What is the Difference Between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?

Yesterday I posted an article to my Facebook Page that was written by Jon Loomer about how to convert a personal Facebook Profile to a business Facebook Page. This information is for folks who inadvertently joined Facebook for their business with a personal account, instead of promoting their business properly through a Page.

But as the comments came in, I realized that there is still confusion out there regarding the differences between a Facebook PROFILE and a Facebook PAGE. So let’s take a closer look at these:

  • A Facebook PROFILE is a personal account on Facebook. When you join Facebook, you get a Profile. This is a place where you can connect with friends, see their posts in your news feed, post your thoughts, pictures, etc. Everyone who joins Facebook gets a Profile, and according to Facebook Terms of Service you are allowed one, and ONLY one, Facebook Profile. The Terms of Service also state that you may NOT use your Profile for business. The way I explain it is this: if people need to spend money to use your post, and you will personally profit when that money is spent, then you are not allowed to post it on a personal Profile.
  • A Facebook PAGE is a business account on Facebook. You set up a Facebook Page by clicking the “Create a Page” link that appears at the top-right corner of the right sidebar on any other Facebook Page, and then walk through some simple steps to set up your Page.  A business Page is an area on Facebook where people have to click the “Like” button in order to see your content in their news feed. Unlike the personal Profile, which is 2-way communication (i.e. When you friend someone through your Profile, you see their updates in your news feed, and they see your updates in their news feed), a Facebook Page is one-way only. This means that the person who likes your Page will see your Page updates in their news feed, but you will NOT see their Profile updates in your news feed. Facebook Terms of Service allow businesses to post updates from which they will financially profit because the people who have liked the Page have essentially “opted-in” to receive those updates from the business. They have given permission to have those business updates appear in their news feeds. Therefore, if you intend to post things like specials, opportunity calls, etc., then you need to have a business Page.

So as a direct seller, do you need to have a Facebook Page in addition to your Profile? Typically, the answer is Yes. On your Profile, you can talk about your business as it relates to you personally, but you can’t ask people to spend money. So for example, you can express enthusiasm about your latest team meeting, share your personal excitement about achieving the company incentive trip, welcome a new member of your team, and gush about how much fun your last party was. Notice that each of these examples highlight your personal experiences with your business, but don’t ask people to do anything.

Now this is not all bad. These are subtle messages that may generate interest in your business. If someone sees how excited you are to go to Hawaii, they may want to know how you’re managing to get there for free. If you obviously love going to business meetings, and they hate their job, they may ask for more information on what it is you do. But you can’t be more direct than that through your personal Profile.

Your business Page, on the other hand, is the place where you can share your specials, information about the next opportunity call, the latest product video from your company, etc. Now this isn’t all you should post. Nobody likes a Facebook Page that consists entirely of ads. Instead, you should also be posting tips, articles, and other fun and valuable content related to what it is you sell. But when it’s time to make the direct pitch, the Facebook Page is the place to do it.

So does this mean you shouldn’t connect with business contacts through your Profile? I actually recommend connecting with customers and prospects through both your Profile AND your Page (although this does mean that you really need to think through what you post to your Profile, because it all affects your business.) While the Page is where you’ll share the specifics about your business, the Profile allows you to see what’s going on in that customer’s life (the two-way communication I mentioned earlier.) You can comment on their pictures and statuses, and they’ll see yours as well, allowing you to connect on a more personal level. This means that when it’s time to do business, they will feel more comfortable with you. So I recommend connecting with people through your Profile first, and then inviting them to like your Page.

So I hope this clears up the difference between Profiles and Pages. Pass it on to those who need the clarification!

12 Responses to What is the Difference Between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?
  1. John Oester
    August 17, 2016 | 8:54 am

    Thanks for explaining the difference between a facebook PROFILE and a facebook PAGE. Several years ago I created a PROFILE for our church. It works very nicely to see when friends post about medical issues or joyful events in their lives. They often ask for prayers and look forward to follow-up comments and visitation.

    Now facebook would kindly like me to convert it to a PAGE or have the page banned. As a NON PROFIT how does our CHURCH PROFILE violate facebooks TOS?

    Thank You,
    John @ Gerrardstown Church (Gerrardstown Presbyterian Church)

    • Jennifer Fong
      August 17, 2016 | 8:58 am

      Hi John! Great question. I agree, the profile is great for two-way communication, but Facebook rules require that for an individual. So that profile would be more suited to a pastor or deacon, while the Page would be the public presence of the church. Let me know if you have questions. We’ve been doing a lot of work at Jen Fong Media with churches and effective use of their Facebook Pages. In fact, at our church, we’ve been livestreaming the services using Facebook Live through our page with great success. Cheers!

  2. Gretchen Wegner
    April 7, 2016 | 3:15 pm

    So, I have a question! I get the difference between a Profile and a Page. But my tech guy seems to have set up something DIFFERENT for me. I have a “Business Page” which seems to be in a whole different section of Facebook that’s more complicated for me to access. I find it really annoying, because I can’t easily share posts from my profile to this business page, and I also can’t see notifications from this business page (when I’m on my personal profile page). Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? I’m trying to find someone who can help me understand this, given my tech guy doesn’t really get why this is frustrating me. I end up just ignoring the business page he gave me, because it’s so difficult to access.

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 5, 2016 | 12:03 pm

      Hi Gretchen, thanks for commenting! Since I wrote this article, Facebook has changed things up a bit. Facebook now has a business manager that allows you to manage a business facebook page and advertising with a single login that does not need to be tied to your personal account. You can even have several people set up in your business manager. To access this, you need to go to http://business.facebook.com. It has its pros and cons, and it can be a bit inconvenient to have to go somewhere separate from your Facebook account to manage your Facebook page. However there are also benefits, such as managing your business presence on Facebook, all in one spot. Here is Facebook’s help section on the business manager: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/113163272211510. Hope this helps!

  3. Dianne b
    May 8, 2013 | 10:32 am

    Thank you, that was most helpful!

  4. Tracie Carrigan
    January 12, 2013 | 1:40 pm

    Thanks for such a great article! I will be sharing it with my clients and readers.


  5. Sandra
    November 10, 2012 | 3:12 am

    Oh so much to learn. Thank you Jennifer for your clear instructions and tips.

  6. Becca
    September 3, 2012 | 5:34 am

    I have learned so much by reading your blog. It always amazes me how much there is to learn. It is also mind boggling how fast things change. For a newbie like me having a resource like your post.
    Becca recently posted..Catering Williams Landing

  7. Laura
    August 30, 2012 | 12:53 pm

    I get it, I really do, and I’ve invited my friends from my personal page to join my business page, but I’ll also admit that I have posted on my personal page when I’ve had a last minute date open up for a tasting to see if anyone is interested in scheduling and that’s where I usually get the best response. Yes, I’m guilty!

    • Jennifer Fong
      August 30, 2012 | 1:25 pm

      You just have to realize that each time you do that, you are putting your account at risk, because it’s clearly against Facebook Terms of Service, and they do have the option of shutting your account down when you do it.

      • Laura
        August 30, 2012 | 3:42 pm

        Your article has definitely made me more aware. I think sometimes people have difficulty separating themselves “personally” from their direct sales business. As a result, we don’t see a simple post about a party or opening for a party as a business post, but we should!

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