Facebook Profiles vs Pages

Do you use Facebook for your business?  Do you know the difference between Profiles and Pages?  Do you ask people to be a friend to your business or to like your business?  So many small business owners I speak to have set up their business as a Facebook Profile rather than a Facebook Page so I thought it would be worth writing about it.

What is a Profile?

When you sign up to Facebook you create a personal profile and you invite “friends” to join you.  If you are like half the UK population, you will have a Facebook Profile.  So far, so good.

The problem comes when small businesses set their company up as a Profile.  I know quite  a few people who have invited me to “friend” their business.  Their accounts were often set up by a helpful friend.

According to Facebook  “Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name” You are only allowed to hold one Profile in your real name with your real date of birth.  If your business is set up as a Profile, you are contravening Facebook’s terms of service and it can shut your Profile down at any time.

What this means is you will lose all your “friends” and all the content on your Profile without any notice.  If you think about it, when you are asking people to “friend” your business you are also asking them to allow you to access their holiday snapshots, check out their maritial status and pry into their personal lives.  It is not professional.

What are Pages?

According to Facebook, “Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook.”

Pages have  a number of advantages over profiles

  • They can be found by search engines.  Your status on your Page is searchable too.
  • They can be seen by people not logged into Facebook so you can link to your Page.
  • They track user analytics so you can see how many people have seen your post and your response rate as well as tracking the activities of your page.
  • You are unlimited by how many people can “like” your Page.  (Profiles are limited to 5000 friends)
  • The page creates widgets and like buttons that are easy to embed into your website and blog.  Facebook creates the code for you to promote your Business Page on your website.
  • You can set up additional Page admins to have access to managing your page without sharing passwords.
  • People who like your page can’t see the Page admins and they don’t have access to your personal account.
  • You can have a number of Pages.

 

What do I do if I have set up my business as a profile rather than a page?

If you have just set one up and you know most of the people who have “friended” your business, simply set up a Business Page from your Personal Profile and invite them all to “Like” your new Page.

If you have a larger number of ” friends”, Facebook has just announced a new tool that enables you change your Profile to a Page.  You will need to be logged into Facebook as the Profile for this to work. When you convert your profile to a page only your Profile photographs move across  so you will need to back up all your content before you start.  Your friends will automatically be converted to people who have liked your Page.

There is a very useful article on Mashable called You can now convert your Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page which I suggest you read before you convert your profile.

Do you know people who have set up their business as a Facebook Profile instead of Facebook Page?

Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media Coach & Trainer inspiring, educating and empowering Business Owners to use Social Media more strategically. She is also the author of bestselling, "How to Twitter for Business Success" and newly published "Converting Conversations to Customers". For more information visit https://www.nickykriel.com or to find out about her courses that she runs in Guildford visit https://www.nickykriel.com/courses

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