Yes, there is a difference. Not a day goes by when I don’t get friend requests from business. What wrong with that?
1. Using a personal profile page is in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Facebook can delete your profile without notice, if they get wind of it.
2. Your business is invisible to search engines. Content in personal profiles doesn’t get indexed by Google or other search engines.
3. Personal profiles are limited to 5000 friends. Business Pages have no restriction to the number of fans a Page can have.
4. You can’t have a personal identity and a business identity within the same space. Personal friends aren’t interested in reading every business message you post, and business (fans) may not care about your experience at the dentist’s office this morning. There are rare ceases where personal and business can overlap, but generally they don’t mix well.
5. Business Pages provide you with valuable monitoring tools. Personal profiles don’t. How do you know if your time spent on Facebook is providing you with PR or customers?
6. Facebook Pages take advantage of Facebook ads. Facebook ads work much like Google AdWords, allowing you to target specific markets, by leading people to your Facebook Page or any other website you want to direct them toward. You can’t promote a personal profile,
7. Facebook allows one personal profile per person. You can create as many Facebook pages as you want to. It’s possible to have many business pages, each dedicated to a specific product or event. If you own several businesses or manage multiple non-profits, you can have a Page for each of them, each with it’s own branding.
There also seems to be some confusion about Facebook Groups, and when to use the Group format.
Who should use Groups?
1. Organizations of a more private, esoteric nature; such as Lincoln School Class of 2008, Gold’s Gym Weight Training Fanatics, etc. Groups operate more like private clubs, and are now indexed by Google. If you mange such a group then Groups is the right choice.
2. If you plan to send occasional messages to your group that won’t be seen by anyone else on Facebook, uses Groups.
3. If you post on a regular basis and want to annoy member with messages in their Inbox use Groups. This type of communication can be intrusive, and just a pain in general. Users are more inclined to disengage from a Group, than from a Page because of this annoyance and extra work.
Who shouldn’t use Groups?
1. Any business, artist, or organization that wants it’s content regularly indexed by Google.
2. Any business that want to take advantage of Facebook’s promotional opportunities.
3. Businesses that want their posts to show up in the feeds of all of their members, with a higher probability of post being shared.
4. If you want to use applications to make your page more interesting and interactive, you’ll need a Page, Groups can’t host applications.
5. If you want to link your Facebook Group to other websites, such as blogs and directory listings, you won’t be able to. Many of these website can link to Pages, but not to Groups.
6. There are many services like TweetDeck and Hootsuite that will allow you to manage multiple social media accounts from one central hub. Personal profiles and Pages can be integrated into these hubs, Groups can’t.
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