Understanding Facebook….Profile or Fan Page — Which Should I Use for My Business?

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Facebook launched “Pages” or “Fan Pages” back in 2007. Since then, there’s been a lot of confusion about whether businesses should use:

  • a Fan Page, or
  • a Profile

to promote themselves on Facebook.

A lot of businesses have chosen a Profile. In fact, most people have at least 5 Facebook “friends” who are actually businesses, not people!

So which Should a business be using?

Lets take a look at some questions:

  • What are the differences between Profiles & Pages?
  • What are the Pros & Cons of using each for business?
  • What are facebook’s rules? and What happens if they are not followed?
  • What can you do about it?

What are the differences between Profiles & Pages?

Each person on Facebook  is allowed to have ONE Profile.

Your Profile can be accessed via an account with login information and can be used to manage multiple Pages, Apps, Ad accounts etc. inside of Facebook

Your Profile is a kind of web passport It’s is who you are online… according to Facebook, at least. And it’s for this reason that Facebook allows you to only have one.

Facebook Profiles:

  • for individual, non-commercial use
  • represents an individual person & must be held under an individual name
  • can be friended
  • can be followed

Facebook Pages:

  • look similar to Profiles, but offer unique tools for connecting people to topics they care about, like a business, brand, organization or celebrity
  • managed by admins who have Profiles
  • are not separate Facebook accounts & do not have separate login information from a Profile
  • provide insights to help admins understand how people are interacting with the Page
  • can be Liked

Here’s how Facebook explains it !

What are the Pros & Cons of using each for business?

Optimization:

  • Profiles are optimized for individual people to connect & interact with friends & followers
  • Pages are optimized for artists, businesses & brands to showcase their work & interact with fans

Connections:

  • Profiles can have a max of 5000 friends & an unlimited number of followers
  • Pages can have an unlimited number of fans

Messages:

  • Profiles can send unlimited private messages to “friends”
  • Pages can send private messages to fans — but only after the fan has sent the first message

Limits:

  • Profiles are limited to one per person
  • Pages are unlimited — you can be admin as many pages as you want

Lead Capture:

  • Profiles don’t allow apps for lead capture
  • Pages allow you to create custom apps to gather email leads for marketing outside of Facebook

Check-in:

  • Profiles can  not checked in to
  • Pages can be checked in to (if a local business)  alerting friends of the person checking in that they’re at your business

Direct Calling:

  • Profiles cannot be called from Facebook mobile app
  • Pages can be called directly from the Facebook mobile app

Facebook ads:

  • Profiles can only “boost” a post  and that’s it (no targeting)
  • Pages can run hyper-targeted ads to get traffic, emails, Likes, etc.

Post Scheduling:

  • Profiles cannot schedule future posts
  • Pages can schedule future posts

Insights:

  • Profiles do not have access to stats on posts
  • Pages can access a huge array of stats on posts, fans & fan demographics, etc.

So as you can see, Pages have a lot more commercial functionality than Profiles.

What are the Rules and What happens if they are not followed?

From their Terms of Service:

We can see that it is against their rules to use a personal profile primarily for commercial purposes and a page must be used instead. Therefor if you are one of those businesses who are using a “profile” and “friending” people then  you are violating Facebook’s Terms of Service — and eventually, sooner or later, you WILL be shut down.

And that’s why you may want to convert your Profile to a Fan Page.

What can you do about it?

Here are Instructions from the Facebook website: 

 

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