The How’s and Why’s of Facebook Lists for Personal Branding

Although most people seem to know that the most successful social media marketing must have a personal touch as well as a business touch, too much personal can easily turn present and future customers away  from your door. With the advent of Facebook starting out as a “personal and almost face-to-face experience” but quickly becoming a successful tool for business marketing as well, there are masses of confused people who are trying to make it work both ways. And it is failing. I’ve even heard of some businesses refusing to be on Facebook due to this.

The truth of the matter is this, Facebook can be a very powerful personal branding tool, but it must be used correctly. If, as a personal brand, your following on Facebook seems to stay around at the same number versus growing, then there is an issue. I suggest writing down your number of followers/likes  each day for a couple of weeks. Watch the patterns. If you lose a few people in a day or few days time, go look at your posts for those days. A few weeks of tracking will give you a better idea of what your readers are looking for.

Here are some tips to help  you on Facebook in your Personal Branding:

1. Make a business page. Put the majority of your business-related posts on a business page. Facebook will shut you down for too much “advertising” on a personal page. To make a business page, log out of Facebook and go back to Click on “create a page for a celebrity, band or business”.  OR within Facebook  you can go to any business page and scroll down on bottom left column to find “create a page for my business”.

2. Make friend lists on your personal page. To do this, click on “friends” on the left side of your page, then click on “create a list”. Name the list and choose the friends you wish to put on that list. In the future, add people to their list when you accept their friend request or when you send a friend request. At the very least, try to categorize your friends into “personal” and “business”.  Some people also add a “family” list. And yes, people can be on more than one list.

3. Use the lists! To do this, post your status and then click on the padlock sign underneath the status box. Choose “customize”, “specific people” and then add in the lists that you want to see that update. You can also hide the update from other lists (or people).

4. Use discretion. While posting fun things while at a family reunion is appropriate for a family/friends list, this is something that those following your brand may grow tired of. However, business announcements, mentions of clients or work duties etc are appropriate posts for your business audience.

5. Accept friend requests from people that you don’t know (assume they are interested in your brand), but list them accordingly. And of course, always use caution and be conscious of safety. If someone gives you a pause, there is a reason. Do not be afraid to “unfriend”. Although they won’t receive notice, they will find out later if they go to your page and it says “add as friend”. If you don’t want them to know that you unfriended them or if they are a safety hazard, block them so they can’t even go to your page (under privacy settings).

Both followings on Twitter and Facebook can flounder or grow stagnant with too much about your personal life. Be friendly and let your personality show through. Respond to questions or concerns. But don’t flood the stream with TMI.

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Facebook Social Marketing Pros

4 thoughts on “The How’s and Why’s of Facebook Lists for Personal Branding

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  3. Good tips, Julie! Maintaining a personal Facebook account is different from maintaining a Facebook account for a business, and you do an excellent job of outlining the differences here. Just because your customers aren’t necessarily your friends doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be treated like they are friends.

    – Dmitriy from

  4. Thanks for reading Dmitriy and others. This really has already made an impact. I only made this change a few days ago but friends on FB have increased by 90 already since I started using the system. My following on Twitter continues to grow but FB had been stagnant. Apparently, I should have used the listing system a long time ago! Live and learn, I guess. @juliebonnheath

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