I had someone ask me this recently, so I thought it would be a great idea to talk about it on the blog. Basically, a Facebook profile is mainly used for personal connections (keeping in touch with your friends, family, etc.) and a Facebook page is used for your business’ “face” on Facebook. Both are free, but they’re used in very different ways.
First, let’s talk about some of the differences:
- Facebook pages can have an unlimited number of fans VS. Facebook profiles which are limited to 5,000 friends
- You can send updates to all your fans through your page all at once VS. Facebook profiles which only let you email 20 friends at a time
- Facebook fans are automatically added to your page once they click “Like” VS. Facebook profiles where you have to manually accept friends one at a time
- Last but not least, most web users understand that Facebook pages are created by and for businesses for commercial use VS. Facebook profiles, which are generally associated with personal information, sharing baby pictures, wedding announcements, etc.
That last distinction is an important one. Not only is it crucial to keep your business and personal lives separate online (especially if your business uses your real name as its brand name, as I do), but it’s also important to set web users with the expectation of what they’re going to get.
If they “Like” your page on Facebook, it means they want to hear about updates from your business or brand. If they try to become your friend on Facebook, they’re signing up for much more–a peek into your personal life, which is something you may or may not want to share.
Personally, I don’t have a Facebook profile. I had to make one to create my Facebook page, but I don’t update it or make any friends on it…for now. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll change my mind, but between this blog, my Facebook page, my Twitter and my Youtube channel (which hasn’t been updated in awhile), I’m on Social Media overload.
Besides, to keep your Facebook page and Twitter interesting and useful for your users, I really believe you have to concentrate on it. If you set it up, but don’t keep up interesting and relevant conversations, you’re missing out on the biggest power of these networks: connection.
For more info and tips for having a successful Facebook page, check out some of my bookmarked articles from Mashable.com. (If you’ve never read Mashable, it’s a great blog that covers everything you’d ever want to know about the Social Media world.):
- 5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page
- New Facebook Pages: A Guide for Social Media Marketers
- 30+ Apps for Doing Business on Facebook
- And one post I think every business should read before they try to tackle social media: Social Media for Business: The Do’s and Don’ts of Sharing
Does your business have a Facebook page? If so, please leave a link to it in the comments! I’d love to check it out. Also, do you have any tips or things you’ve learned from having a Facebook page? I’d love to hear them.