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The #1 Mistake On Your Personal Facebook Profile

[UPDATE: December 17, 2011: Now that the Facebook Timeline has rolled out worldwide, the way you access your Employer field has changed. Under your Cover image, there are three possible ways to access your Work and Education details and all the other data that was previously under your “Info” tab. See screenshot below – 1) click anywhere in the shaded area, or 2) click the Update Info button, or 3) click About.

Facebook Timeline - Update Info

Once on the Work and Education Section, click the “Edit” button in the top right of that section. Then begin to type in your own fan page if you work for yourself, or the fan page of your employer. Then add your Position, City/Town and a Description. For the position, you could use standard wording like “CEO” or you can put anything you wish, e.g. I have “Passionate Social Media Leader.” 🙂

Facebook Timeline - Update Work

If you currently have more than one job, as far as I know, you can only hyperlink one company fan page on your Timeline. I haven’t seen more than one employer linked in this section. However, it’s certainly feasible to add more into that section and when visitors/friends click on your About section, they’ll see the other jobs/positions. If you have difficulty in getting your main job to show as the featured one on your Timeline, you may need to delete the other jobs/employers and add the main one last.] End update.

Original post follows:

When Facebook upgraded personal profiles to the new design, most of the new features took effect without much effort on the user’s part. If you don’t like a certain photo in your five-photo strip at the top, just “x” it out to hide it from showing at the top. Tabs became links down the side, and we lost the most recent status update at the very top. (Oh, how I miss that feature as well as the wee mini-bio box!).

One of the most significant changes with the new profile design is the personal info at the top of your profile, right under your name. This section contains your job title, place of work, where you live, your birthday, education, hometown, languages, college/high school and a few other pertinent fields.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you prefer not to share any of these areas, just leave those fields blank when you edit your profile information. As you can see in the screenshot below, I choose to only show my title, employer, city of residence and birthday. I figure less is more when it comes to personal info on Facebook! By the way, only you can see fields left blank as indicated by links inviting you to “Add your xxxx.”

[Also, hot tip: be sure to change your date of birth to only show month and day – not the year – to add a layer of protection].

Facebook Profile Mari Smith

The #1 mistake? Your Employer link is a Community Page!

Go to your Facebook profile now and mouseover your Employer field – you’ll see it’s not linked to your fan page! When Facebook changed your profile to the new design, it automatically hyperlinked your EMPLOYER field to an auto-generated COMMUNITY PAGE!

(What is a Community Page? It’s an auto-generated wiki style of page that, in some ways, “competes” with your official fan page… at least, it can be confusing for some people when they’re trying to find you. For a full explanation of Community Pages and what you need to know, see this post.)

If you work for yourself and have your own Facebook Fan Page (or you’re an employee and your employer has a fan page), I highly recommend that you change this Employer field to your Fan Page.


Facebook Fan Page Hover Card Mari Smith

I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of personal Facebook profiles where the user is clearly blissfully unaware that they are missing out on an opportunity to promote their Fan Page right at the top of their profiles. We have no idea how many people might be browsing our personal profiles, whether they are friends or not, and you may as well take the opportunity to promote your fan page.

How to add your Facebook Fan Page as your Employer:

The process is straightforward:

  1. Click Edit Profile > then go to the Education and Work section.
  2. Begin typing the name of your fan page in the Employer field.
  3. If you see your fan page in the dropdown menu, select it.
  4. Then fill out the remaining fields (Position, City/Town, Description and Time Period). If you also add in any business partners/colleagues, this will show on their profile too under the Employer section.
  5. Click Add Job.
  6. You can also add Project(s) to any position and add business partners/colleagues (again, this shows on their Employer section).
  7. Voila!

Facebook Employer - Starbucks

If you find that your fan page just does not want to show up in the Employer field, there is a Ninja workaround which takes a tad of tecchie knowledge. See this helpful tutorial.

That’s it. I’m sure there are many other “mistakes” some Facebook users make on their personal profiles (besides having a personal profile in the name of a business which is a violation of Facebook’s terms!). But, I feel this one mistake with the missed opportunity to promote your fan page is the most overlooked area.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below. Also, what other mistakes or tips for optimizing profiles do you know of? Feel free to share!

Recommended reading:

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Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. Tryhealthtracy on December 19, 2011 at 8:56 am

    thank you! Great suggestion, just did it!!

  2. Christopher Gamble on December 17, 2011 at 1:12 am

    This is OUT OF DATE….Any idea how to put TWO or more Linked Pages in you ABOUT area in Profile on your Cover Page…I.E. It takes my first business Stratico as my employer but won’t ad my second business FIRST IMPRESSION too. I want the cover to show more than one employee so I can link to more than one PAGE.t

    • Mari Smith on December 17, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      You can add as many employers and jobs as you wish. However, as far as I know, you can’t have two employers linked. 

    • Mari Smith on December 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Btw, I just updated the post now with new screenshots and instructions. See top. 

  3. Guest on November 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I have a question! I work two jobs. I just now added my second job onto facebook, and it automatically became the one in that box of info at the top, but it’s just my weekend job. Is there a way to make my first and primary job the one that shows up top? (I’m assuming that deleting and re-adding my primary one again would move it back to the box but I’m seeing if there’s an easier way.)

    • Christopher Gamble on December 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

      Especially in COVERS…How do you get TWO or MORE employees (Pages) to sit there?

    • Mari Smith on December 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Hi there — I don’t know the answer to this without going in to try and add a second Employer on my own profile… which of course then goes out into the News Feed. Grr! My guess is is you have more than one “Current” employers/jobs, that the last one you added will be the primary one linked under your Cover image. 

  4. Vineet on October 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Yeah, this is gud info for people, I xplored it few weeks bck :~)

  5. Buy to Let Properties on September 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

     As usual great stuff.

  6. Rochelle Dorsey on September 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Excellent tips!

  7. Stephanie Garcia on September 15, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Thanks Mari for sharing this! I went and looked at my profile and realized that all of my previous companies were linking to a community page versus my company’s branded page. I look forward to hearing your other Facebook Do’s and Dont’s at tomorrow’s event with Social Media Club San Diego.

  8. Susan Von Achen on August 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    My thanks to you! No wonder I was seeing that other page. It’s all fixed now. 🙂

  9. Annette Jones on August 5, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Great tip Marie, have changed this immediately on my profile! And of course thank-you

  10. Jeremiah Johnson on August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks so much for the information.  Every time that I read your posts I discover something else about Facebook that I didn’t know.  Great information.

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