Facebook Profiles, Pages, Groups: Get it Right The First Time
To begin, let’s identify what tools you have, what they’re for, structure, limitations and how they’re used. To make it simple, let’s use a comparative view:
Designed for people, you can accumulate friends (as you would in real life), up to 5,000 (who on Earth has more than that, anyway?), you can email up to 20 friends at a time, and your activity shows up in your friends news feeds. You’re not allowed to sell or advertise, but that’s quite OK, because friends don’t sell to each other in real life.
Designed for organizations, you can accumulate members (as you would in real life), up to 5,000, you can email all your members at once, and your activity doesn’t always show up in the members’ feeds; only the really special stuff. You’re not allowed to sell, and that’s also quite OK, because groups and organizations don’t typically sell to their members.
Designed for businesses, you can accumulate fans (those that “like” your business), with unlimited growth potential (just like real life!), and while you can’t email people, your activity will show up in fans/likers news feeds, and if you want to send an “update,” you can, and it will appear in their “Notifications” which is part of their inbox. You ARE allowed to sell, promote, advertise, and do what it takes to get the message out there – just like in real life.
Some of you may be reading this post a tad too late and you’ve been shut down already, probably because you mistakenly made a profile for a business, whereas a profile is meant to be for a person. Most likely, you didn’t have a handy dandy little chart like the above to help you figure out what does what, so you weren’t sure where to start. Even though Facebook does have a small link on the home page of their site about creating pages (but like the rest of the introductory process to Facebook, it’s very minimalistic and is easy to miss for a beginner).
For others reading this, hopefully you’re either catching this at the right time, or you already started off on the right foot. Either way, it’s good to understand the relationships as well as the functionality of each. See diagram to the right:
- Groups and Pages have sibling relationships, while Profiles takes on the role of the parent
- The profile governs the page, the profile governs the group.
- To have a group or a page, you must have a profile (to have a child, you must have a parent).
Now that you know the different tools available to you and their relationship to one another, go out there and make it happen! Good luck!
If you follow the guidelines for proper usage, you won’t get your account shut down (yes, it does happen!). Facebook monitors profiles, pages and groups to ensure that their rules are being followed. With over 500,000 users, you’d think this was impossible to do, but one such thing makes it a lot easier: the “report/block” function seen at the bottom left of profiles and on the “respond to friend request” section of the interaction. If your account was already shut down, this little link was most likely what tipped them off. One or more people may have gotten annoyed and reported you.
If you’re on the other side getting friend requests from businesses, before you report someone, point them to this page to help them convert their account into the right model. You don’t need to have the right setup to begin with – you can always modify it after the fact, and before it’s too late.