Profiles, Fan Pages and Groups
One of the challenges with Facebook is understanding the differences between the three main ways of connecting with an audience. Once you understand the differences, then develop a strategy for using the various elements to build relationships and market your business.
- Facebook Profile
- Facebook Page (Fan Page)
- Facebook Group
1. Facebook Profile = Friends
Your first step is to create a Facebook PROFILE.
You automatically get a profile when you open a Facebook account. This account MUST be in your own name. Profiles are for REAL people and you must use your real name. You are not allowed to use pseudonyms or business names nor are you allowed to set up an account for your cat, dog, gerbil or elephant.
You are not allowed to use your Facebook Profile for “commercial purposes.”
You are allowed to have up to 5000 FRIENDS. You can invite other Facebook users to join as a friend, or they can offer to be your friend. You must ADD friends to your network, they cannot join your list without your permission.
2. Facebook Pages = Fans
Facebook “pages” are also called Fan Pages, because instead of “friends” you have “fans.” This is where you set up your business, your pseudonym or celebrity profile if you are famous or even somewhat famous.
You CAN set up more than one Fan Page.
You are only allowed to set up a page for something you OWN or have the rights to. For example, you cannot set up a Fan Page for Tom Cruise, unless you ARE Tom Cruise. You cannot set up a page for ipod unless you are Apple. You cannot set up a page for your cat, dog, gerbil or elephant … unless they are a celebrity of some kind.
The inner workings of a Fan page is very similar to your profile page. A Fan Page can have an unlimited number of Fans. There is no direct messaging ability. Though you can send notifications, most people never check their notifications, so why waste your time!
Fans can just join, it is not necessary to accept them. The good news is that you CAN block anyone who is an annoyance.
3. Facebook Group = Members
You can set up any number of groups, or belong to up to 200 groups. Each group can have an unlimited amount of members and you can send direct messages to your Group until it reaches 5000 members.
Think of a group as a “club” or “association” or “community” with a specific interest, commonality or purpose.
Groups have MEMBERS.
You are not allowed to use a Facebook Group for “commercial purposes.”
Groups can be open, private, or even secret. You can have a group that is a fan of your cat, dog, gerbil or elephant. You can have a Tom Cruise Fan Club group … or an ipod user group. You can get very creative and have a lot of fun with groups.
You can use groups as a place to complete projects or get things done. For example … if your Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary is coming up and you and your siblings need to plan the “event” … you could create a SECRET group (so Mom and Dad don’t find out). You could do all your planning, communications and keep track of everything on your 50th Anniversary Group page.
Where do you start? Develop a STRATEGY. Setting up a Profile, Page or Group is NOT a strategy. Deciding what you plan on using each of the elements for is the beginning of your strategy. Here’s an example:
I am setting up my Facebook Profile – Melanie Rockett – as an open forum. My policy is to accept anyone who “applies” as a friend. I will include an even mix of some personal, some business on my Profile page and will work at creating and fostering relationships. If anyone gets annoying I will block them.
I will talk about everything to do with generating traffic to your business and your website, including SEO, SEM, Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing and even a variety of offline marketing tactics. My Fan Page is basically an extension of my website and is a way for people to easily connect with me.
My strategy also includes: how often I will post, what I will talk about, how I will promote my website and Fan Page, whether or not I will have my assistant help me, and if yes, who will do what.