Saturday, May 3, 2014

Facebook Pages vs Facebook Profiles

Today I received a friend request on Facebook from an organization using a profile with their branded name. This is a big no no, and surprisingly still something I see happen from time to time.

This is how I politely (or so I hope) declined their Friend Request:

Hi! Not sure who I am talking to, but I want to let you know that I am denying your friend request and why I am doing it.
I do not accept any friend requests from businesses, brands, organizations etc. that are using Facebook profiles. I teach my clients to NEVER use a profile for their official page. I preach about regularly. I can not accept a request from someone who is doing the opposite of what I teach.
The reason I teach people this is two fold. One, using a profile to represent a brand or business etc. is against Facebook's Terms of Service. If you have even one person report you for it Facebook will shut you down immediately and you will loose everything you've worked for.
Two, Facebook Pages have an amazing amount of data provided about who is connected to your page and how they are interacting with your page. Anybody who is using Facebook to promote something is missing out on a gold mine of information that will help you reach your goals. Without that data you are basically spending time and energy on something you can never understand or measure. You will never know if what you are spending all that time on is making any difference.
I suggest you convert your profile to a page, or start a page and change this one to your personal name.
If you choose to convert you will keep all of your photos and all of the people you are connected to, but all of the posts will disappear.
If you choose to change this to your personal page (nobody says you can't talk about politics on your personal page, you can talk about whatever you want) and start a page, you will start from zero but you can send an invite to everyone you are connected with.
Feel free to get in touch if you need any help doing one or the other.

When Facebook became available to any and all users instead of simply students there was no way to represent your company. Personal profiles only. As more and more people started to use Facebook businesses started to notice and many of them started accounts so they could stay in touch with their customers. And Facebook noticed. And they reacted quickly. And they did something amazing. They introduced Pages.

Until Pages began a Facebook user was capped at 5000 friends. Many large brands and celebrities were starting to create second and third accounts so that they could connect with more people. Not only did Facebook make it easier to let brands connect with more people through Pages, they also started to collect and give to brands information about the types of people who were connecting with them.

Since before I started teaching brands online media I've been telling everyone I know to start a Facebook Page if they have a business. Facebook introduced Pages in late 2007! There is no reason in 2014 for someone to be creating a Profile for their business or organizations interests.

Please, if you are still using a Profile for you business, get in touch with me so we can set you up correctly. Make sure your time and effort is providing you with results.

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