There is no doubt that Facebook is the power-tool that we need in today’s marketing toolbelt. With well over 2 BILLION users, you have almost half of the world at your fingertips.
What started as a college connection tool has evolved into a Quad-Faced, personal networking and professional business behemoth. Along with this evolution has come great confusion. How to separate personal from professional use? What is the difference between profiles, pages, and groups? Here is an overview of the four faces and how to use each.
The FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILE.
The mainstay of Facebook is the personal profile, and it can be used for both personal connections with family members and close friends or as a professional networking tool. The terms of agreement at Facebook state that you will have only one account. If used correctly, you do not need separate accounts for business and personal use. Using the “LIST” feature you can create a list for colleagues and lists for family members or friends and then set privacy settings for these lists that will help you keep your information and photos nicely separated. When you go to craft a post on Facebook, you can select who you want that information to be shared with–the PUBLIC, FRIENDS, FRIENDS of FRIENDS, or you can select one of your groups…family only, people who live in Littleton CO, etc.
The FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE.
The former FAN PAGE has matured into the Business Tool extraordinaire. PAGES can do just about anything a website can do including house videos, blogs, testimonials, and more. You can have as many PAGES as you’d like and they are created off of your personal PROFILE. When you log into your personal PROFILE you will find a section on the left column that reads, “EXPLORE” and then PAGES. From this link, you will choose “Create a PAGE”.
PAGES have no limit on the number of fans you may have (profiles cap at 5,000) and each post from a PAGE is fully indexed by Google and other search engines (profile posts depend upon your privacy settings). People who like your PAGE cannot see anything on your PROFILE (unless you are connected there) and your friends are not automatic fans of your PAGE. Facebook PAGES also offer wonderful analytic tools to help you track click-through rates, fan demographics and more.
[Read: 7 Reasons to use a BUSINESS Page over a PERSONAL PROFILE]
One word of caution when naming your page: You may want to put your business name or other benefit-revealing name on your page instead of your personal name. Your friends will know the value or type of information YOU will provide but if your goal is to grow your fan base beyond your friends, your page should give an idea of WHY I SHOULD allow your PAGE information to be added to my information stream. [See post: Unless You’re a Rock Start, Your Facebook Page Shouldn’t Have Your Name]
The FACEBOOK PLACES PAGE.
This is the somewhat old and random face on Facebook. This was to try and create a Yelp-like page for people to post reviews and photos of different locations. When a business came around to finally creating their “business page,” they would convert the PLACES page into a BUSINESS PAGE. The problem is, there are still PLACES pages being created by users who just can’t find the actual Facebook Page for the business, and then the businesses find several rogue places pages out there and have to merge them into the main page. It’s a pain and I hope these go away soon.
GROUPS are meant to foster discussion around a particular topic area and were initially great tools to use after a class or conference to keep the conversations flowing. Facebook GROUPS are similar to LinkedIn Groups. They do not have the same functionality as PAGES but have the benefit of being made private (members must be approved to join) or even secret (not even showing up in group searches). This makes them a great tool that you are able to monitor as an individual or business. Currently (2017) a business cannot start or run a group. They must be managed by an individual profile. So I manage our DIYsocial group as Gina Schreck. SocialKNX (our business page) can promote the group, but SocialKNX cannot post or comment. I have a feeling this will change soon as more businesses are finding creative ways to use groups. To create your own GROUP, you simply log into your Facebook PROFILE and like creating a PAGE, you look for the GROUP link on the left column and select “Create a GROUP.” After naming your GROUP and filling out some basic information you will be taken to the second page that allows you to make the group public, private or secret.
So whether you choose to take advantage of one or all four of Facebook’s Faces, it all starts with YOUR face. Take off that mask, create that profile and let’s connect!
I would love to know which face on Facebook do you spend the most time with or find the most helpful to your business?
If you haven’t joined our DIYsocial group–pop on over, there’s lots of helpful info and it’s a place to get your questions answered.
If you are just setting up your business page, be sure to download our free GUIDEBOOK for STARTING ON FACEBOOK