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Do you know what the best option is for your business? Are you representing yourself professionally on Facebook and making the most of the amazing features available?

With Facebook being so huge, having a number of features and different options it’s not surprising users get confused when it comes to marketing their business. I get asked which is the best option a lot and I see LOADS of businesses using the wrong one so this is an important subject.

The differences between a profile, group and page.

Personal profiles

are designed for people to connect with friends and family.

Most users on Facebook keep their profiles just for close friends. Some also use their personal profile to network with other business owners, and this can be a useful way to continue a business relationship having met in person.

But, using a Facebook profile to directly sell goods and services is against Facebook’s T&Cs and they can shut your profile down if they catch you.

Just think if that happened to you! ALL that effort and work you put in for it all to disappear along with the contacts and community you’ve created. SO not worth it! If this is you, I recommend moving over to a business page – Speedy Gonzales fashion.

It’s also against Facebook terms to have more than one personal profile. For instance, a personal profile just for friends and another profile for business contacts. If you want to use your profile for business and leisure, order your contacts in to separate lists. This means you can choose which updates are visible to your different lists and can target your business related messages to your business contacts without annoying your Facebook friends and vice versa.

To connect with a personal profile on Facebook your invitation has to be accepted by that person, and the profile displays personal information at the top of the page (depending on how much information has been provided and privacy settings), like this:

Facebook profile used by a business

Think for a minute: do you want to be a friend with a business, know where they ‘live’ or where they’re ‘from’, then wait for your friend request to be accepted before you can interact?? What kind of first impression does that create when other business pages have interesting welcome tabs encouraging visitors to like the page, or tabs providing useful information for customers such as opening times, shopping carts and location maps…?

A group

is ideal for small communities of people who share a similar interest. Groups can be open (anyone can join), closed (your request to join has to be accepted) or secret (the group is completely invisible to everyone other than the group members and you have to be invited to join).

Groups make it easy to share documents, schedule events, and chat with members but the limited functionality means it’s not the most suitable option to promote a business. It is however, a great way to provide additional support to customers and clients particularly if you have a service based business or are a coach or trainer.

Facebook pages

are created with businesses in mind so it stands to reason that this is the best option if you want to promote your business on Facebook. There are lots of reasons for this:

  • They are designed specifically for businesses in mind. OK, I’ve already said that but it’s worth repeating
  • They include lots of customisation features so you can create special landing pages, newsletter sign up options, discount coupons, shopping carts and run competitions directly from Facebook
  • They are indexed in search engines like Google (good for being found on line, also known as SEO)
  • It is classed as an additional web page (this means people don’t have to be logged in to see a Facebook page – they don’t even need an account = more reach and visibility for you)
  • Anyone can ‘Like’ your page and invitation requests are not needed to be authorised (which means less admin for you and more reach and visibility again)
  • Pages, because of all of the above reasons, look more professional. Take another look at the above image if you don’t believe me.

So there you have it. If you need more help with your Facebook presence and strategy, or want help switching from a personal profile or group to a business page then get in touch. Or, come introduce yourself on my Facebook page and get free and exclusive Facebook video tips to professionalise your own page!