the steps.

Step 1: Set Up Your Business Facebook Page

First you need somewhere for your friends to come. No need to reinvent the wheel here so head on over to this tutorial on the Facebook Help Center to set up your page. Ensure you have all the following filled out:

  • All basic information
  • Profile picture – either a logo for a “brand” business or a photo of you if you're going the personal branding route
Facebook Edit Company Profile

Facebook Edit Company Profile

Step 2: Page Lockdown

Once you're profile information is filled out it's time to make it secure. If you have any country or age restrictions put them in. For instance, let's say you're a musician and have profane lyrics in your music. Now I'm cool with that however some kids' parents might not be. Better safe than sorry here. Update the age restrictions accordingly.

Another important setting is the default landing tab. In the interest of lead capture you'll want to have some type of opt-in tab that can exchange a freebie for a name and email address. In the beginning though, I don't recommend it. Why? You want as low a barrier to entry as possible.

(We can debate the opt-in from the beginning in the comments.)

Facebook Page Security Settings

Facebook Page Security Settings

Step 3: Bring The Rain!

2 points for whoever can tell me when the phrase “bring the rain” became associated with bringing business. Frankly I'm really curious so let us know in the comments. And speaking of bringing the rain…

Step 3 is getting your first Facebook business page fans. This is where you tap your current base of Facebook friends. Send a message to all your peeps and ask them to come and like your new page. And then ask them to tell all their friends to like your page.

Facebook Status Update

Facebook Status Update

Step 4: What Happens On Facebook Never Stays There

Don't stay inside Facebook to promote your business page. There's a lot of love to get out there so go get it. Here are a few ways:

  • Tell everyone on Twitter about your new page, a few times a day for a week.
  • Write a blog post announcing the new page and syndicate on all of your social media channels
  • Email your friends about it
  • Email everyone on your email list about it – customers, prospects, everyone
  • Tell your friends about it when you go out for coffee – do they have mobile phones? Great – they can like your page right then and there

Tips For Growing Your Facebook Community

There's a ton of advice on getting more people to like your Facebook page. To start check out these 5 tips on optimizing your Facebook page from Social Media Examiner. But what it comes down to for us is three things:

  1. Is your demographic active on Facebook? Check out the Facebook stats on to see if your demographic is there. With a few hundred million people using the site chances are they're there, but check to be sure.
  2. Know what your goal is and how to measure it. What is the purpose of growing a FB community? Are you looking to get more leads, make more sales, grow brand recognition? Without a solid goal backed with metrics and a way to measure you're wasting your time.
  3. Provide value and exclusivity. If you have nothing to offer the people that like your page you may as not be there. Frankly this is something we're working on ourselves, but some of the things we've seen work very well are special offers, discounts, contests and more. To make it special for your Facebook people ensure that you only make your offer there. Exclusive is good.

Any Tips Of Your Own?

What has worked best for you on Facebook? Have you moved from having a personal profile to a business page? What helped you get the likes?

Let's talk about it in the comments…

See you there.


  1. Thanks for the post, Robert, as I know for a fact that I’m one of the people who constantly hound you with this dilemma. After reading the post, I noticed- as it so often happens whenever I read what you have to offer, that the majority of the time the problem with myself always leads back to a simple ( but very crucial ) step or two that I neglected to execute somewhere along the process. So….it’s back to the drawing board. Thanks again, Rob.

    • It’s the simple things that we tend to not be able to see Quintius which is why it’s so crucial for all of us to have a mastermind group of people that can help us see what we blind ourselves to. It’s always easier seeing things in others than it is ourselves.

  2. These are all pretty solid suggestions. I’ve been wondering for a while how to attract more fans to the company page, aside from simply inviting the personal friends I have on my individual Facebook account. Sometimes it seems like buying ad space is the only way to do so, but then again, new media is supposed to be viral-inclined more than anything, so sometimes it’s just about using word-of-mouth techniques, as you mentioned.

    I try to post the link to our company FB page on Twitter every once in a while, just so followers I might have who aren’t already fans can perhaps take the opportunity to like the page. This suggest is perhaps not as robust as those offered above, but sometimes integrating various social media platforms can serve in the best interest of all, even if the contribution is a minor one. It’s all about getting your name out there in any commendable way you can.

    • Hi Emma great point on integrating social networks. It’s amazing how many people spend time on more than one, and look to each for information the other. Case in point this post did pretty well on Twitter today. A Facebook post linked to on Twitter. Makes sense as it’s all social media, but not exactly intuitive.

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your technique.

  3. I don’t know if this is where it originated from, but I know back in the day, there were some who would travel around dry areas. They would try to make it rain by firing a cannon into the clouds. Some may have had a chemical or solution they fired. I don’t think it’s been proven scientifically to work, though.

    The quick research I did attributed it to the Transformers movie, but I’d be willing to bet the military had been using it before that if they let a line like that into the movie.

    Just couple of my guesses.

    Anyway, great post! I’m learning how to use social media to my site, and this post has given me some ideas to think about.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Grady thanks for coming. The Transformers movies were awesome. Great to meet a fellow fan.

      As for using social media for your site you’re in the right place here. How are you using it thus far?

  4. Hmmmmm. A “Rainmaker” is someone who brings in clients, leads and cash to a business. Perhaps bring the rain comes from that. At least that would be my guess.

  5. “Bring the rain” is a slang phrase used by members of the United States military forces meaning the speaker is ordering a heavy fusillade of artillery fire and/or aerial bombardment to be concentrated on a particular position.

    This article is timed just perfect. I have two clients I am setting up Fan Pages for and they have lot of fans on their Facebook pages they want to connect up. I like it when some does all the research and writes the information for me. Thanks! I will be sending them your way.

  6. Hi Robert,
    One tip that I use a lot and that has done wonders for my Biz FB page is to mix my personal profile with the business profile. I update as Erica Allison on the Allison Development Group page and then alternate with a biz update as well, only slightly different. That way, my friends who may not have already liked my page, see it in their stream and can now do that, esp if they have subscribed to my updates. Plus, I can track the analytics because I also updated via my biz profile. I also share my client “good news” items via my page, other articles or links, and of course, my blog posts. I get the most interaction when it’s about something going on that’s topical that my “fans” can hop on and discuss. I also get a lot of interaction when I just ask random questions via my biz page – people want to see a real person and not see all biz all the time. IMO.
    Not a clue on the rain quote, but I was once called a Rain Maker because I helped connect people to work! 🙂
    Have a great evening, Robert.

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