Facebook is, for the majority of us, a part of doing business in this day and age. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people are spending a good chunk of their days browsing through their Facebook feed, so it only makes sense for businesses to be using this very popular platform as a marketing tool.
That’s why it always surprises me when companies aren’t managing their accounts in the best way for business.
It’s common to see entrepreneurs using their personal profile to represent their company, and sell products and services. And I’m still being added to groups without my permission, which drives me up the wall to no end.
So with all of these options; profiles, groups, pages, events…which way do you go with your Facebook presence?
Profiles and Pages and Groups—Oh My!
Here’s a helpful breakdown.
When you set up your initial account, this is your personal little corner of the Facebook world – your personal profile. It’s where you share status updates with your Facebook “friends.” You can only become friends with someone if they accept your request or vice versa. Everyone is entitled to one; I repeat just one profile. It’s against Facebook’s terms of service (TOS) to have more than one, or to have one for your dog or your cat or your underage child.
You must have a personal profile in order to create or manage a Facebook Page. Your profile can be kept private so only friends can access your information and photos, or you can have it all wide open for the entire Facebook world to see. But, you still should not be using your profile to represent your business. Especially since that is also against their TOS. According to Facebook’s very strictly enforced policy, you may not use a personal profile to represent your company. Nor can you sell products or services on your personal profile. You can discuss business and make “business” friends. You can also share value-added information about your company (like a blog post or other information that doesn’t have an “offer” in it), but you cannot sell or promote anything about your business with a price tag attached to it. If you’re doing it now and getting away with it, you just haven’t been caught YET. Facebook will eventually find it, and they will shut you down.
This is where the Facebook Page comes in.
Facebook Pages or Business pages were created as a means for companies to benefit from the phenomenon that is, after all, Facebook. When you’re a business owner, a public figure, a celebrity, community group representative, etc., you should be creating a Facebook Page. A Page does not have “friends,” but instead, has “likes.” Your Page should be public, and anyone can “like” it. You don’t have to accept their “likes” as you would their friend request over on your Profile. They just happen (clear as mud?).
As a Page you are able to like other Pages and interact with people who comment on your Page posts. You can use a variety of 3rd party apps to add a newsletter sign up or host contests, see lots of marketing insights, and have a special call to action to make it easy for people who “like” your page to get in touch with you – among other things.
A Page also allows you to select administrators to help you manage/monitor the activity. When done right, a well-managed Facebook Page can be a powerful tool for your business.A well-managed Facebook Page can be a powerful tool for your business.Click To Tweet
The Facebook Group is a meaningful way to bring a group (surprise surprise) together to discuss certain topics. Many organizations have a private Facebook group for back and forth discussion. You may belong to special interest groups online or in your community, be part of a mastermind group, a fitness group or any other group that suits your purpose and brings you together with other like-minded people for networking and sharing. You might even be in a group of people who buy and sell second hand items or swap recipes. I’m in several groups; one of which is for a small group of Fitbit enthusiasts, as well as a mastermind group and other business-related groups.
As a coach or speaker you might choose to create a private Facebook Group as a benefit to someone who has purchased one of your products or coaching programs. While a Facebook Group has its place and can be extremely beneficial to both the group owner and its members, it is not set up as a one-way sharing platform the way a Page is. Instead, it’s a place for conversations and networking and building a tribe.
So that’s the basic breakdown. Any questions regarding the differences in a profile, page or group? Anything to add?
If you’re still not clear regarding how these very different features of Facebook work, just leave a comment here on this post and let me know.
In the meantime … Happy Facebooking!
Also published on Medium.