Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups

I was working on a project for a client – getting them set up with Facebook and speaking with them about engagement on social media. It became apparent during that conversation, and on posts and comments I was seeing on the platform, that  even though Facebook has been available to the public since about 2005 some people (including my client) didn’t understand the difference between a profile, a page and a group. So here’s a basic guide:

Profile:

A Facebook profile is what you sign up with. It’s your personal information and includes your real name, phone or email, gender, and date of birth. Part of Facebook’s Terms of Use are that you can only have one user profile and you must sign up with the name you use in every day life. You can’t do anything else on Facebook without a profile. You can’t use a profile to represent a business. This is where you connect with friends and family, people send you friend requests that you can accept or reject as you see fit, and your interests, pages you like, groups you belong to etc are here. You can choose to hide information from public view on your profile, and only have your profile picture and very basic information available to the public.

Page:

Anyone with a profile can set up a page – also called business pages. Pages are for businesses and organisations with certain features that help you engage and connect with potential customers. One difference between a page and a profile is that people can follow and like pages but you don’t approve them first. You can however ban followers from a page if they become disruptive. Likers/followers are notified of new posts you make on your page, and can comment on posts and articles, like and share them. You can link your page to your other online presence like your website, blog or Instagram account, and it’s a useful tool to drive traffic back to your website. You are an admin of a page via your profile. You can invite others to help you administer the page via page roles. You can allow others to share content on your page but this can be locked off so only you share content. You can also limit the audience of your page by excluding certain age groups or countries. If your page doesn’t get a lot of activity however, Facebook limits who sees the posts and the impressions it gets on the Facebook newsfeed – unless you boost posts (a paid service).

Group:

Groups are for more interaction and discussion similar to say YahooGroups for example and other discussion boards. You can link a group to your page. You cannot join a group AS a page however, but must join groups with your profile. Depending on group settings people can apply to join, join automatically, or be added by friends who think they might be interested in it. Groups have administrators or moderators, can be public, private or closed. Again you can post and share content here and people can comment and more actively discuss topics. Other people can also make posts and share content. Moderators can remove people from the group and prevent them rejoining if they become problematic. Members of the group can elect to get notifications whenever a new post or comment is made on something they are following and they can choose to turn this on or off on a post-by-post basis. You can link to your website in the group description. You can also set questions for potential members to answer to determine whether you accept their application to join.

 

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

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