Facebook Profile or Page for Businesses?
A question I have been asked is, "what is best to promote your business, a Facebook 'Page' or Personal Profile?" The answer is...
Facebook For Business
A Facebook 'Page' is best for your business, DO NOT use your personal profile!
There is a fundamental reason why you MUST use a Facebook Page for your business, plus you'll benefit from features available on Facebook Pages that aren't available on Personal Profiles. You'll still need to have a personal profile from which to create your Facebook Pages (People liking your Page won't know you created it unless you tell them) but here's the main reason why you should setup a Page for your business...
In accordance with Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, if they discover you are using your personal profile to promote your business, you risk having your account and all of your content deleted!
To quote from Facebook:
"Maintaining a personal account for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you don’t convert your noncompliant account to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the account and all of its content."
So, that's the short answer, and probably enough to scare wise business owners into creating a business page before reading any further. However, aside from the scary threat of account deletion, there are a number of benefits you can take advantage of when you have Facebook pages...
- They're free! You can create a great shop window using text, photos and videos easily and quickly and without much (if any) cost.
- Facebook pages can be crawled by Google, so there's a chance of being found when people search for you. This video from Google's Matt Cutts explains more:
- Once you have good number of 'Likes' you can;
- Promote products and services to lots of people quickly and easily without physical costs
- Test market products or services before rolling out a larger campaign
- Generate traffic/visits to your website
- Be included in Facebook pages. Businesses with a Facebook page are automatically included in Facebook Places (For more info see www.facebook.com/help/337244676357509/)
- Access insightful, useful data that Facebook provides for free to help you better understand your customers (For more info see https://developers.facebook.com/docs/insights/)
- Use Facebook Custom Tabs (For more info see http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/26330/How-to-Create-Custom-Tabs-for-Facebook-Business-Pages.aspx
- Take advantage of Facebook Offers (For more info see www.facebook.com/help/410451192330456)
- By default, Facebook Pages are set to 'Public', so everyone can see it (whereas personal profiles are often set to be seen by friends only)
- You have access to Facebook Scheduling - Facebook allows you to schedule posts up to 6 months in advance (For more info see www.facebook.com/help/389849807718635/)
And were you aware that you are limited to 5000 friends on your personal profile? Whereas the number of likes you can have is unlimited making your marketing opportunites huge! Also, you can assign others as administrators for your Facebook Page and give the varying levels of access.
Consider how you are perceived
Any presence you have online, whether it be a website, advert, Facebook Profile or Page reflects you; it takes a matter of seconds for people to judge you and your business based on what they see.
Facebook Personal Profiles invariably end up containing information and photos that Clients should not see! For example:
"Wow, just got up!" (Posted at 1 pm) or one that I experienced with a supplier, having been told by them that they were with Clients all day...
"Great day at the beach...beats working!"
Also, whilst it might give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside to have told all your friends that you're offering a new product or service, the value of doing so is questionable; more often than not, your friends and family are not going to be your next best client. In my experience, you are better off marketing a new product or service to 500 clients who have 'Liked' your Facebook page, than to 1000 'Friends' who have never actually commissioned you or purchased products from you.
Something else to bare in mind, getting all your friends to like your Facebook page, and then posting the same thing on both your Personal Profile AND your Facebook Page is very annoying for everyone who sees their Facebook feed filled with duplicated posts from you! The quality of your 'Likes' is important and can be the difference between failure and success with Facebook.
So, to conclude; there are fundamental reasons to use a Facebook 'Page' for your business, and not your personal profile, and there are numerous benefits that you can take advantage of too.
My recommendation is, aside from going and setting a Facebook Page for your business if you haven't already done so, is to visit the links I've included above and see which of the features are of most use to you, and then use them!
Wishing you the best of luck with Your Facebook and Social Media marketing.
The Essex Web Designer