Are you a person or a business?
Facebook Profile vs. Page
I was recently asked to write an article for a ‘Today Publications‘ newsletter, which has gone out to hundreds of businesses in and around Doncaster.
With permission from Today Publications, I am sharing it here as it may be of use to the readers of this blog, too. Click on the thumbnail below to read the article, or scroll down for the article text.
A number of businesses set up Facebook profiles and ask people to become ‘friends’ with them, rather than setting up business pages and asking people to ‘like’ the page.
Before we look at why this isn’t a good idea, let’s look at the terminology, as this can be confusing:
A Facebook profile represents an individual and should display the person’s name. It is used by individuals to communicate with their friends, post photos & videos, ‘like’ business pages and comment on other people’s posts.
A Facebook business page (also known as ‘fan page’) can be administered by more than one person. The business page can also ‘like’ and post comments on other business pages.
Why should businesses go to the trouble of setting up a business page and inviting ‘likes’, rather than simply ‘befriending’ people with a profile?
The first, and simplest, answer is Facebook rules prohibit the use of a profile for a business or organisation and if they find out, they will shut down the offending profile.
If that isn’t a compelling enough reason, here is another one: If you set up a profile with your business name and ask people to become ‘friends’ with you (i.e. your business), you are asking them to give your business access to their personal lives; who their friends are, what they do in their spare time, photos of their children, their drunken nights out etc. Most people don’t wish to provide the businesses they buy products & services from with such intimate access to their private lives, especially when they don’t necessarily know who is managing the ‘profile’ on behalf of that business.
Additionally, the functionality of a business page is very different to that of a profile; a business page can be set up to reflect the type of business or organisation it represents, allowing it to display useful information, such as opening hours, for example. Facebook also provides detailed analytics on the performance of individual posts and even on optimal posting times and types of content, based on follower activity.
The good news is that if you are currently using a profile for your business, Facebook allows you to convert this to a business page. Simply go to the Facebook ‘Help’ pages and type in “How do I convert my personal account to a Facebook Page?” to find out how to do this.
Frederika Roberts is a Social Media Trainer, Speaker and outsourced resource, trading as Social Media Marketing Angel. She is the provider of social media marketing workshops to Beta Technology clients under the ‘Business Doncaster’ support scheme as well as delivering social media marketing workshops to Rotherham businesses under the ‘Mary Portas Pilot’ funding for town centre improvements. Frederika also provides social media marketing training on an individual basis.
For more information or to get in touch with Frederika,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org