This is a guest post by Lisa Shoreland. If you would like to submit a guest article, please check out our guest post guidelines.
Facebook offers businesses and entrepreneurs many ways to connect with fans, potential customers, and potential business partners. There is the traditional personal profile most often used by individuals, and there is the fan/brand page that has been designed for businesses.
Though Facebook forbids businesses from opening profiles, some business owners open a personal profile and use it to make more connections and put a personal face on their business.
Whether you should open a fan page or a profile depends on your business and your goals for that business.
- For example, are you a freelancer or a sole proprietor, such as a writer, a consultant, or a designer?
- Or do you have a large, established business and are looking to increase sales and exposure?
Here’s a breakdown of some of the key differences between a Facebook fan page and a profile to help you decide which one is best for you:
The profile makes it easier to connect with others in a number of ways. You can add friends to make new connections, rather than waiting for others to add you. When you have a business page, you cannot add others or even see their profiles. The relationship is strictly one-sided. When you have a profile, you can interact more with your connections, allowing them to get to know you better and vice versa.
A profile allows you to share more personal posts, as well, such as photos of your family, posts about things you enjoy, and updates about your personal hobbies and activities. Sharing these kinds of details can help your connections get to know you better and relate more to you.
There are some drawbacks to the profile for businesses and entrepreneurs. The first is that your activities are limited, and you cannot directly use it for business use. Sure, you can share information about your company, but the primary purpose is to connect individuals. A profile is also limited to the number of friends it can have (no more than 5,000).
The Facebook fan page offers a number of benefits for businesses as it is primarily designed for businesses. There are no limits on the number of likes (fans) you can have (you can have 5 million if you can get them!) and there are options for promoting your page or your post. You can also post anything you like about your business and even customize your page with items like your business hours or a shopping cart.
The biggest benefit of the fan page is that it is indexed by search engines, which can help you improve SEO for your site. Profiles are not indexed. You can use keywords to optimize your fan page and help drive traffic back to your site.
The downside to fan pages is that you cannot connect with other users by adding them or viewing their profiles. They must like your page, and you have to hope they visit the page or see your posts in their feed to see your content.
Whether you choose a fan page or a profile should depend on the type of business you have and the goals you have. If you work independently and are primarily interested in connecting with your fans and customers or networking, then a profile will likely be best for you. If you have a business and you want to raise awareness of your brand and increase sales and traffic to your site, then a fan page will be your best option.
Do you have a fan page or a profile for yourself or your business?
Share your page’s URL and tell how it has benefited you in the comments.
Lisa Shoreland is a resident blogger at GoCollege, where she’s been researching the best way to apply for student loans and grants for college students. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandoned animals.