Does My Business Really Need a Facebook Business Page?
If you are reading this article, chances are, you have already heard of this little thing called Facebook. As of February 2020, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform. In 2019, the number of daily active Facebook users climbed to 1.62 billion, and that number is projected to reach 1.69 billion in 2020. What’s more, when people are looking for a new place to shop or dine, they often check out a company’s Facebook page first to find information like the following:
- Business hours
- Address and phone number
- Photos of merchandise, menu items, or interior (to get a feel for ambiance)
- Recent posts to make sure the company is still operating during this time of the year (this especially holds true in areas like northern Wisconsin, home to many seasonal businesses)
What a great opportunity to connect with potential customers! Businesses use their Facebook business pages to manage their presence and branding, connect with customers, and nurture prospects by sharing content (photos, videos, blog posts, interesting and relevant articles, etc.), respond to inquiries (via private messages, comments on the company’s posts, and customers’ posts on the company’s page), and have one-on-one conversations with followers.
So what’s the difference between a Facebook personal profile and a business page?
If you’re one of the 1.6-something billion daily active users on Facebook, you are most likely familiar with the personal profile. You may have even created a personal profile for your business in the past. But if you are using a personal profile for commercial purposes, you are not only missing out on many of the helpful tools designed for businesses that are only accessible with the business page; you are actually also violating Facebook’s policies.
So your business does need a Facebook business page if you want to avoid having your account deleted by Facebook and if you want to best utilize Facebook’s enormous power and reach. Let’s go over some of the key differences between a personal profile and a business page.
Differences Between a Facebook Personal Profile and Business Page
1. Different Tools
A Facebook business page has special content creation tools, analytics (so you can see how many people your post reached and how many people interacted with it), and paid promotional opportunities—none of which a personal profile has.
2. Different Capabilities for Engagement with Facebook Users
In order for a Facebook user to fully engage with a business who uses a personal profile, that user would have to send the business a friend request. A business page removes this unwanted barrier to engagement.
3. Friends vs. Likes
While users with personal profiles have friends on Facebook, business pages have likes. You cannot send a friend request to a business page. Facebook users who like your business page see the content that you post in their newsfeed. You can invite people to like your business page or even suggest the page to all of your email contacts. (Stay tuned: we’ll talk about more ways to get likes on your Facebook business page in a future article.)
4. Privacy Controls vs. Audience Settings
Facebook users with personal profiles can control the visibility settings of their profiles. This is not the case with business pages. All business pages are public, so anyone can visit them. However, you can limit the audience for your business page’s posts. Through Facebook’s audience restrictions feature, you control the visibility of your business’s posts based on users’ age, gender, location, and language. You can also choose to hide and delete individual comments, filter out profanity, or block specific words. You can even control when users can post to your business page.
5. Number of People Who Can Manage the Account
A personal profile can only be managed by one person. A business page, on the other hand, can have multiple people managing and contributing to it at different, customizable levels. While each business page must be attached to a personal profile, the information remains separate unless you manually copy it from one place to the other. That is, your personal information is not visible on your business page and vice versa.
While Facebook is designed for a person to have only one personal profile, one person may manage an unlimited number of business pages. To have full ability to manage your business pages (up to 50) on a mobile device, you must download the Facebook Pages Manager app, available in the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store.
Can I convert an existing Facebook personal profile into a Facebook business page?
Yes, you can! And, even better, it is quick and easy to do. Facebook has made it simple for businesses to copy over information, profile picture, cover image, friends/followers, images, and videos to transfer right over to a new business page. Here’s how:
- Head over to facebook.com/pages/create/migrate.
- Select “Get Started.”
- Choose at least one category (and up to three categories) that best describe your business.
- Select which of your existing friends from your personal profile you’d like to migrate over to your business page as followers.
- Choose which of your photos and videos from your personal profile that you’d like to migrate.
- Review your choices, and select “Create Page.”
And now you have a Facebook business page. Wasn’t that simple?
You just took a great first step toward optimizing your business’s reach on Facebook. This article is Part 1 of our series, Getting Started on Facebook for Business Success. In upcoming articles, we’ll discuss how to build a new Facebook business page if you’re starting from scratch (and we’ll provide details on the information that is essential to post on your new page). Later, we’ll share how to get your business page’s first 100 followers and how to optimize your Facebook business page so it continues to grow.
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