Recently, I’ve been getting asked about Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles.
Back in the day, many people started using Facebook Profiles for their program, department or college. This might have been before Facebook had created Pages or it was when Pages were still pretty sparse for business help.
Since then Facebook has made lots of changes – big changes to help businesses and schools really use their Pages effectively.
Now Facebook is making it clear that profiles are now only for individuals and pages are for business.
Both have different features.
Programs, depts, and colleges are only allowed to open pages NOT profile. If they have a profile or try to open a profile page, they are in direct violation of TOS. Which could get them suspended.
Facebook pages allow other users to become fans, but access to the individual profile pages are limited.
Facebook pages do not allow the ability to invite friends (but groups do) – pages cannot maintain a friends list – they can only maintain a fan list. But there are a lot of advantages to this fan list.
Pages do allow updating your status (which gets shared with your fans)
Facebook pages allow: pictures, videos, discussion board, application, wall posts, groups and other interactive elements along with writing things in FBML (Facebook Mark-up Language).
This is from a section on Facebook’s official policy (on difference between profile and pages):
Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.
Facebook’s policy in terms of how business can use their pages:
All personal site features, such as friending and messaging, are also for personal use only and may not be used for professional promotion. If you add a user as a friend, for example, this person will be invited to be a friend of your profile and not your Page. Using personal site features for professional promotion, or creating unauthorized Pages, may result in your account being warned or disabled.
Here are the biggest benefits of your Facebook Fan page.
- Multiple Admins: You don’t have to log into a specific Facebook profile to control the page. Pages can have multiple admins that could all be posting as the admin on the page. And you can logged in as yourself on Facebook instead of logging in as the program, dept, or college profile.
- Unlimited Fans: Facebook Profiles are limited to 5000 friends. Now that may seem far off but if you keep growing the profile you will have issues if Facebook lowers the limit.
- Easy to Remember URL: You can have a personal URL for the page like http://www.facebook.com/notredame (big thanks to Brad Ward from Blue Fuego who helped us secure this URL). This helps for remembering the name and for Search Engine Optimization with the search engines.
- Fan Interaction Analytics: You can see what people are doing on the page with Facebook Insights.
- Blast Emails: You can email all your fans at one time.
- Likes on other web pages: You can add Facebook Like buttons to your website so people can like your website and get connected with page.
- Businesses Drive Facebook: Facebook is constantly adding new features to the Page system. More benefits for businesses adds more advertising dollars in their pocket. They are not doing this to profiles and in fact are shutting down “fake” profiles that businesses have set up. Profiles are for people not businesses.
The hard thing to do is to move everyone off the Facebook profile to the Page. Right now, you should be encouraging everyone to move over as soon as possible and “like” the facebook fan pages.