How to Use Facebook Profiles and Pages for your Business

If you’ve been watching the updates from my Facebook Page lately, you’ve seen that I’ve shared a series of posts I wrote a couple of months ago about how to set up a Facebook Page for your business, add a newsletter tab, invite people to “Like” your Page, and then engage them with great content.  But as a result of these posts, and the ensuing questions, I’ve seen that some folks are still confused about the difference between Profiles and Pages, and how they work together.  So that’s what today’s post is about.

Let’s start with some definitions.

  • A Facebook PROFILE is a personal presence on Facebook. Every user on Facebook has a profile.  It’s a place to connect with your friends, see their updates, and interact.  Facebook profiles allow you to use the full complement of Facebook features…messaging, events, news feed updates, chat, and more.  It’s important to understand that Facebook Terms of Service require that your profile be set up under your REAL NAME (not your business name), and that you are only allowed to have one profile.  In fact, if Facebook discovers that you have set up a second profile, they may shut down both of your profiles.
  • A Facebook PAGE is a business presence on Facebook. These are public, and indexed by Google (which means that search engines can find posts on your Page.)  You can have multiple Facebook Pages if you wish to, and these are a place where you can share more specific business messages with people that have opted in for these via the “Like” button.  You can also customize your Facebook Page through custom tabs, which is something you can’t do with profiles.  Unlike a profile, you can’t see the regular updates from the people that Like your Page, unless they post them directly on your Page.  So the only insight you get into someone that Likes your Page is what they choose to share on your Page.  This is important to understand.

So does your business need a Facebook Page?  The answer is, maybe.  If you want to share very specific business messages, specials, and more about your business on Facebook, you do need a Page in order to comply with Facebook terms of service.  If you only want to focus on building relationships with customers, prospects, and other friends, and will save the business specific messages for other venues, then maybe not.

You need to realize that a Facebook Page is a time investment.  You don’t get notifications when people post, so you need to commit to checking your Page several times per day.  You also need to develop some skill in writing updates for your Page that engage people, and get them to respond.

I often recommend to direct sellers that they “Friend” all their customers and prospects through their profile.  This allows you to see people’s updates, and gives you a chance to build relationships outside of your business.  For example, you can see who has a special event coming up, who has had a baby, etc, and offer comments that help you build relationships.  These folks can also see your status updates, which means they get a better understanding of who you are.  It just takes the whole business relationship to a deeper level, which helps people come to know, like, and trust you.

Now if you have a Page, you can also invite your customers and prospects to “Like” your page.  Here you’ll provide meaningful content related to your product and opportunity (not just sales and recruiting pitches), which they may find valuable.  If it were me, though, and I could only choose one, I’d choose the Profile over the Page.  Even though I couldn’t do direct sales pitches, it gives me the opportunity to get to know people better.

Some folks also have a desire to split their personal and professional business presence on Facebook.  In this case, you would invite your business contacts to Like your Page, and only connect with personal friends and family on your Facebook profile. This is not the strategy I would choose, however, because you don’t get the rich insight into people’s lives that you get through friending them, with this method. (You do have to watch what you post, however, if you’re friending business contacts. Everything you post reflects on your business.)

By understanding the differences between a Profile and a Page, and how they work together, you can create a Facebook marketing strategy that works best for your business.

What do you use to market your business on Facebook?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

And if you haven’t already, I’d love to have you come and Like my Facebook Page. It’s an amazing community of folks who are using social media for their direct selling businesses, and it’s a place you can get your questions answered about social media.  Please join us!

3 Responses to How to Use Facebook Profiles and Pages for your Business
  1. Patty
    January 26, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    I love this! This is one of the reasons I took my facebook page down! I couldn’t keep up with it and never knew if anyone actually responded or replied to it unless I checked it all day and I just didn’t have time for that! I never really thought of the fact that I could have my customers as “friends” on my facebook page- I don’t put anything on there that I wouldn’t want them to see and really I know most of them anyway or someone that I am doing the party for does- I was always just worried because I mainly use my facebook page to display my kids pictures and that is about it. So thank you so much for making me realize that my customers can actually be my “friends” 🙂

  2. Karen Austin
    January 21, 2011 | 4:38 pm

    Thank you Jennifer for the clarification again. It’s all a little daunting at first and it’s so nice to have someone with your integrity willing to guide us. I appreciate the help and pass on your name to all on my team. I’m getting it more and more thanks to you.

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