There continues to be a lot of misunderstanding about Facebook Profiles and Pages, so here’s a summary of how they differ plus the advantages of having a Page to promote your business.
Profiles and Pages are two of the three ways that you can be represented on Facebook; Groups are the third option – read more in A Guide to Facebook Groups.
So let’s start with Facebook Profiles. When you sign up for Facebook you are given a Profile which are for people and NOT businesses. So Chris Smith is fine but ABC Plumbers is not. The main reason for this is simple; Facebook state in their Terms that ‘you will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain.’ It’s possible for Facebook to close down your Profile with immediate effect, although in reality they’re more likely to give you a warning first. But why take the risk, especially given the many advantages in promoting your business using a Page and not a Profile?
To set up a Page, you’ll first need a Profile. If you don’t yet have one go to Facebook.com to create one. If you’re not familiar with Facebook, I’d advise you to get comfortable with it before setting up your Page. When your ready you can use this link – create a Facebook Page – or simply visit any other Page and select the green Create Page button on the top right. Your Profile then becomes an Manager/Administrator of your Page – it’s good practice to add other Managers too to cover in the event of sickness, holidays or emergencies.
It is possible to have what’s known as a ‘business account’ thereby avoiding have a personal Profile but it’s not a good idea, as you don’t have access to all of a Pages features or indeed Facebook. For example, business accounts don’t have a Search bar. Therefore, I’d strongly recommend you (and at least one other) become the Manager of your Page.
Let’s take a look at a Pages advantages for a business compared with a Profile:
- Facebook Page Insights is a great tool to displays the performance of your Page and helps you improve aspects such as engagement and audience growth.
- You can use Tabs (or Apps as they are sometimes known) to provide extra features for your Page like competitions, discount coupons. You can also obtain sign-ups for your newsletter.
- With Facebook Timeline you can add milestones illustrating the history of your business.
- Facebook Ads allow you to reach a large but targeted audience and using Facebook Insights you can measure results.
- By using multiple Admins you can professionally manage your Page without the need to swap user names/passwords and you can allocate permission based roles.
- You can switch on Moderation which automatically blocks posting of bad language being posted.
- Schedule posts up to 6 months in advance.
- If you have a venue based business you can encourage customers to check-in to raise awareness of your business.
- With a Pages you can have an unlimited number in your audience – people who Like your Page. The Coke Page has over 83 million Likes. Profiles are limited to 5000 friends.
- Businesses don’t fit the format of a Profile; they don’t have friends, an education or a birthday. All a bit odd to a potential customer.
- Privacy issues – with a Profile you’ll have access to all your customers private information, family photos and so on. Hardly professional and something they are unlikely to be too keen on.
If you need any further information or would like to discuss whether a Page or a Profile is appropriate for you, please book some time on the phone with me.