The final word: Facebook Profile vs Facebook Page

This is post number two  in a series of posts from Facebook expert Tommy Walker. If you have questions, leave a comment here or visit with Tommy on Twitter at @tommyismyname.

Do I use my Facebook profile to Market my blog? Do I set up a Page?

It’s a classic debate anyone who has considered using Facebook to promote their blog has had with themselves.

The argument is Pages have less of a “personal feel” and therefore don’t encourage interaction.

However the flip side of the argument is that using the Facebook Profile to promote the blog can be obtrusive to friends and family.

So which one is right?

Here’s the deal. Profile pages are meant for friends and family. Business pages are meant for business.

If you’re writing a personal blog that is a chronicle of your daily shenanigans, and you have no interest in monetizing your blog either directly or indirectly, then by all means use your Profile to promote your blog.

If you are planning to make any money from promoting your content over Facebook, you are running a business.

My guess is, if you’re a reader here, you fall into the latter category. You want to make money…

And Facebook wants to help

If you’re writing a blog and you’re using only your Profile page, you’re missing out.

See Facebook and Facebook app developers have a whole range of tools that are designed specifically for Pages.

Most notably is the ads platform, which allows you to specify how much you’re willing to spend, and target people primarily based on their likes and interests section.

Facebook’s Ad platform allows you to have a grater control over who interacts with your content. Meaning only the people who are going to be the most interested in what you have to say will be seeing your content on a regular basis (but more on why this is important in just a second)

Even if you’re not using the Ad platform, installing tools like Clobby group chatStickam live video chatDiscussion boards or Payvement E-commerce are simply not a possibility.

Insights are also not available to you. Insights help you measure the effectiveness of your communication. Insights give you measurements of the amount of impressions a particular status update has vs the amount of feedback, the demographic breakdown of the users on your Page, the languages people speak, top cities where people are from, and graphs that show interactions with multimedia such as pictures, video, and audio.

Facebook also caps Profile pages at 5,000 “friends”. If you blow up and make it big, you’ve stunted your own success. Pages however have no limit to the amount of people who can “like” it, so you’re free to grow however you wish.

In short, Pages are designed with the business mind.

Now there’s nothing wrong per se if you don’t mind not using these tools.

But let me ask you this…

How many of your friends and family actually understand what it is that you do?

One of the biggest problems with using your Profile as the primary method for promoting your blog is the mix of people who you’re “friends” with.

If you’re like me, you’ve been using Facebook longer than you’ve been blogging.

On my personal profile, I’m friends with my Mom, my fiancée, my 11 year old sister, and a good majority of Somersworth Highshool’s class of 2000-2006. And while I love thinking they’re all as passionate about Online marketing as I am, the reality is they’re more interested in cats that look like Hitler.

The reality is, most people just don’t “get it”.

By publishing your stuff for the 5-10 people who do get it, and trying to keep a “personal feel” on your Facebook page, you’re doing yourself more harm than good.

It’s very confusing when you post pictures from last night’s drinking party, then write a post about reputation management.

Do this too much and you’re just training everyone to tune you out, because there’s no cohesive feel to any of the content you publish.

Segment your Facebook Presence.

I’m not suggesting that you abandon your Profile and move entirely over to the Pages part of the Platform.

Segment what you’re doing. Industry and “work” related stuff update from your Page. Personal stuff stays with the profile.

This way you’ve created multiple layers to your online presence.

And you don’t muddy up your friends and family’s News Feed with content they don’t understand.

Final thoughts

Create your page, and send a note from your Page to the friends and family who are most likely to want to follow your blogging career. This way, you know that the people on your Page are interested in your business stuff, and you’re not being obnoxious to everyone else.

Look through different apps that can enhance your Page, and use all of the different tools available to help set yourself apart from everyone else!

11 comments
SallyBright
SallyBright

Tommy:
Great post! Why can't FaceBook do this? Confusion between these two types of accounts goes on as FaceBook keeps changing the guidelines.
I know people who have "Pages" that they don't know how to keep straight. When you have a Page, is there a link to your Profile, if you have one? What happens when you Like a website or product? Does the website think the Like is from you, personally, or your Page business? That part is still confusing to me.

Isabel Bures
Isabel Bures

hi tommy, thanks for this post. i was thinking a long time, whats best: to use the profile or a page for my business. but actually i was able to create both for my business. so i have a facebookprofile (private) and apart from that i created another profile & page for my business. But i dont know, if this makes sense??? :) what do u think? greets isabel

Nicole Fende
Nicole Fende

Tommy,

It took me a long time to figure out what you've described in once post! I wish I had met you sooner. It was a huge relief to me to realize I could separate the two, as I have some friends who, shall we say, like to make colorful comments on my personal wall?

Fred McClimans
Fred McClimans

Tommy - Great way to define the split between profiles and pages. I suspect that many are afraid of making the break because of fear of creating a page that doesn't take off, sits there and becomes a bit of an "oh well" item (especially if they use their name for their business).

But your approach is logical and makes perfect sense.

And Marjorie - Thanks again for demonstrating you are the master of the guest post!

Fred

Tommy Walker
Tommy Walker

Well Fred... this stuff is only the first step. It's a lot of work to grow a Page, but running ads does help that :-)

Mike Miller
Mike Miller

01/26/2011

Thanks for the Good information Tommy. I'm presently schooling myself in "Social Media Marketing" {Just Learning!!}. You have answered a question for me. My business
www.northernmarineinsurance.com does not have large online presence. I'm working to
build it.

Cordially

Mike Miller

Sean Cook
Sean Cook

This is great Tommy. When I met with you the other day we talked about this sort of stuff, gand I am definitely looking to segment my online life more clearly. Looking forward to working with you to get this sorted out and start reaping the benefits for my business.

Raul Colon
Raul Colon

Its a good idea to segment your Facebook presence. I see it on the other side who people also set up personal profiles for there business.

I like how you put it of having multiple layers to your online presence.

I tried to hit on link regarding the apps and was not able to get thru.

Regarding close friends and family understanding what I do. They don't that is why I have to link up with great people like Margie online so I have someone that understands me. :)

Tommy Walker
Tommy Walker

@Raul

Hmm... that's odd... here's the link

The layers thing is wicked important to me, because I think too many people get wrapped up in the "How do I use Platform X for my business" and what it really comes down to is what is platform X strong at that Platform Y isn't, and how can you fully utilize each platform to bulk out your presence (without coming up with 500 million pieces of content) and that is simply to use the strong points of each platform.

For example, I've been trying to encourage Discussions using the Discussions App on my Facebook Page to connect people in a way that isn't really possible using the standard Facebook tools or Twitter...

We all get each other :-) which is cool because when it seems like no one else does, it's always nice to have that with other people.

Kristen Robinson
Kristen Robinson

Great post! So many people don't know why they need to use a FB page to support their business or even know the differences. I love how you explained the purposes for each and how you can ask friends and family to be fans of your FB page (mine are!). Thanks!

Tommy Walker
Tommy Walker

Kristen what do you do? I'd love to check out your work!

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robin Keys, Twylah.com-Kelly Kim, Tommy Walker, Marjorie Clayman, Marjorie Clayman and others. Marjorie Clayman said: The final word: FB profile vs FB page: http://bit.ly/fDd6JW a great guest post by @tommmyismyname [...]