Facebook has a corporate social media version of a personal profile page, called, simply, “Pages.”
Also known as Fan Pages, Business or Like Pages, these profiles allow you to feature your business without violating the trust factor outlined above. There is a very important difference between personal profile pages and Business Page:
Only the Business Pages are fully indexed by search engines like Google.
Personal profiles are personal. Why would they be indexed as part of public content? While a couple of pieces of data (like name and bio data) will be indexed from personal profiles, on a Business Page, everything is indexed. A business page can actually function as a website if you have nothing else. They are quite versatile, and even have a built in blog called “Notes” as well as other built in ways to spread content virally.
And it’s all free. Great place to start.
Keep in mind that because it’s free, Google is also free to delete your account at any time for any reason. Get a little friendly with people who don’t know you, and your account might disappear. But only if people are complaining, or you “friend” people too aggressively.
Because Pages are indexed, and with Facebook being such a large presence online, these pages can rise rapidly to the first page of Google. My very first social media client, who to this day does not have a website, rose to the 1st page of Google in 4 months, and has been getting regular sales (phone orders) as a result of having a Fan Page, with zero overhead to worry about.
While there is no guarantee that being a part of Facebook will net you more sales, it’s certainly not going to hurt. Actually, let me amend that statement. If you have terrible service, and your customers would rather not refer you as a result, stay as far away from Facebook as you can. Good works travel well on Facebook, since it’s so easy to share with friends, but bad service travels just as fast, if not faster.
Most small businesses have good reputations because they can deliver such personal service. If that’s the case for you, jump in and start a Facebook profile today, and branch into a Business Page if appropriate.