Facebook Business Page or Personal Profile - Which is Better?
At our recent Redding CA Social Media Meet up we started a conversation about the risks of setting up a personal Facebook profile for a local business. The need to leverage the power of Facebook is no longer an option. Facebook has far too much momentum to be ignored.
Many small, local businesses find Facebook personal profiles easier to work with and seemingly more effective than the more formal Facebook pages. I've been studying this for a while and have done a good amount of research on the topic.
So why should you set up your local business on Facebook with a business page and not a personal profile?
1. Facebook Says So: According to Facebook's terms of service, "Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook." While Facebook is not actively enforcing this YET, it's likely that they will will in the future. When this happens and your profile gets shut down by Facebook for violating this rule, your friends list and all your hard work will vanish with it.
2. One Profile can oversee many business pages. Business pages give greater flexibility. This means that as you use and understand Facebook, Business Pages will give your business greater growing power.
3..Facebook Pages offer Analytics and Widgets that offer greater function over personal Profiles. This means that you can measure your results and add "website like:" functionality to your Business Page that you can't get with a personal profile.
4. SEO aka Google Juice: The content on Business pages are indexed by Google while the content on personal profiles are not. Note that I"m saying "content" here.
5. Friends vs "Likers": A personal profile is limited to 5,000 friends. A business page can have unlimited "likers"
Several local businesses disagreed with my opion at our meet up. That's Ok, afterall isn't that was the conversation is all about? That said, I've been around social media long enough to know that policies change. Facebook is moving in the direction where it will start enforcing terms of service policies. It's not if it will happen, it's when will it happen.
How to protect yourself?
1. Set up a Business Page and gradually start using it. Find reasons for your Friends to "like" your business page.
2. Make sure that there are at least 2, even 3 admins of the Business page. This will protect you if Facebook does shut down the personal profile of the business.