Social Media Marketing :Facebook Business Pages
Whether you’ve been on Facebook two weeks or two years – chances are you are most familiar with the personal “profile” element of the social networking site. Your profile is your personal portal to the Facebook world. Status updates, wall comments, photos, applications, messages – all are connected to your personal profile. A personal profile tells a lot, or a little about you – depending on how much you are willing to share with your online community of friends. For many people, their Facebook account and their personal profile is their online “home.”
Great as all this is — should a business have a personal profile? The straightforward answer is no. Almost every business can benefit from a Facebook presence – but most won’t benefit much from having a personal profile. A business should utilize the business version of the personal profile: the fan page. A fan page (despite the misleading name,) is a business profile for your company. Obviously, Facebook wants businesses to utilize this tool rather than the personal profile tool – but why is it beneficial to do so? Below I outline the top three differences between the types of profiles.

Facebook Business Pages Can be Customized

While customizing a Facebook business page is not a simple affair – it can be done. Facebook allows business pages to create customized HTML pages and customized applications. This is not available on personal profiles. Personal profiles will always look cookie-cutter. The only way to stand-out from the crowd on Facebook is via a customized business page. In addition, the page’s administrator can redirect non-fans and fans to separate “tabs” on the page. This means that first-time visitors can be wowed with a sort of “landing page” while regular visitors can be directed to the areas they most wish to utilize.

Facebook Business Pages Allow Advertising

You can’t advertise a personal profile – but you can (and of course, Facebook finds a myriad of ways to encourage you to,) advertise a business page. Facebook advertising is similar to Google AdWords; but it’s more targetable than the latter (a full description of Facebook Advertisting can be found here.)

Why is the ability to advertise your page so important? Research shows that the most effective advertising on the social networking site are ads that direct the user to another page within Facebook. Advertising that attempts to pull the user from the social network out to another site online are less effective. Why? Users become comfortable with the walled-garden of Facebook and are more likely to check out a page within that walled-garden than something external to it. In addition, an advertisement for a Facebook page includes “social” information about friends that may also be a fan of this page. This can add an element of credibility to your product/advertisement that isn’t available elsewhere online (at the moment anyway.)

Facebook Business Pages Allow You to Track Visitors

Page administrators are granted access to analytics about the types of users visiting their pages. In addition to simply being informative, this can help in the targeting of advertising campaigns. Personal profiles have no such access to analytics.

These are not the only differences between Facebook “profiles” and “fan pages” for businesses – but they demonstrate the need for companies wishing to make the most of their social media presence to choose a business page. If you need help setting up a business page; contact a Houston social media marketing company.

Questions about this or other social media marketing topics? Use the comment section below, email me at jenn@directory.com , or go all SMM on me and contact me @SMMjenn on Twitter ; and I’ll do my best to address your question in an upcoming blog. You can also consult Directory One today at 713.465.0051
Learn More About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Starts at Home — Analyzing Your Social Media Strategy
Putting the Social Back in Social Media