Fight the Temptation: Make a Page Not a Profile!

Do you have a business or non-profit organization that needs a presence on Facebook? If you have a business or non-profit that isn’t on Facebook, then your answer is Yes! Long ago (which in social media terms means three years ago) if you had a business that you wanted to promote with a presence on Facebook, you would need to set up a profile page just like you would as a person.  Technically, it was against the “terms of use” but people were desperate and Facebook hadn’t yet provided an alternative.

Finally, Facebook introduced pages as a solution for businesses and organizations.  They actually have six different categories that they market this product towards: local business or place; company, organization or institution; band or product; artist, band or public figure; entertainment; and cause or community.  Still a free product, pages were built with built in reporting structures so those who used them could measure their return on their investment.  The one drawback was that you would no longer send friend requests to people, they now had to become your fan.  So instead of being able to ask a person to friend you, you had to suggest from your personal account that they become a fan of the business page.

At the time that pages were introduced, I was working at an organization that had started a profile page for our business initially because there were no other options.  We were toying with whether or not to make the switch over.  We were about to make the switch and then we were hurried along when Facebook shut our profile down.  Remember how I mentioned that it was against the “terms of use”?  Technically, Facebook can shut your account down when you violate their rules and we were guilty.  It’s not like they actively seek out theses things, but when a red flag pops up they take action.  Oops!  We made the switch and were able to grow our fan base quite fast.

There are many benefits to having a page (as opposed to a profile) for your business if you need more convincing:

  • insights into the demographics of your fans
  • page views over time
  • reporting on media consumption
  • the ability to advertise on Facebook

All these things we can talk about more a bit later.  For now, remember to fight the temptation–make a page not a profile for your business or organization!