When Facebook began, businesses and charities had no choice but to set up a “profile” if they wanted to interact with others as their brand; Business Pages were not yet available. Today, you have several choices, however I still receive invitations to “friend” charities and to join groups for local businesses.
Profiles are meant to be used for individuals. Groups have developed into a way to gather individuals around a cause or special interest. Business pages are used to promote a business, celebrity or generate awareness about a cause. Unfortunately, some businesses/organizations that started out as a profile have not yet made the switch to a Page, and they are missing out because of it. Here are some of the top reasons why your business or organization should have a Business Page instead of a profile or group.
If you set up your personal profile and a business profile, you have to have two separate accounts, complete with different e-mail addresses and passwords to keep track of. Proper use of a Business Page means that you can log in once and access all of the information for any Pages and/or groups that you administer. Think about it. If you’re using a profile for Joe’s Shoes, with email@example.com as the login, then when you want to be Joe Smith, you have to log out and re-login with firstname.lastname@example.org to get to your personal profile and see what your friends are up to.
Since everyone is now logging in as themselves, it’s simple to give several people admin access to your Business Page. This eases the load for updating your Page during busy periods.
When you post to your Page, it is attributed to your business, keeping your two halves effectively separate. This is especially useful if there are many staff who regularly contribute to your Page. It will create consistency as all of the posts will be attributed to the business, not each individual person. Only posts attributed to the Business will be distributed to fans’ news feeds.
People can “like” your Page and it shows on their profile and in advertising, thus letting other people know that you exist. When you are added to a group, or join a group, it is not as evident to your friends. The key to increasing your fan base is making it easier for people to find you. Seeing you in other people’s status updates is one passive way of making that happen.
Pages are indexed by search engines. This means your Page could show up in Google searches and people will be able to see what you’re all about without having a Facebook account (yes, there are still a few million people without Facebook accounts).
With the most recent updates to Pages, you can now “act” as your Fan Page. For example, when I log in as Anita, I can conveniently switch to “page mode” and comment on clients’ Pages, or industry Pages as Twirp Communications instead of Anita Kirkbride. I like to use this to “like” the Pages of companies and services I use at Twirp. It helps to build brand recognition within the industry.
If you are currently using a “Group” instead of a Page, another Page cannot join your group. So, Twirp Communications cannot become a member of the “social media virtual assistants” Facebook group. Only a personal profile can be used to access groups.
Another relatively recent development is the ability to add your services or products to the Page. This is another opportunity to showcase your brand, right up front when someone checks out your Page.
Pages also provide you with insights into how your Page is being used. A quick check on your page and you will see the number of “impressions” an update garnered. This information can be used to determine when is the best time of day, or day of the week, to post your sales, updates or tips. The insights page also gives you lots of other valuable information. Groups and profiles are not currently tracked in this way.
If I have convinced you to make the switch to a Business Page, HOOORAY! Facebook allows you to easily switch a profile to a Business Page and not lose any of your data. While there are some bugs in this service, in the long run, it’s worth the switch. For more information, check out this Facebook page to make the switch.
If you see other benefits to having a fan page, please let me know in the comments section.