Best practices 2019 for Facebook as a professional?
September 9, 2019 11:53 AM   Subscribe

I quit Facebook in 2010 when I went back to school. It was great! I am now thinking of setting up a Facebook page to help manage my name as brand identity as I'm now an established medical professional.

My secondary goal would be that my martial arts team and the local beer collectives all use fb to announce - and register for - events.

What are current best practices in this as I've been off Facebook since I started school? Other than the aforementioned 'being aware of events', I really don't want to have any personal life on this Facebook.
posted by cobaltnine to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hmmm- I think a Linkd In profile might serve your needs better? I rarely see Facebook used in this way.
posted by jeszac at 12:27 PM on September 9, 2019

Are you a medical professional that is looking to promote your business via Facebook? If so, a page would make more sense than a personal profile.
posted by k8t at 12:50 PM on September 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can use Facebook this way, but its kind of boring... I mean Facebook is so by design, and using it for branding even more so.

If you want to create some sort of brand identity in your field, you can do that through FB, but you have to spend time engaging other people in your field... just post articles about your professional field, share articles posted by high profile / active users in your community, and don't ever get sucked into pointless debates with your conservative relatives who insist on posting Infowars links on your account. Better yet, don't friend your relatives or friends, and make sure your account is set on private throughout.

I do think if you are *really* trying to develop a professional presence in your field, LinkedIn will do you better, and on preview, a page would be better than a personal account. FB can mostly just get you into trouble.

If you just need to sign up for events, you can use FB for that, just don't post random crap on your wall.
posted by RajahKing at 12:53 PM on September 9, 2019

You'll need to set up a person profile to be able to have a page (and the latter is what you want to use to promote your brand, sounds like you know that). You'll log in with your person account, but you don't have to accept any friends. I'd suggest not having a pic on your personal profile and just deleting any friend requests you get, so really your personal profile is just a means of logging on.

The only thing you'll need to do with your personal profile will be to like/join the pages/groups that have the events of which you want to be notified. If anybody ever says they'll find you on facebook, it's fine to give them an absolute "I don't use facebook except for business" and ignore their requests.

Then you only ever post to your page, don't make any posts on your personal feed. Post regularly, interact with people who comment, use your page to like other pages that might be relevant in the hope they'll like you back - local area pages, etc. Hold competitions with prizes, asking people to share your posts to attract more Likes. Hidden away somewhere on the Insights tab, you'll find a chart that shows you what time of day most of the people who like you are online, so use the scheduler to time your posts around then. You can experiment with paying to promote posts to specific audiences, though I've found that underwhelming and you will then be constantly harrassed by notifications from facebook trying to sell you more promos.

All the posts, replies etc you make to your page will appear under your page name (rather than your personal name) with a few weird exceptions - I think replying to comments on a page on your phone means they'll often be posted from you as an individual, so look out for that, you can probably get around that by using a Pages app rather than the regular facebook one.

It's probably easiest (both for you and your audience) if your page has a title that's not just your name, to distinguish it from your personal account - so Cobaltnine Widgetmaker rather than just Cobaltnine.

I think it works best if you're a brand that has a decent existing following IRL - I do this at work with a brand that's basically a membership organisation, so we already have a few thousand people out there who are inclined to think "Oh, I wonder if they're on facebook?"

This is all assuming your aim is to market yourself to the public. If it's more aimed at others in your industry, agree that LinkedIn is probably a better bet. I'd also seriously consider Instagram, and whether it would be a better bet and a more efficient way to promote a brand - you can get easily discovered by good use of hashtags, you don't have to come up with different formats of post (pic, video, text etc) the way you do for facebook - it's just pics. But you do need a good stream of visuals to make it worthwhile.
posted by penguin pie at 2:02 PM on September 9, 2019

I guess I was unclear - what I want to do is manage my name-space, as I'm not running an independent business. My patients have googled me and come up with my second cousin and nothing about me. I'd like to have a Facebook presence that is kind of generically health promoting - so that when people look me up they get some educational stuff and evidence-based bits and pieces within my field - but also I'd like to be able to use the same thing to deal with my hobbies that insist on using it. I wasn't sure how separate these things can be - like if I register for beer and cheese pairings my patients don't see it (especially if I just told them to cut down on either...)
posted by cobaltnine at 3:26 PM on September 9, 2019

If being googlable is your goal, you'd be better off setting up a professional looking web page with your bio and contact information. People don't want to find their doctor on Facebook and vice versa.
posted by k8t at 3:44 PM on September 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

I’m confused by your update - as far as I can see, what you’ve described there is exactly what I described how to do in the comment above...?

In case it’s not obvious - Facebook uses Page to describe an outward-facing, promotional... well... page... for an organisation, personality, whatever. It’s intended as a shop-window. That page is administered by an individual person (or people).

So first you set up your personal account (no photo, privacy settings locked down). Then you use that to set up your outward facing page for your business persona, with your personal account as admin.

You can have a fb page for your professional presence without having to prove to fb that you’re actually an independent business - I see eg. actors and freelance photographers and journos do this all the time, calling their page [First name] [Last name] [Job title].

Meanwhile, you use the personal side of the account for your personal social stuff. Nothing that you do personally (eg accepting the invite to the beer and cheese night) is remotely visible to people who like your brand’s Page - your personal stuff is nothing to do with your Page, except using the same login, because you have to be logged in as yourself in order to admin your Page.
posted by penguin pie at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’ve never looked for a medical professional on FB, although their practices usually have a page. Mostly I’m either interested in finding contact info for their office or reviews, like

My real-life friends who are in the medical professions (as well as a lot of teachers) all use pseudonyms - first and middle name, spouse’s last name even if it’s not their legal or professional name, that kind of thing. I’d suggest doing that for your hobby groups, and don’t worry about patients finding you. People shouldn’t be surprised not to find their doctor on FB.

If you want googling to turn up a professional profile, set it up on LinkedIn. You can use that to post articles, etc.
posted by Kriesa at 5:30 PM on September 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't think of Facebook as a professional place for anything.
posted by agregoli at 10:54 AM on September 10, 2019

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