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KirkEisele 14th June 2009 10:47 PM

Facebook Profile Or Page For Business?
I wrote this post for my blog and thought I would post it here for the forum. Hope it is useful! - Kirk
Facebook Profile or Page?

Should your business use a Facebook profile or a Facebook page? One of my clients asked this question and I thought it would make a good post. The right answer, as always, depends on the business and the owner.

First, it is important to understand that you need to have a Facebook profile from which you can create a page. Even if you don’t want to actively use it, I recommend creating a page using your business name as the URL for the page just in case you want it later. It would be a shame a couple years down the road to want to have and have it be gone. At the moment if your business page doesn’t have 1000 fans you can’t specify the username yet but that criteria is purported to be released soon so be ready to check it. For other social media sites to secure your username on, check out my previous post Protect Your Business Name on 5 Social Media Sites.

There are a few key differences between a page and a profile. First, a profile is limited to a maximum of 5000 friends whereas a page can have an unlimited number of fans. If you reasonably expect to have more than 5000 fans/friends then the decision is made for you. Get a page. If not, keep reading.

Another difference is in the assumed public nature of a page. Facebook assumes that it is a public space and exposes it by default for search engines and the like. A profile has an assumption of relative “private-ness” which you can turn off but need to take steps to do. It isn’t a big deal but make sure to review your privacy settings if you stick with a profile. This difference in assumed privacy preference points to an underlying difference between a page and a profile. Facebook assumes that a profile is a single, specific person and a page represents a public entity of some kind other than a person. Even in the case of a celebrity, their page is not the person but the brand as a whole from Facebook’s point of view.

How does your business interact with it’s customers? My recommendation is that if you are a charismatic face for your business and deal with the majority of clients personally, go with a profile and use its personal nature to let clients be closer to you as a person. Share pictures of your family, updates of your thoughts on a wide range of topics and in general use your Facebook profile to promote your business by the quality of your personal relationships and integrity. This can be a very powerful approach and is in general great for lawyers, real estate agents, CPA’s, and other professionals/consultants. If your business is YOU and support around YOU then go with a profile.

If your business is based on a systemized interaction with your customers in which there isn’t a persistent personal connection between a given employee and client, or you have many such relationships, then go with a page instead. Save your profile for your own personal connections and friends. You can still connect with customers on a personal level through the profile if you wish. The page will serve as a more natural hub for your business with its own identity. This is a weaker connection in most cases but if it is the most appropriate then that is correct.

And now a note on the future… Nobody can predict with 100% accuracy what Facebook will do but it makes sense to assume that their internal perception of the uses of profiles vs. pages will continue and result in features and benefits that strengthen each of those types of identities. New features for pages are likely to be “broadcast” types of things while features for profiles are likely to be designed to strengthen the bonds between individuals. I hope that this information is helpful in choosing the correct path for your business. Good luck!

Gate2Shop 15th June 2009 02:56 AM

Very interesting, thanx for sharing.

virtualme83 21st July 2009 09:43 AM

very informative article, differentiating between profile and page in FB.

techsavvy16 27th July 2009 07:14 PM

Using Social Networks for Social Selling
If your co. already has a fanpage, a real easy way to increase your profits without basically even trying or PAYING, is to put an embeddable e-store application on your fan page.You could use it as a virtual vending machine, like put your top selling items or new ones for the month up there. Your fans on your facebbok pages can click on your e-store and be brought directly to your items to purchase! Capitalize off of your social network everyone!!!

moscar 1st January 2012 02:09 AM

Great post on this particular topic which I was looking for information. I want to setup presence of my business on the Facebook but I did not use Facebook a lot. I started investigated and was confused about profile and page concepts. Your post clarifies this a lot. Thanks again :standingw

stevemack 3rd January 2012 01:44 AM

thats really great to know difference between a page and profile with business identity. i tried to create the page but with difficulty i some how made it as Facebook is becoming a part of daily online business.

JessicaElaine 3rd January 2012 10:55 AM

Last I checked you only need 25 followers to get a username. Has this changed?

Daniel_SendGOG 3rd January 2012 05:28 PM

Great article, thanks for sharing this!

moscar 3rd January 2012 10:08 PM

I setup facebook page for my business recently and was able to register username with no followers - may be I was lucky or may be this restriction is now waived by facebook. :)

mattlilly 6th January 2012 12:46 PM

Great post. I have been struggling to answer this simple question.

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