If you’ve got a facebook account, do you know who is on your friend list?

Have a quick look, are there businesses on your “friend” list?  We’re guessing that your answer is yes?  And if it’s yes do you know who is behind that account – and we don’t mean the name of the shop or bar, but the name of person(s) who logs in and posts an update?

Despite the fact that when you create a new account with facebook you’re prompted that profiles are for people (humans) and pages are for businesses, there remains a staggering number of businesses who have managed to create a profile for their business – some deliberately in order to request friends and grow their numbers, others as they’ve missed the prompt when they created the account.

So, for today we’re going to remind you of the reasons you should have a page and not a profile for your business and the implications for both facebook users and brands when a company has not been set up properly.

  • A company running a facebook page knows who its fans are.  They know if they’re primarily male or female, what the most popular age group is and what locations their fans are from and more.
  • Companies running a facebook page can display their wares effectively e.g. a video, price list, special offers, video, email sign up form, linkedin profile, contact form or even just a nice welcome page to greet their fans or likes.
  • Promotions that comply with the rules are possible on a facebook page, but not on a profile.  Promotions that ask a fan to like or post a comment, like a photo or use the facebook wall in some other way are in breach of regulations and run the risk of a page being closed down.  Profiles were never created for promotions so you don’t have the option of running a legitimate promotion through a profile.
  • Trust and privacy are concerns with profiles – do you think it’s right that the local shop can potentially view all your holiday photos?  Do you know who at the local shop might be updating that page?
  • If you’re a business you can set an age restrictions so if you’re running a campaign that offers alcohol as a prize, or even promoting an event that relates to alcohol you can insist that your fans are over 18.  If you’re a bar with “friends” is it appropriate to have teenagers on your friend list?
  • Profiles were designed to allow people to communicate and as a result if your business is incorrectly set up on a profile instead of a page it’s not unusual that your posts are lost amid the virtual farm animals, quizzes, videos and general clutter that can make up a facebook feed – particularly as your friends start to run into 4 figures.
  • 5000 is the maximum number of friends you can have on a profile, a lot for a small business but if you’re a nightclub you either have to reject friend requests or set up a new profile – and I’ve seen bars with more than one – which means even more management?
  • Businesses that run a page can see how many impressions or potential views each post gets, particularly important as guesstimates are that most updates have disappeared from view in anything from 30-90 minutes so all your efforts might be visible to only a few and you’ll never know.
  • Facebook page owners can access their page from their own account once they’re set up as an administrator, no separate login and no need to share passwords among various members of staff.  Businesses with a facebook page can make several members of staff an admin i.e. give them control of the account so they can share management, cover days off or holiday leave or even respond more effectively to queries.
Quite apart from all of the above, you stand the risk of having your page shut down by facebook, or at the very least suspended…
And if you think pages being closed down is a myth, be warned there are examples online of many pages that have been closed down or suspended but we didn’t feel it was fair to name and shame those who’ve managed to get back on track!
If you’re a company working with a facebook profile instead of a page you’re in luck as facebook now allow you to back up your data and then convert the profile to a page taking whatever number of friends you’ve accumulated with you and converting them to likes.
If you’re a facebook user with a lot of businesses on your friend list that you want to keep updated on and who aren’t aware that they need to move to a page, you could simply set up all of these “business profiles” as a friend list and manage carefully what they can view – see our previous post for details.  You can also use a facebook list to control who on your facebook list sees which part of your life so you can actually be facebook friends with that guy from accounts that creeps you out a little but block him from viewing your holiday pics.
For those businesses who need a little help in getting their facebook profile converted into a page, or would like to discuss the many options that are available to customise your page, give Debbie a call at 0872785818 or email us hello@themarketingshop.ie and if you didn’t know already, at themarketingshop.ie we offer FREE CONSULTATIONS to all new clients 🙂
Debbie McDonnell is the owner of TheMarketingShop.ie who work with SMEs across a range of sectors in Social Media, Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing. She has worked with major brands on and offline, is a Graduate of both The Marketing Institute of Ireland and The Digital Marketing Institute and has over 20 years professional experience.

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