It happened again. I came across a local business using a personal Facebook profile for their business. I didn’t “add [Wilson’s Cupcakes] as a friend,” because I don’t add strangers to my friends list (even if I know [Mr. Wilson] in passing, I just don’t). So, the business missed the opportunity to engage with me.
Let’s look at the differences between Profiles (“add friend”) and Pages (“like”), and why your business should be a Page instead of a Profile on Facebook.
… are for individuals. It’s against Facebook’s terms to “use your personal account to represent something other than yourself.” Facebook has been known to shut down accounts for violating this rule, but there are more reasons to use a Page instead of a Profile for a business:
- All Page content is, by definition, public.
- Anyone can like a Page to connect with it, with no limits.
- Unless you share passwords only a single person may manage a Profile. Sharing passwords with a disgruntled associate ends badly.
- Users must “friend” a Profile to connect with it. However, users will balk at “friending” a business because they don’t want to expose all their personal information.
- Exception: Public figures can allow followers on their personal Profiles, allowing people who are not “friends” on Facebook to see public posts. However, this isn’t the best choice for businesses and still violates Facebook’s terms.
- Profiles are for non-commercial use, but as an individual feel free to use your profile to promote your business (in a non-annoying way).
- Look like Profiles, but are for businesses, brands and organizations. Read Facebook’s info about Pages here.
- Multiple people may manage your Page. You can control their access levels without sharing passwords. Read my article about access control before handing the keys to someone else.
- If your business has a physical location, you can take advantage the “nearby places” feature, coupons, events, offers and more.
- Pages also have analytics and other tools. You may choose to create an ad from a Page. For some businesses, paid ads on Facebook can have a great return on investment.
What about Groups? Groups are for shared interests, generally of a non-commercial nature (yard sale-type sites being the exception). Groups are great for organizations, such as neighborhood associations, who need to restrict who sees their posts. Read more about Groups here.
Facebook makes it easy to convert your Facebook Profile to a Business Page:
- Facebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this here.
Important points about the conversion process:
- Your profile picture, friends and followers carry over. Your posts, messages, photos and videos do not. Download this info first if you want to keep it.
- You or someone else will need a personal profile to manage your new Page.
- Don’t take my word for it — please read Facebook’s directions on how to convert a personal Profile to a Page — processes on Facebook change all the time.
I hope this helps you or someone you know to more effectively use Facebook as a business or organization.