There seems to always be confusion about using Facebook Page vs Facebook Profile for business. For a small business owner or a solo entrepreneur, it is a bit confusing to go one or the other way.
When I started to use Facebook back in the days, I didn’t have any business online. My profile on Facebook was to be in touch with friends and family. It was actually the cool new place where all my Orkut friends were migrating.
Well, so did I.
But, things changed and they keep changing consistently, even today. Facebook introduced the concept of Facebook Pages for business a long time ago. Then, they put limitations on the number of connections you could have on your Facebook Profile, and so on.
As a business owner, most of us are already aware of the differences between a Facebook profile and a page. Therefore, I am not going to cover that topic here in this post.
However, the question is, as an entrepreneur, should you use Facebook page for business or should you focus your energy on your Facebook profile and manage things with it?
Companies Can't Use Facebook Profiles
Facebook has clarified many times that Facebook profiles are only for individuals. Profiles are supposed to be used for personal interactions by people while businesses must use Facebook pages.
So, if you are a company, you can’t have a profile on your company name. If you do, and they (Facebook) figure it out, they will shut you down.
On the bright side, there are many great features available to Facebook pages which aren’t available to Facebook profiles which we are going to discuss in this post.
You Can’t Use Facebook Profiles Strictly For Business Only
According to Facebook’s Terms of Service, you are not allowed to use your personal profile strictly for business. It is supposed to be used for non-commercial purposes.
However, if you blend personal with business and give a personal touch to your business interactions, Facebook profile is a great tool to give a boost to your footprint.
What Some Experts Are Doing
Well, you certainly are entitled to have a legitimate Facebook profile. In addition, you also have the ability to create Facebook pages. So, which one should you use?
I thought that this video interview of Amy Porterfield by Michael Hyatt will be very helpful for you in planning your strategy on Facebook Both of them are great and seeing them together doing this show is incredible!
For me, I have already travelled the same path as Amy Porterfield because I also started with Facebook when it was still a new baby, evolving and that means I didn’t have many insights or opportunities to learn from other people’s experiences at the time.
What I noticed is that many thought leaders I respect have a Facebook profile and they also have their own Facebook page. For example, here are a couple of well-known public figures you will recognize:
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net
Darren Rowse is the founder of ProBlogger.net and many other blogs although ProBlogger.net is the one which is his most recognised brand name. If you don't know him, visit him and get to know him and his blog a bit. You will be amazed with his achievements as a blogger.
Mari Smith – Social Media Speaker & Trainer
Mari Smith is one of the world’s leading social media strategists.She is author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Check out her website and get to know more about her if you already haven't.
Why You Should Have Facebook Pages
This one is a no brainer, really. You are a business for business on Facebook, you should have a Facebook page. It just makes logical sense. And now, it’s time to share some compelling reasons for having a Facebook page for business, right?
So, let’s get started.
I chose not to reinvent the wheel in this case because there is so much of great content already published. So, let me share a few interesting articles with a wealth of information on this subject first:
Jon Loomer – You Must Use Facebook Pages For Business
This post from Jon Loomer is very logical and very informative where he talks straight and gives you 14 distinct reasons why you must build a Facebook page for your business. I think that the benefits of using Facebook pages that Jon talks about, are real and very practical. Check this out and let me know what you think.
Donna Merrill – How Facebook Pages Are Marketer's Dream
Then I think this recent post from my friend Donna Merrill is fresh out of the oven and comes from her personal experience. Therefore, I would like you to see why Donna is excited about working on Facebook pages. You will get some fresh and practical perspectives there. Let me know your thoughts about this too.
My Reason For Encouraging You
In addition to what you see from these two powerful blog posts, there is one additional but strong reason for which I will suggest you need to pay attention to the fact that you need to have a Facebook page:
If you have more than one business and you are only marketing through your personal profile, it will be very difficult to promote any one business. If you promote all of them, your audience gets confused and if you promote only one, then how do you manage other businesses?
But, if you have a Facebook page for each of your businesses, it is easy to do marketing and still be the person who can manage all the pages differently. Can it get any easier than that?
How To Use Facebook Profiles For Business
Now you must be thinking that using Facebook profiles is a bad idea. But that’s not entirely true. You can leverage the power of personal touch through profiles for business in many creative ways.
I could have done another epic post on this topic but I decided that I will save my efforts for some other time. I would rather share some fabulous posts already written on this topic from some of the thought leaders. So, here we go.
Here is an awesome post on Social Media Examiner by Katie Lance with a wealth of ideas as to how you can use your Facebook profiles effectively for business purposes. Katie shares 10 great ideas which are absolutely fabulous.
Another awesome post I couldn’t resist sharing here , is by Kim Garst, a well known personal branding and social media strategist. Kim shares 6 great ways to harness the power of Facebook profiles to boost your business. You are going to love the way Kim explains these tips.
I Use Facebook Page & Facebook Profile Together
Just as Amy Porterfield shares in the video interview above, I started with Facebook early on and I accepted connection requests from anybody who sent me a request. So, my profile was no more a personal thing.
I have my friends, family members, clients , prospects and admirers – all connected with me. Then there are those who follow me and I don’t even know them because many of them have never interacted with me yet.
However, learning from the experts, I did start my Facebook page and since then, I have promoted it occasionally to garner fans and used it for advertising on Facebook as well many times.
So, for me, although I encourage people to connect with me through my page for more professional interaction, I do not reject connection requests from legitimate people on my Facebook profile even today, especially since I still have room to accommodate more people.
At this time, I do not have any plans to start using my Facebook profile for any secret personal purposes and anything and everything I post on my Facebook profile is public.
For family and friends, I have created secret groups and we manage our privacy that way and I feel better that way because managing privacy using privacy settings seems too complicated to me and I don’t like to take chances.
Over To You – Share Your Thoughts
What are you doing about your Facebook marketing? Do you have a Facebook page? What is your preference when it comes to Facebook marketing?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you kindly!
That was a lovely video with Amy sharing her ways, and something I used to do long back too. 🙂
Initially when I had joined Facebook – I hadn’t created a FanPage, though was very selective with the friends I made, right from the start.
However, it didn’t take me long to create a Fanpage, and I used to direct everyone on my Fanpage as Michael mentioned he did, so that my family and friends on my profile page were different from the fanpage. However, now I’ve started accepting more of bloggers as I get many requests and send a few to the fanpage, while the others I’ve made groups within the profile page, so I share what I want to with those group of people, so it all stays within limits.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
That’s awesome Harleena! I guess our friend list also expands as we continue to live life and grow our influence and that means the list of friends in profile needs to expand itself.
But, if you had it all figured out like Michael Hyatt has since his beginning, it is much better. I was on the other side and so for me, it all became public 🙂
Anyways, no harm done. It’s just that my friends and family need to confine themselves into a secret group or two 🙂 Rest has worked out well so far.
Happy Friday and weekend to you 🙂
I have more Facebook pages, but I’m not active anymore on this platform. I don’t like their new strategy that screams, “This platform is free and it’s our platform, so we can do whatever we want. Including not showing your posts to your fans. Pay if you want them to see your posts”
That’s like a dumb mailing list owner who sends ads each and every second to his list, saying, “This is a free subscription and I can do whatever I want. Buy my stuff, you dummy, what are you waiting for?”
Both Facebook and that mailing list owner can do whatever they want indeed. But nobody can force me to stay subscribed to that mailing list or pay for Facebook ads, as long there is strong competition for both of them. They both forget something…
Facebook’s platform and that mailing list don’t value anything without their users … 😉
However, if there are many users who accept their policies and don’t see their real power (there’s no FB without users!) then, well, their strategy is good irrespective of my disagreement.
P.S. Nice article. Too bad that it’s about Facebook LOL
I do not appreciate Facebook’s philosophy either like you (well, a little less than you perhaps) and many others. But the problem is, whether or not I like them, they still have over a billion active users and as a business, I need to capitalize on every opportunity available.
Yes, Facebook isn’t without their fault but what they are trying to do is, personalize people’s experience and not show people (in their feed) what they don’t engage with on a regular basis. I don’t think this is right or wrong. This is just not the way you and I like it because of business reasons.
But, if we keep business aside, what they are trying to make people’s feeds as relevant possible and therefore, if people don’t engage with me regularly, it nearly makes sense to not show them my posts. I mean, that makes a logical sense to me.
Yes, as a marketer, do I like it? Heck NO! But this is the nature of the network and then I have my way out. If I want people to still see my posts, I can use my money (just like Adwords) to promote my posts to those not engaging with me over and over. It makes a commercial sense. Now, if I don’t want to spend money, I should work hard to make sure my fans engage with me on a regular basis.
Bottom line – Either you spend energy in creating engagement or spend money for business.
I am okay with this approach because I am IN for business and making money and if that requires some investment, so be it. So, this post on the most famous social network in the world 🙂
But, I won’t disappoint you. I will be writing a post which won’t be on a network you like. I promise 🙂
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your usual “expect the unexpected” thoughts with great analogy of the mailing list owner. Enjoyed that!
Hey Kumar, you didn’t disappoint me. You don’t have to write about the networks I like 🙂
One more thing I would like to add… Let’s pretend that I “Like” one of your FB pages. After some time, I’m getting sick of Facebook, or I take a break for whatever reason.
Is that something bad? I don’t think so. Then…
Why when I come back I won’t see some of your posts? Just because I was ill or bored? Personalizing user’s experience? Nice lie.
Don’t forget that you’re not my God and your page isn’t the only one I liked… If I remember you, after some days or even weeks, seeing that I don’t see your posts anymore I will think that you’re taking a break yourself.
That’s stupid if you ask me. This comment isn’t a marketer’s view, but a view of a simple user. Simple users who don’t stay all day long on Facebook have to be punished by not showing them the content they liked and wanted to see. Personalizing user’s experience indeed 🙂
Firstly I want to thank you for the mention. I covered a small bit of the power of Facebook Pages. It is a great way to market our products/services. As long as we follow the 80/20 rule just like our blogs whereby we give good content, and some posts to get engagement by asking a question, and things like that we can pitch our product/services 20% of the time.
Ever go to a Facebook Page that has nothing but products on it? Yikes! It is boring right? You want to have people to come to a place where they can learn a bit, and have a wee bit of fun. I love to run my weekly contests. That gets a lot of engagement and people always like to receive something tangible in the mail. (Adrienne Smith was so excited when she won lol)
Then there is the marketing aspect. Travis Petelle and Ben Adkins sure taught me how to market on Facebook. I took the courses and go on webinars each week. There is a certain way to do it that is actually quite fun!
Now I don’t know how long this will last, everything changes so quickly. But I like to advise people who have a product or service to jump on this bandwagon!
This is quite an interesting debate. This is because though I have both a personal profile and business pages (I run many of them for the various sites I run), I find it extremely profitable to share both personal and business updates on my personal wall – because, like you, I accept friend requests from pretty anyone who wants to connect (and who says he/she may not be a client on the morrow?)
However, an exception is that I don’t bother sharing personal updates on my business pages – that’s a big no and in my estimation, lowers business integrity and brand image.
That’s my style, Kumar…What do you think?
That’s Good Akaahan! I do not share personal details anywhere online in my knowledge.
My philosophy is simple – do not share anything online anywhere which you don’t feel comfortable sharing with the neighbor next door. That’s it. No exceptions.
The reason it’s important to keep some strong policies around our online activities is, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Right?
Have a great weekend my friend! Take care!
Hi Kumar ,
This is interesting ,I was for a while thinking about this ,
I have a page for my farm ,which is more for local people,
and one for dogs and cats 🙂
I started another page ,because of Gavin Mountfords FB challenge .
First it was difficult ,because while commenting I had to switch all the time
and in between most of the people who liked the page are on my profile page ,
I like this better ,it is somehow like a big family and I don’t have family secrets.
I would find it difficult to hold this apart and would rather let go of the page.
It is anyways about connecting and I like to be who I am .
Maybe for a business who has a special brand a business page is good ,
Thank you for this post .
Getting rid of a page that you have built so far intentionally, may not be a good idea. I will suggest to keep it alive because you never know when it will become the single most important thing for your experience on Facebook 🙂 You do know how fast Facebook keeps changing things, right?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a great weekend!
Wonderful post with highlights on both sides.
I personally have both; personal and pages for the business.
I hate to admit this, but I do not use the business part often,maybe I should. Currently I enjoy the personal side of face book.
Nevertheless, important information to get us to rethink.
You are getting there slowly but surely Ms Gladys! I am very positive about it 🙂
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your story!
I’ve been on Facebook since 2007 so we both know they didn’t have business pages back then. I also got on Facebook strictly for business reasons and it wasn’t to connect with friends and family. As they found me on Facebook I let them know that I was using it for my business so although I didn’t mind accepting their friend requests, they needed to understand what I was on there for. They agreed but of course that’s evolved.
I never ever constantly self promoted myself, I kept it fun and light. You know me, I’m all about making those connections. I did promote blog posts but I never overly did it. It was just more lax back then.
Thanks for this detailed post Kumar and I appreciated the links and video. I’m glad everyone is doing well and I think it’s up to each individual.
Thank you Adrienne! For me, I go by the assumption that everything man made has a positive and a negative side. If I am excited about enjoying riding my bike at a high speed, I do have to take risks of accident and injury. That is my responsibility although government might or might not do a good job of keeping the roads in perfect condition at all times.
Same way, Facebook is a freeway with no toll and open for everyone. They are not free from faults and we need to assume the risks if we want the benefits. I need traffic and connections from Facebook so I made sure I manage my activities on Facebook to a professional level and I have never had any problems.
When you give them less chances to violate your privacy, or misrepresent you, you have a better control no matter what.
So, I am going to continue to enjoy participating in the Facebook phenomena and ride the wave. If they die (which doesn’t seem likely), we will move on 🙂
Thank you and have a great weekend!
Well, I use both Facebook profile and pages. Pages acts as the ‘spokesperson’ for various blogs of mine. Like- I have different pages for different blogs own- education related ones, blogging tips related etc. Basically, the pages are used by me to share latest updates with followers of the blogs and to organize contests and similar interactive stuff.
Like you, I too started Facebook with the intention of connecting with friends. Later, after starting up blogging, my network began to grow. Soon, I realized that I should start up separate pages for different blogs of mine.
Still, when it comes to networking and having a good old chat with close friends and bloggers, I still rely on my Facebook profile! And thanks for sharing that article from Social Media Examiner’! It’ll sure help me make use of Facebook profile in a much better and productive way!
Keep writing Kumar!
That’s pretty much like me. That is the whole idea behind Facebook experience. I think you are doing a good job if managing your Facebook presence! Thank you for sharing.
I did visit your blog and I loved what you are doing there.
Hi Kumar, I have both personal and a fanpage but I don’t stress on the fanpage anymore as the algorithm keeps on changing and so few see the posts anymore. On the personal side, I do put people in groups so I don’t share everything to everyone – I pick and choose and on occasion post something public. I use friends more and then drill down to groups on certain subject matters. I wish I had done the follow button vs connecting with so many friends but I do have a lot of requests I haven’t responded to yet because I don’t know them well enough (mostly bloggers). If I have connected with them via Twitter and have gotten to know them then I may accept the friend request.
Facebook sure keeps us on our toes!
Thanks for the great info Kumar and sharing how others are using Facebook.
That’s right Lisa! Facebook does keep us on our toes 🙂
Like I said about my strategy, I accept connections from anybody who looks like a human being with real connections and activity level.
And I never keep pending requests in pipeline. In fact, I clean my notifications every few hours just making sure that I don’t have any pending tasks on Facebook (or Twitter, or Google+ for that matter). I don’t like to have pending things in my plate 🙂
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I must confess, that my Facebook marketing efforts to this point have not been very focused! I was part of that clueless herd that was told way back when, by one of the gurus I was listening to at the time; to get on Facebook asap! Because it was going to be the next big thing.
And while that certainly turned out to be true! The truth is, I’ve literally been playing catch up ever since. The real problem is, before I ever truly got the basics down; Facebook would announce some new change! Then another and so on etc.
So not really being sure if I should use a personal page or business page turned into the paralysis of analysis! So you whined up watching and observing this rapidly moving parade from a far! Instead of actually being an active part of it!
And once you get behind, you whined up feeling like you’re taking an advanced MBA program trying to figure it all out! In order to get caught up.
So at least now, by being exposed to the right experts such as yourself and all the informational resources that you recommend as well.
At least, it’s finally possible to learn the proper way to go about effectively using social media in general and Facebook in particular! Thanks for caring and sharing!
We all have made some mistakes and I tell you, it’s better late than never.
If you do not have a page, make one and if you haven’t been active on Facebook, it’s a good idea to start making a dent 🙂 now!
Thank you for your words of appreciation which makes me feel that my article added value to someone.
Have a nice weekend my friend!
Facebook page and facebook profile, for a business we should choose facebook page according to me. Facebook profile is something you can use for personal uses. So for a brand making process we should use the name of the brand and a facebook page which is named same.
That’s correct Pankaj. Good thoughts!
It seems like it’s been a long journey for me when it comes to facebook. I got in at the end of 2009 but didn’t start using it for business not until that following year. I believe that’s the year that facebook implemented the fan page since a lot of people were promoting the idea.
When I started blogging in 2010 and marketing, I too was accepting just about every friend request and at the same time I was making about 50 requests a day LOL. This was what I was taught. During that time, people would use fan pages to create blogging tribes which was a great idea at the time. But it didn’t create a fan page not until the end of that year. I would stay active on it for about a week, and then you wouldn’t get back on not until maybe 6 months later.
I made some renovations to my fan page, but I’m not consistently active on it, even though my new blog posts are posted automatically on it. There should be some type of balance and we also have to think that marketing a business has changed within a couple of years. People want to be more personal than ever now. I think we should focus more on our facebook profile 75% of the time and maybe 25% of time on our fan page.
Thanks for sharing Kumar and I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!
Wow! You had quiet an experience! 50 friend requests a day is a lot 🙂 glad you were able to manage it!
Thank you for sharing these details Sherman. I am sure it is going to help a lot if people and yes, I like your idea of keeping the focus on profiles if your brand name and your name is the same (which is the case in case of personal branding). Good insights!
Have a great Sunday! Looking gl forward to a brand new week!
nice post and Yes, Facebook really plays an important role in promoting our business and also drives traffic to our business. I have both personal and Facebook page but I am more active in my Personal account. According to me, for business, we choose Facebook page as Facebook profile is not suitable for business. thanks for sharing this post with us.