Jake Intel

Anneli Werner

Facebook: Profiles, Pages, Friends, Fans, Groups & Members

Businesses of every size and across every industry are rushing to set up a Facebook page so they can take advantage of the benefits of social media marketing, or “SMM”.

However, many companies struggle with the best way to get started and often leave the site frustrated. Thankfully, Facebook has addressed this confusion with specific protocols for setting up accounts for people and businesses.

Here’s what you need to know:

Profiles

“Profiles” are intended for individual people. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain a Facebook account under the name of their organization. People have “Friends”.

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Pages

“Pages”, on the other hand, are for organizations or businesses.If a business attempts to set up a Profile instead of a Page, they are violating the terms of use for Facebook, and the account may be deactivated.Businesses have “Fans”.

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Other Types of Pages

While a business may not set up an individual Profile, an individual — often times, a celebrity or public figure — may set up a Page. These people also have Fans.

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Groups

“Groups” resemble business Pages, but Group pages include features that encourage community building and discussions among a group of people. Group pages have “Members” rather than Friends or Fans.

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Things to remember:
  • Profiles, which are for individuals, and Pages, which are for businesses, have different features on Facebook, and not all are available to both types of accounts.
  • Businesses communicate with their followers, who are called “Fans”. Individuals communicate with people who are called “Friends”. Groups communicate with people are called “Members”.
  • Businesses are NOT able to “Friend” someone. Users must “Become a Fan” of a business page. The administrator of the business Page, however, may “Suggest” the page to his or her individual friends. Likewise, fans of any page may do the same, making fan Pages a good outlet for viral marketing.
  • Business Pages are public. Individual Profiles are private with each user controlling what is seen by others. Group pages can be configured so they are publicly available for anyone to join, require administrator approval for members to join, or remain private by invitation only.
  • Because business pages are not behind a login, search engines can index the page, helping organizations with their viral marketing efforts.
  • Individual Profiles, business Pages and Groups all allow status updates. These updates are shared with Friends (individuals), Fans (businesses or other entities), or Groups (members).