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Facebook Profiles, Fan Pages, and Groups Explained

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Everyone knows and has heard of Facebook.  Everyone knows Facebook is the biggest and best thing since sliced bread. Yet there is confusion on why and how a business should use Facebook? I am writing this post because I cannot stress how valuable this social network can be to a business when utilized in a smart way.

First, I believe that business owners and managers really need to have a personal Facebook profile.  This can be used to network easily with their personal contacts AND for building business relationships.  It is true that Facebook is designed for people to connect on a personal level; however, countless business relationships have been made through this network.  How many times have we been able to land a big opportunity through friends of a person we know?  The purpose of Facebook is to connect you to everyone that you know whether it is someone you went to school with, former or current coworkers, groups, associations, or family members. By connecting to those you know, Facebook gives you the opportunity to safely connect to people that your friends know. Facebook networks tend to grow very quickly as the network is constantly offering suggestions of people that you may know.

Once someone has a Facebook Profile- the next step is to create and promote their business with a Facebook fan page and eventually form a Facebook group.  BOTH features are valuable and important because they are both methods to engage and interact with people interested in your business for free (that may not last forever).  Pages and groups have different features and should really compliment one another.  Group members can be invited to join the fan page and fans of the page can be invited and encouraged to join the group.

Here is what I know-

A Facebook Page

  • Functions like a personal Facebook profile- it has a wall to post on, photo albums, video, notes and is set up with tabs so it is easy to navigate
  • You can post updates on the wall (which should be fed into fan’s newsfeed)
  • Fans have the ability to also post on the wall and post photos
  • Admins can and should send frequent updates to Fans (that are fed into the “Updates” section of their Facebook Profile) to keep them coming back to the page
  • You can feed your blog into the notes of your Facebook page.
  • You can promote the page and reach a targeted audience for a very reasonable price

The more content you post in your Facebook fan page- the more fans you will attract.  The page should be viewed as a resource for your audience.  People do not join social networks because they want to hear about your product or service. They join because they want to connect with others and find solutions and ideas to inspire them.

The first step to building a Facebook page is to determine who your audience is and put out content that they would find appealing.  Posting links to relevant articles or blogs, video, photos, that address your audience would be a smart way to make your fan page a resource- and gives your fans reasons to come back.  In addition- you should also balance the information on your page with your news, updates, events, announcements and photos.

Facebook Groups-

  • Intended to be an online community (People who love Thai food, People who love Bob Dylan, etc)
  • Admins can send messages directly to group member’s inbox (REALLY valuable feature)
  • People can post and contribute to ongoing discussions, links, etc.

I like the Facebook pages because it allows us to provide more information and interaction with fans- but I like the Facebook groups because I like the concept of attracting an online community based on similar interests and the ability to communicate directly to their inboxes is very valuable.  It is a smart strategy to put effort into both so they compliment each other.

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4 thoughts on “Facebook Profiles, Fan Pages, and Groups Explained

  1. Lee

    Hell, thanks for the explanation. Am I right in thinking you have to have friends in your personal profile before you can invite them to a page. Or is it possible to invite people to become fans of a page without them being friends in the personal profile. Just is seems long winded to invite some one as a friend and then invite them to be a fan.

    Thanks for any help.

    Best wishes
    Lee

  2. Amy

    Hi Lee-

    Yes- from what I can see- I believe that you do need to have an established profile (with friends) to invite them to become a fan of your page in Facebook….however- you could email people the link to your page and request they join. At OOTB- we also have the link to our Facebook page in our email signature and am sure we have picked some fans that way. Good luck!

  3. Rich

    I see….
    I have a profile and page… can you link them to each other so friends can see you have a ‘Page’?

    Ta

    Rich

  4. Amy

    Hi Rich-

    This is a great question…and I need to look more into it to see if there is a “My Business Page” application that you can add to your profile so your friends can see this. You can post a live link to your page in the “Write Something About Yourself” box under your profile picture (make sure you give your page a unique easy to remember name by going to http://www.facebook.com/username/).

    In the meantime- you let your friends know about the page by inviting them to join your page- and ask them to support you by sharing with their contacts. You can always post occasional status updates in your profile that summarizes what is going on with your Business page, etc with a link to it.

    I will do a post if I find out anything more. Hope this helps!

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