The first step in creating a page on Facebook for your business, is deciding what kind of page it needs to be.
Why a Facebook personal profile can never be your business page
You could want to set a “personal profile” page for their business, as this is what you might already know and are familiar with. There are several reasons not to do this though:
- It violates Facebook policy. This article explains exactly how and why Facebook has declared war on personal profiles being misused as business pages; a personal profile on Facebook is supposed to be just that - the profile for a real, existing person.
- If you’re a blogger, a celebrity or if you’re self-employed and your business is directly connected with your personal name, a personal profile will not give you the many options that a business page can give you.
- A personal profile has many limitations - the most important being you can’t promote or boosts your posts so it’s quite difficult to reach a new audience.
- If you choose it to be so, keeping your personal profile “personal” and creating a separate Facebook page for your business (or, if you’re self-employed, a business page for your professional activities) can be a way to maintain a certain level of privacy. You can ask your clients, customers, fans or readers to like your Facebook business page - they don’t need to see your wedding video or the daily pictures of your dog.
BUT I WANT ALL OF MY FRIENDS TO SEE WHAT I’M DOING PROFESSIONALLY!
That is still possible - you can invite your friends to like your page (although that could backfire, more on that later), and / or you can share the posts from your business page to your personal page.
Facebook page or Facebook group?
So now we know why we don’t want a personal profile for a business page on Facebook… but should you set up a Facebook business page or a Facebook group?
Both are valid options with totally different built-in possibilities and limitations.
With a Facebook business page, Facebook has a big influence on your reach; your posts might only reach a few people, or they might thousands… your audience’s engagement has something to do with that, but so do the Facebook algorithms.
With a private or secret Facebook group, your posts won't go any further than the members of that group. Which can be a blessing if you want to create a closed and tight-nit community - it's not convenient if you want your posts to reach millions.
One last note on this - if you want to advertise using Facebook, you will need a page to link your ads to - a group won't do.
Why every business needs a Facebook page
I am convinced that every business, small or large, needs its own Facebook business page. From self-employed to multinational, from music school to car dealership and from small blogger to big television star; a Facebook business page has so many features that it would be a pity not to use them.
- Posts, pictures and videos on a business page can be shared, and shared again, and shared again (higher potential reach)
- A business page has that awesome button that allows your followers to sign up for your mailing list, book or buy directly, check out your website and so much more.
- For some types of businesses, the “review” option is a plus; customers can leave their testimonials for everyone to see.
- Although followers can post to your page, those posts end up in a separate area; you are in complete control of the content of your page’s timeline. Well, as much as Facebook lets you, of course.
However, for some businesses it can be useful to have a Facebook group as well as a Facebook business page… but only in certain circumstances.
Why a Facebook group?
Facebook groups have features that Facebook business pages don’t have. It can be a useful tool for building a strong community around your business, brand or product.
Your messages will reach most group members directly (if they choose to receive all updates from the group), instead of being subject to the whims of the Facebook algorithms.
DO YOU THINK YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS ONE OF THESE?
- Extra support for buyers of your product
- A place for your employees or collaborators to get together - either for fun or to talk shop (or both!)
- A group of people who are passionate about a certain topic and join a group to discuss that topic, can make it easier for you to sell your product to them
Make no mistake, Facebook groups are hard work as well. I will write more about setting up and managing a Facebook group in one of my next posts - please subscribe to the mailing list if you'd like to be notified when it's up!
Did this article help you make your choice? Will you be setting up a Facebook page… and / or a Facebook group? Or have you decided to go without either for the time being? Leave a comment!