I thought by now that companies, organizations, churches and brands would have all learned the game, but I guess I was wrong. I’ve seen an influx of non-human individuals promoting their Facebook profiles on their cards, shop windows and websites. The problem, many of them are utilizing Facebook’s Personal Profile setup as opposed to a Facebook Page. What’s the big difference you ask?
First of all, businesses (including all organizations, churches, non-profits), products or public figures are not allowed to maintain a personal profile on Facebook. What? Yes that’s right.
Secondly, while Facebook obviously is not enforcing this rule right now, they will get around to it. When they do, they will shut down those profiles and all the time and energy spent creating that community will be lost overnight. These companies may as well take the time to get it right now before their community disappears.
Third, being “friended” by a company or organization is not the norm and you are less likely to pick up followers with this approach. People have become used to Facebook Pages and interacting with organizations through them. Trust levels go down when a profile is presented to them in friend requests. Also when people search for Facebook Pages they are likely to overlook a profile that the organization has forced its name into first and last name boxes.
Fourth, another great thing about creating a Facebook Page is creating custom content tailored to your business on your page. You add videos to your Facebook Page, along with custom built content and most importantly you can add opt in boxes so you can keep in touch with your customers. The amounts of possibilities you can explore with your Facebook Page are almost endless, and you should utilize these features on a regular basis to build your business’ online presence.
Facebook allows you to have multiple Facebook Pages which can be useful if you’re a bigger company and have multiple facets in your organization that you would like to promote, or you could set up a specific page for a new product or service you are planning to launch. For the most part most companies choose to have only one fan page, because it is a lot easier to stay on top of one page rather than multiple pages. It is very important to be constantly updating your Facebook Page, and a good rule of thumb is to add new content at least every other day.
By the way, did you know your Facebook Page can be a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy. Why is that, you ask? It’s because Facebook Pages are indexed by search engines. Profiles are not. If you’re like most business owners, you want as many people as possible to find you online. If you set up a profile in your business name, you’re not maximizing your exposure. Sure, your Facebook friends will be able to see your page, but new people won’t find you all that easily. On another note, remember Facebook Pages can have an unlimited number of fans, while Profiles can only have 5,000 friends. If you’re trying to build your business, why limit yourself?
If you know someone with a company Profile Page, please do them a favor and direct them to set up a Facebook Page. I don’t want to signal out the guilty, I just want them to be aware of the mistake and correct it before it is too late. Communities take time to build and they are nurtured on trust, getting Facebook set up correctly goes a long way to building and nurturing your community. Once they get their Facebook Page set up, invite those connected to the profile to get involved on the Facebook Page.