Every business is now rushing to develop profiles on social networking sites and jump start their marketing in Web 2.0. However, there are certain technical features about setting up a business presence on Facebook which you need to be aware of before you jump in and start. So, before you spend countless hours frustrated, take the time to learn about the difference between a Facebook business page versus an individual profile on Facebook.
Facebook is evolving to accommodate business pages vs. individual profiles. In its latest re-design, Facebook has made a clear distinction between profiles and pages. The bottom line is profiles are now only for individuals and pages are for business. Profiles and pages have different features. In fact there are certain features which are no longer permitted for business pages but are indeed available to individual profiles. Here are the major changes that I found from my research:
- Businesses are only allowed to open pages NOT profile. A business which opens a profile page is in direct violation of TOS.
- Business pages allow other users to become fans, but access to the individual profile pages are limited.
- Business pages do not allow the ability to invite friends – in fact business pages cannot maintain a friends list – they can only maintain a fan list. In fact this feature is disabled on business pages.
- Business pages do allow updating your status (which gets shared with your fans)
- Business pages allow: pictures, videos, discussion board, application, wall posts, groups and other interactive elements.
This is from a section on Facebooks 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.
Now that you know the difference, go ahead and open your account. Once you’re ready take a look at Stephanie Chandler’s blog post on “How to Use Facebook for Business: Social Networking 101 for Entrepreneurs, Authors and Speakers.”