Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups: What Do I Need for my Business?
Great question! And one that I’m asked often…
Yes – it can be confusing!
Facebook profiles, pages and groups have many similarities, making it hard to see the differences and figure out what exactly you need to create to grow your business… especially if your business is pretty new, or you are new to the social media world.
And yet – each of these free Facebook features has its unique purpose and benefits.
Once you understand the differences, you can start using Facebook profiles, pages and groups TOGETHER to establish long-term connections that turn into leads, referrals and loyal paying customers.
What’s the Difference between Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups?
“What’s the difference between Facebook profiles, pages and groups?”
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Your Facebook personal profile is your starting point on Facebook (you must have a personal profile to be able to do anything on Facebook). Personal profiles represent individual people (not businesses) and should not be used for commercial purposes. The main purpose of your profile is to establish your presence on Facebook and allow you to connect with other people and businesses.
Your personal profile gives a glimpse into who you are: your likes, thoughts, and daily happenings. You get to post pictures, videos, links and updates, and can control who this information is shared with.
Most entrepreneurs use their Facebook profile to personally connect with other business owners and potential leads, and tend to keep their profile less “personal” and more “business casual.”
Facebook fan pages (otherwise known as business pages) are similar to personal profiles, but are created for businesses, brands and organizations. Your fan page is a mini-website for your business on Facebook. It’s your professional façade, and you should definitely create a Facebook fan page if you want people to take you and your business seriously.
There are multiple other good reasons why you must have a well-branded and active fan page. It allows you to run promotions, it gives your business a huge SEO boost, and you can get detailed insights into your followers’ behavior and demographics… just to name a few.
However, one downfall of a fan page is that you will mostly likely have one-sided conversations on your page. The way it usually works is that you make posts to your page and your fans and followers engage with them by liking, commenting and sharing. Facebook pages, however, are not really designed to have discussions, especially on sensitive topics (after all, everything that gets posted on your fan page is public). While it’s great for visibility and SEO, it’s not always the best for creating relationships and connecting on a deeper level.
Another downside of only using pages to promote your business, is that you will have a limited reach for your posts. Facebook currently shows your posts to less than 10% of the people who liked your page.
“Facebook groups are perfect for having conversations, building connections and sharing your offers.”
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Facebook groups, on the other hand, are perfect for having conversations, building connections and sharing your offers.
Facebook Groups are communities and discussion forums created by Facebook users. They are usually formed around an interest, goal, or opinion, and can range in size from a handful of people to tens of thousands of members. The group administrator can decide to make a group open, closed or private, limiting who gets to see posts inside the group.
In the last couple of years Facebook groups became the virtual social hubs for connecting and networking on Facebook. You participate in groups as yourself – using your personal profile, thus allowing other people to get to know you better as a person. After all, we do business with people we know, like and trust.
“Facebook groups are virtual social hubs for connecting and networking on Facebook.”
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Facebook groups have stronger organic reach than Facebook pages, and all members of a Facebook group get notifications of conversations happening in groups they belong to (unless they change their default preferences).
The search functionality available in groups allows members to easily find relevant discussions, as opposed to “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” behavior of fan page updates in your newsfeed.
The bottom line is – engaging in Facebook groups is a highly effective way to reach your ideal customers and network with other business owners in just minutes a day.
So What Do I Actually Need to Grow My Business?
The answer is simple. If you are serious about growing your business – you need all three.
Here is an example from the corporate world that might help you.
Think of it this way…
Your Facebook personal profile is your “home.” You choose who is invited to your home, and how much you tell other people about your personal life based on your relationship with them.
Your Facebook fan page is your “office.” You get to sit at the big desk, and set up the tone of any conversation happening in your office. You get to decorate it the way you want, and it’s pretty obvious to other people that it’s your working space.
Facebook groups are all of the formal and informal “meeting spaces”- from the official board room, to informal meeting rooms, hallways, lunch room, water cooler and the after-hours neighborhood bar. That’s where a lot of real conversations and connections happen. That’s where you get to know people on a personal level and decide if you want to do business with them.
As you can see – you actually need all three to get ahead of your competition.
This means you need a social media strategy that encompasses all three of these Facebook functions.
- You must set up your Facebook personal profile to have an account on Facebook. You will also need it in order to create pages or groups.
- You should set up your Facebook Fan page to serve as the official profile for your business.
- And you should definitely participate in Facebook groups to network and connect with potential clients (and maybe even think of creating your own Facebook community).
Together, Facebook profiles, pages and groups give you a perfect balance of formal and social interactions.
“Together, Facebook profiles, pages and groups give you a perfect balance of formal and social interactions.”
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Learn how to use them effectively IN COMBINATION with each other, and you have found the “magic formula” of growing your business on Facebook without spending any money on Facebook Ads.
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