For those of you joining this program already in progress, it’s hard to deny that Facebook has become a virtual, modern-day version of the yellow pages-- with one glaring exception: you can actually interact with the listed companies in real time.
In the same way that you wouldn’t want your business excluded from something as essential as a phone book, refusing to list yourself on Facebook is a choice that limits your visibility and gives your competitors an upper hand. But when you do make the choice to jump into the fray, is it with a profile page or a fan page?
Facebook profiles are the types of accounts that most individual users have. Your mom, your friends and possibly even your pets have these kinds of pages. Everyone with a Facebook Profile also has a timeline, where you update your status, pictures, links and videos. You can also easily send friend requests to connect with others. Unless your profile is set to be as public as possible, users will have to friend you before they can access content on your timeline.
Facebook Fan Pages
Facebook fan pages are a little different. For one thing, users can look at content directly as soon as they make the choice to “like” your page. This shortcuts the step of waiting for approval from a friend request. Fan pages have built in tools that help you keep track of who is following you. Unlike Facebook profiles, there is no upper limit on how many people subscribe to your updates-- a big advantage for a brand! If you want to create subcategories of content for fans to explore, you can build custom tabs. Fan pages are also indexed in Facebook’s search engine, which makes it easier for followers to find you.
It’s probably clear that for most of your business needs, a fan page makes the most sense. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t promote your business through your personal profile as well. Just make sure that when you’re representing your business you do so through your fan page. That helps to build the identity of your brand, give it a voice and build a following connected to your product or service rather than just one individual.