Chances are, you’re not using either to their full potential.
Am I right? Keep reading and find out…
Facebook Pages: What’s the big deal?
Really, now, why do you even need a page on Facebook when your personal profile is perfectly good for everything you do with it? With your profile, you can friend fellow authors, fans, family, and business connections; “like” all sorts of things you do; play Farmville and Vampire Wars; and so on.
In fact, a lot of things you can do with Profiles, you CAN’T do with Pages. For example:
- Pages can’t “friend” someone’s profile
- Pages can’t post messages to other pages or profiles
- Pages can’t use the Chat feature, and many other Facebook functions
However, there are several factors that make Facebook pages invaluable for authors – and anyone else hoping to take advantage of social media to their marketing advantage:
Profiles can’t be used for business purposes
Period. No exception. If you’re running a business from your profile, you are in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, and it’s only a matter of time before you get in trouble for it.
On the other hand, Pages are perfect for business use, and come with all sorts of business-friendly features, like analytics, mass mailing, and more.
Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends and/or “likes”
If you are nowhere near that number yet, like me, this may seem like a distant and abstract problem to deal with later – but imagine, if you will, the logistics behind juggling the fans who have friended your profile, and trying to move them to the page, all the while setting everything up at the last minute when you realize you can’t add anymore friends or “like” anymore pages.
Remember, this 5,000 number is a combination of friends AND “likes”. This means you can have 1 friend, but if you have 4,999 “likes” – you’re equally as stuck as someone who has 2,000 friends and 3,000 “likes”.
Meanwhile, Pages have no limits of how many people can “like” them – 5,000, 10,000, 500,000 – sky’s the limit.
Profiles are inherently private
Are you interested in reaching a broader community? Well, if you’re doing it from your Profile, chances are you are visible to just your immediate circle of friends. Or, at worst (in terms of privacy issues), friends of friends. What if you want random strangers to join the conversation? That means opening up your personal life to the internet, and not everyone is up for that.
You can post to your page as yourself (your personal profile), or as the page. You can also delegate others to manage the page on your behalf. This gives you the power to decide what sort of “professional image” you want to project to your community. Curiosity Quills has a Facebook page where we typically post as Curiosity Quills itself, not as Eugene Teplitsky or Alisa Gus (the two page admins right now who can moderate the activities there).
Pages are visible to everyone. You can “like” a page no matter who you are, who you know, or where you’re at. Another important benefit of running a page is that pages can be “liked” once – and that’s it. No friend requests needed. No waiting for a response, no rejection – just immediate and final confirmation until you decide to “unlike” it.
This makes it easy for a community to form around a page, especially if you (or, even better – your moderators) are actively participating there.
Having said that, there are a few important features that are common to both Pages and Profiles, that you need to be aware of:
Did you know that your Facebook URL (to your profile AND your page) can be shortened to a brief and memorable username?
For example, my Facebook profile URL is: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747804909. Good luck remembering that. But if you type http://www.facebook.com/eugeneteplitsky into your browser, you’ll see the same exact thing. Much simpler and easier – and way more professional.
The same is true for pages, but with one exception: you need to have 25 people “like” your page before you can give it a username.
How do you go about getting a username? Simply visit: http://www.facebook.com/username.
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this if you can.
Browsing Facebook as a Page
Sometimes it’s convenient to browse as your page. To do so, visit the page, and look inside the “Admins” box:
You now know the difference between Facebook Pages and Profiles, know when to use pages, how to set up usernames, and browse as a page. Got any questions? Drop me a comment below!