I hear it every day. I set up a Facebook Profile for my business instead of a page because:
“I can’t send direct messages to people from my business.”
“I want to have a separate log in for my business so I don’t have to give out my personal Facebook Profile information to an employee.”
“I have thousands of friends and I don’t want to have to start over with a Business Page and get them to now “Like” my business.”
And…the list goes on.
The facts are however that having a Facebook Profile (where you have friends instead of likes) on Facebook for your business is against Facebook Policies. That should be enough to get you to convert any profile you have set up to a page, but there are so many other reasons that it is just plain stupid for a business to have a Profile instead of a page.
Here are just a few:
1. There is a limit of 5000 friends on a Profile when you can have unlimited “likes” on a Page.
2. Any links or posts that you share on a Profile are not indexed by any search engines therefore anything you post does nothing to keep you at the top of search engines. However posts and links on a Business Page are and now will help you rank higher in search engines.
3. You don’t have to give out your personal Facebook information for an employee etc. to access your Page. Just add them as an administrator and they can access it from their own personal log in. (This does not mean that anything they post personally on their profile will ever show up on your Business Page. The information between the two is not linked.) There is also an option to set up a Page independent of a Profile, but the options are limited as to what you can do with the page so at this time I don’t recommend doing that.
4. This one is the biggest reason you should have a Page instead of a Profile. INSIGHTS!!! This is the information that Facebook gives you access to so you can see what posts get the most activity, what are the main ages of people who have liked your page, etc. All this information can help you to not only start to define what information you should post on Facebook, but now you have information you can use to make all your other advertising and marketing more targeted. What if you have been advertising in the Inlander, but find out that the age demographic of your “likers” is either younger or older than the people who read the Inlander? Oh, I don’t know, maybe you are flushing money down the toilet? (This in no way means that I think advertising in the Inlander is like flushing money down the toilet. There are several businesses that should be advertising with them and you could that if you had a Page instead of a Profile.)
Here are some screenshots of some insights from one of my pages: