Facebook is a lot more than a place for teens to exchange photos and play games. This social networking tool also allows business owners to make new industry contacts and connect with potential clients. Using Facebook for business, however, can ruin your reputation if you do it incorrectly. Follow these tips for setting up a Facebook account and using it to your advantage.

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Profile Creation  

Facebook allows you to create a detailed profile that includes your work history, education, hobbies and interests. Maintain professionalism when creating your profile, or else you run the risk of other professionals not taking you seriously. Avoid making disparaging remarks about past employers, always use professional language, and proofread your profile before publishing it to catch any errors.  

Choosing a Photo  

Choosing a photo is one of the most important steps in creating a business profile on Facebook. This is not the time to post glamour shots that have you looking suggestively at the camera. If you plan to get a photo done specifically for Facebook, ask the photographer to take several shots. These shots should show your entire face, as this is what people will see when they look at your profile. Avoid wearing too much makeup or jewelry, as these can be distracting. Dress conservatively for the photo, as it will be seen by thousands of different people.

 Custom URL  

When you first create a Facebook page, your URL will be something like www.facebook.com/194. Facebook allows you to create a custom URL that contains your name, business name or other segment of text. If you are using your Facebook profile for business purposes, your URL should contain information about your profession or industry. A professional photographer, for example, might choose https://www.facebook.com/gardpasscyber URL. Using this Facebook feature makes it easier for people to find your profile.

 Wall Posts  

Your Facebook has a “wall,” which is where you should post updates. Keep these updates focused on business whenever possible. You might update people about changes to your website, provide information about upcoming professional events or share industry tips with your Facebook readers. Minimize the number of personal messages you share on your business Facebook profile. Before you post any content to your wall, proofread it carefully and make sure it does not contain any terminology that would confuse readers.  

Sharing Links  

Facebook makes it easy to share links, but use caution when deciding which links to post. Make sure they are useful or interesting for the people in your target market, or else people may drop you from their friend lists. Always vet links before posting them so that you do not inadvertently post a link to adult content or to websites infected with viruses and malware.