Are you wondering how to best use Facebook for your business?

Should you open your personal profile with a Facebook Subscribe button? Would a Facebook Group work well for your business?

The simple truth is that Facebook Pages are not being seen as often in the news feed.

Facebook reported that on average, brands reach about 16% of their fans in a typical week through posts. This news has many people wondering if Pages are still a worthwhile endeavor.

Find out how to choose the best marketing strategy that fits your business by answering these simple questions.

#1: Have multiple employees?

If so, I still recommend having a Facebook Page despite the visibility issues. Let’s face it; every marketing channel has visibility issues. You will never reach 100% of your customers all of the time. Facebook Pages have advantages for your business that Groups and the Subscribe button don’t.

First, Facebook Pages are branded. You are using your company name and logo to increase your brand awareness, and your Facebook Page can showcase your brand personality as people read through your Timeline. Find out more about creative ways businesses are using Timelines.

You can also participate on Facebook as your brand by commenting on other Pages as your Page to increase visibility.

Second, you can advertise a Facebook Page. Even with GM’s announcement that they will not be using Facebook Ads, they are still effective for other brands and companies. Test to make sure Facebook Ads are working for you and follow these tips on how to use Facebook Ads.

Third, you can run contests and have special apps that give your Page some bells and whistles. Facebook Offers and check-in deals are also perks that many companies can use in their Facebook marketing strategy that are only available through Pages.

#2: Want to brand yourself?

If you are the face of your company or you want to brand your name, you may also want to consider opening up the Subscribe button on your personal profile. Some people will want to connect with you personally rather than on a Facebook Page with a logo. Find out more about the Subscribe button.

If you are the face of the company, people will want to connect to you personally.

You don’t have to worry about your privacy because you can easily control who sees your posts.

#3: Are you self-employed?

If you’re a solopreneur or branding your business with your name, deciding your Facebook strategy could be a little more challenging. Because posts from personal profiles are showing up better in the news feed, people who have their Subscribe button open on their personal profile are seeing more new subscribers than fans.

So does that mean you should ditch the Page altogether? Not necessarily. Take a look at some of the advantages of having a Page listed in point #1. If you would like to run a contest or an ad, or have special apps or coupons, then you will need a Page.

There is also the consideration of promoting your business on your personal profile. Facebook terms state that you aren’t supposed to “use your personal profile for commercial gain” as shown under their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, but this statement is not exactly crystal-clear.

To be on the safe side, if you are using your personal profile for business postings, I would talk more in terms of what you are doing in your business rather than telling people outright to purchase your products or services. A soft-sell approach usually works better anyway.

#4: Manage groups of people?

Groups are perfect for businesses that are “naturally” groups:

Networking groups
Groups of coaching clients
Social groups
School groups
Niche-focused groups

Here’s a great post on how to take advantage of Secret Groups for your business.

I don’t believe that Groups work well to promote an entire company or brand unless your business is only about bringing together a network of people in some way.

There are a few reasons Groups will irritate your potential clients if you use them as your main vehicle for marketing on Facebook. Here are the main irritants:

  1. You may be adding people to the Group who don’t want to be added. Anyone can add other people to a Group once they are in it. And that can irritate people who don’t want to be part of that Group.
  2. Many people don’t know how to turn off the notifications in a Group and they may get irritated and opt to stop getting all the updates. If you do run a Group, make sure people know where the settings can be changed.

If your business is about networking or bringing people together into natural groups, then Facebook Groups can be a great addition to your marketing mix. You can use Groups to communicate, schedule events, share documents and more.

A local group of business owners can be a great way to stay connected and promote your business news. You may want to set up promotional rules of the Group so that group members know how often and what to post.

You can also use Groups as an added bonus for your coaching business. Give your clients an inner circle where they can connect and ask questions and network together.

Hopefully by answering these four questions, you can make the right choices on where you should be participating on Facebook to get the most out of your marketing strategy. And possibly these suggestions have sparked some new and fresh ideas to take your marketing to a new level!

How about you? Where have you found the most success on Facebook lately? Groups, Pages or your personal Profile? Please share in the comments section below!

Note: This post originally appeared on Social Media Examiner and is reposted with permission.