The other morning I was up before the sun, trying to ignore the sound of my cat pleading for food.
I wasn’t looking forward to the one sided discussion I was about to have with her because I knew that she was out of food. She ran out the night before when it was too late for me to go to the store to get some.
I fed her the tablespoon or less that was left inside the cat food bag and Google searched our local grocery store on to see when they opened.
While I couldn’t find the store’s website I did find their Facebook page. I clicked over to see if they, like me, were up before the sun and open for business.
This was easier said than done because their page was not as accessible as I’d hoped it would be. My head immediately began to hurt (mostly from the cat’s cries of apparent starvation) but because this local business was doing the one I can’t stand seeing a business do on Facebook: operating their business page as a personal profile.
First things first –
A Facebook profile page is not the same as a Facebook business page.
This bears repeating, and repeating and repeating: A Facebook profile page is not the same as a Facebook business page.
It never has been and it’s never going to be. By running your business page as a personal profile page you run into the possibility of missing out on building new customers and keeping your current ones engaged and coming back to your business.
Let me explain:
Likes and Friends – the two are not interchangeable
As a business page, you only have to ask people to “like” your page to get interaction, and some pages don’t even require you do that. Anyone can post or ask a question about your business. As a profile page people must request to be your “friend” first and once you approve them they’re free to engage with you. As a consumer which would you rather do? Engage immediately or ask permission to engage with your favorite brand? It’s like asking permission to purchase your products or use your service. How much business do you think you’d have if everyone had to await your approval before buying from you?
Check your vitals
Business pages offer their fans all of the important information their “About” tab. As a profile page you’re not able to properly give your customers the nuts and bolts of your business. You’re limited to your age, birthday, gender (as a consumer do I need to know that?). As a profile page I may see your family members, where you were born, who you’re in a relationship with (or not in a relationship with), your favorite books, movies, your other friends, games you play and a ton of other things I don’t want to know about you. As a profile page you don’t show me: your hours of operation, your address (if I’m thinking of visiting your business for the first time), your phone number so I can call you (unless you make that information public and MOST personal profiles have privacy filters so this doesn’t show), an email address or another way to contact you.
In many ways, as a profile page you’re likely oversharing but as a business page you’re failing in the sharing department.
Lack of promotion
Profile pages don’t have access to running advertising like a business page does. Facebook ads, boosting posts (for higher visibility) highlighting posts (another way to improve visibility of something you want to share), coupon offers, etc are all off limits to a profile page. Profile pages are built for personal interaction, not reaching new fans, new customers and offering them deals and savings.
Along the same lines as advertising you lose out on ways to discover new fans. There’s no Graph search in a profile page. You can’t reach out to potential customers with demographic search tools. You also have no way to schedule an update, a picture or an offer.
Missing Cool Tools
Still think you’re good to run your business as a profile page?
Come back next week and we’ll talk about friend caps, the connection between places and pages, tracking your data and the legalities implications of running your page as a profile page.