This post was originally published in 2013, but was edited and updated for relevancy in November 2016.
Facebook's reach is huge. The tech giant boasts more than 1 billion monthly active users, and many of them are using it to connect with the brands and businesses they buy from.
So if you want a piece of the action, you're going to have to put your business on Facebook as well. However, you can't just create a profile page for it the way you would for yourself.
You must create a Facebook Page for your business. What's the difference between business and personal Facebook pages? Well, read on and see.
First, let's look at what the differences are between a Page and a Personal Profile.
Facebook Personal Profile
I'm sure you already have one, and here are the bare bones facts about them.
- According to Facebook, they're "for non-commercial use and represent individual people."
- They're limited to a maximum of 5,000 friends.
- They're not indexed by search engines.
- They do not have access to admin or advertising tools and cannot be analyzed with Facebook Insights.
- Others cannot Like or check in at your personal profile.
However, in early 2013, Facebook quietly changed its "Subscribe" button on personal profiles to "Follow", which more accurately reflected what you were doing when you clicked it.
Followers to personal profiles are somewhat like fans to fan pages. You can use this feature to get updates from people who you're interested in, but not friends with.
If you want followers, you'll have to make sure you're allowing it by checking your privacy settings. Afterwards, you'll be able to view who's following you by checking the Followers tab on your timeline (under the Friends tab).
Followers will be able to see whatever status updates you post that are set to 'Public' on their newsfeed, but unlike your Facebook friends, you cannot poke them, message them, and you won't see their status updates on your own newsfeed.
You can also adjust who can or cannot comment on your public posts. This creates a pretty effective separation of personal and public life and still has room for privacy.
After you allow people to follow you, people who send you a friend request that you ignore or delete will automatically become one of your followers.
So, then, how does it compare to the Business Page?
Business Facebook Page
Every good business should have one of these by now. Here's what you need to know about them:
- They're specifically designed for businesses.
- There is no limit to the number of followers a business page can have.
- They're indexed by search engines.
- They provide access to admin tools and can by analyzed with Facebook Insights.
- People can use them to check in at your business.
Business Pages are managed via an admin system vis-à-vis your personal account, which allows admins to edit their pages, change settings, add other admins to the page, and make other changes without creating a whole new account.
You can also host contests and events, and advertise on your Page using the tabs and third party apps. Because a Page is indexed by search engines, everything that is posted publicly there will also be indexed, drawing more eyes to your business.
If you're still looking for some direction in creating a winning Facebook marketing strategy for your company, drop us a line. We'd love to help.