14 Benefits of a Facebook Business Page Over a Personal Profile

Facebook has made it clear that it will be taking more aggressive steps to remove misclassified personal profiles used for business purposes. As a result, millions of business owners who are incorrectly using personal Facebook profiles to market their businesses are confronted with two choices: 1) Convert your personal profile to a business Page, or 2) risk getting deleted.

It’s not particularly surprising to me that there are holdouts who aren’t going down without a fight. They insist that using a personal profile is better for their business than a Facebook Page. This post is for you.

You’re only hurting yourself and your business. There’s a long list of reasons why a Facebook Page is better for you than a personal profile. If, after reading this, you still don’t get it… well… Maybe getting deleted isn’t such a bad thing.

Here is just a sampling of the many benefits associated with a Facebook business Page over a personal profile.

‎1) Facebook Insights: Access to Mounds of Data

Let me get this straight… As a business on a personal Facebook profile, you have no access to Facebook Insights. You are unable to export and digest the thousands of rows and columns of information that can help you understand your customer, what they like and don’t like, where they are from and when they are online.

So, what… you go by gut instinct? How exactly do you measure success and failure? If you’re a serious business, you need hard data to drive your strategy. And if you don’t have hard data, you aren’t a serious business.

2) Facebook Tabs and Contests

I’m guessing that you look at the tabbed area underneath the Cover Photo of a legitimately-run Facebook Page and think to yourself, Man, what a waste of real estate!

With Facebook tabs, you can use apps to explain more about who you are. Provide a video introduction. Feature your products. Provide a newsletter opt-in form. Highlight the history of your company.

Without this on a personal profile, how exactly do you do this? You’re limited only to your posts to tell your story and sell your products.

Oh, and how exactly do you plan to run contests from a personal profile? You can’t. Not, of course, without violating Facebook terms. But I guess at this point, you don’t care a whole lot about Facebook’s terms.

3) Facebook Offers

A great way to get some viral buzz going about your business is to run Facebook Offers. It’s an official way to promote a deal you have to your Facebook audience. And when your fans and non-fans claim these offers, their friends see it.

Using a Facebook profile? Whoops, you can’t use Facebook Offers. So good luck on your strategy of pasting a link, driving them to your website to promote your deal.

4) Profiles Limited to 5,000 “Friends”

If you continue to run your business through a personal profile, it tells me that you don’t have very high aspirations for your efforts on Facebook. Since you are limited to 5,000 “friends,” you are seriously limited by your reach.

I don’t care if you’re a small business with only one location. Everyone has plans to grow, and every business should have the potential growth to want to reach more than 5,000 people on Facebook. If you do, you’ll need to scale.

5) Profiles Look Unprofessional

I know, I know. You think everyone who “friends” your business appreciates that you are running it through a personal profile. But the truth is that many of us look at it and shake our heads.

It looks sloppy. It’s bad planning. It screams, I don’t know what I’m doing! And these are not the messages that you want to be sending to customers and potential customers.

6) Access to Advertising

Oh, I know what you’re thinking… I refuse to give Facebook a dollar of my hard-earned money! This is probably why you’re using a personal profile in the first place. You think that you’re reaching more people with a profile than you would with your Page. And you believe that your reach as a Page is diminished intentionally to “force” you to buy advertising.

You know, that EdgeRank Bogeyman. The truth is that EdgeRank impacts personal profiles as well as business Pages. By default, your “friends” are set to view “most” of your updates (not “all”).

Do you think your posts are reaching more than 16% of your “friends” with your personal profile? Prove it. Oh, wait. You don’t have Facebook Insights.

If you use a Facebook Page, you can reach more of your Fans and you can reach friends of those Fans with Promoted Posts. You can create ads that target people with relevant interests and attract new fans and new customers.

You can do all of this on a very minimal budget. If you’re serious about growing your business, reaching new people and selling your products, you should be open to Facebook advertising.

7) Privacy Considerations

Most people set their default privacy to reveal a lot of personal information only to their Friends. So when they become friends with businesses, they are revealing this information to them.

Maybe you aren’t concerned about the privacy of your customers. Maybe you are ticked by the fact that you have no access to this private information as a business Page.

But my guess is that if you were to poll your customers, they don’t want you to have access to this stuff. By using a profile instead of a Page, you’re inviting privacy complaints.

8) Ability to Assign Admin Roles

If you use Facebook as a business Page instead of a personal profile, you open the door to assigning admin roles based on the following:

  • Insights Analyst: View Insights
  • Advertiser: View Insights and create ads
  • Moderator: All of the above, plus send messages as the Page and respond to and delete comments
  • Content Creator: All of the above, plus create posts as the Page, edit the Page and add apps
  • Manager: All of the Above, plus Manage Admin Roles

If you have an employee or multiple employees who you want to help manage the account, you simply assign roles to them. You would make them “Content Creators” or “Moderators” so that if they leave the company on bad terms, they don’t destroy your business’ reputation in the process.

If you need help with advertising, you can also bring in a consultant and assign them the Advertiser role. Or only allow someone to see statistics as an Insights Analyst.

What do you do if you are using a personal profile? Give them your username and password. Good luck with that.

9) Native Facebook Scheduling

A great tool is the ability to schedule content within Facebook. I’m using it a ton these days, and it makes my life as a marketer so much easier.

If you are promoting your business as a Facebook profile, you don’t have access to native scheduling. Sure, you could use a third party tool, but your posts will always appear with that third party’s formatting and icon. It will be clear that it wasn’t posted from Facebook.

It simply looks better when your posts come from Facebook. The difference in engagement may not be huge, but there is a difference.

10) Connection to Facebook Places

When you set up your business properly, you can also connect your Page to a Place. As a result, the days and hours of operation are visible under your Cover Photo. Very helpful stuff for any customer who comes to your Page.

By setting up your business as a Place, customers can also check in, alerting their friends that they are at your store or restaurant. This is a great way to allow your customers to naturally promote your business.

Oh, you’re using a personal profile? You don’t have access to this. Maybe you have a separate Place because a customer was nice enough to set it up, but it won’t be connected to your profile. Bad form.

11) Business Relevant Information

From my Timeline, I read this morning that it was [Business X]’s Birthday Today. Well, that’s kinda weird.

It’s just silly. When you set up a business as a personal profile, your business now has a gender and a birthday. When you set it up as a business Page, it has a category, a mission statement, products, awards and Founded date. No birthday. No gender.

If you want your customer to learn more about your company and what you do, set up a business Page. If you don’t, set up a birthday and gender.

12) Business Relevant Options

Like I said, there’s a long list of benefits to setting your business up as a Page on Facebook. Some of these benefits are small, but they add up quickly.

With a business Page, you can restrict your audience by country and age. You have access to moderation and profanity blacklists to control the conversation.

You set up your business as a personal profile? No access to this stuff.

13) Use of Third Party Tools

There are some terrific third party tools out there that help you better manage your business on Facebook. These tools will help you with content management and planning, analytics, contest promotions and advertising. One of my favorite such tools is AgoraPulse.

These tools also assume you set up your business the right way with a Facebook Page. Set up as a personal profile? No such access.

14) Avoid Being Shut Down

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve gotten through numbers 1-13 of this list and are still oblivious. You’re standing firm. You, for whatever reason, still don’t see the advantage of representing your business with a Facebook Page.

Well, then risk getting shut down. If running your business through your profile is so great, you will lose something of value. Facebook will take it away.

If what you are doing is something worth keeping, you need to convert your profile to a Page. If you are not concerned about that risk, it tells me that your efforts were never worth saving to begin with.

What do you think? Are there other benefits to using a business Page over a personal profile? List them below!

Benefits of a Facebook Business Page Over a Personal Profile

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  • http://www.facebook.com/247mktg Steve Cameron

    Hi Jon

    Great post.

    I wrote about this a while ago (http://advent.es/The-Advent-Blog/Entry/10-facebook-profile-or-page.html) and even sent a couple of messages to companies I have worked with in the past suggesting they read the article, but they seem committed to breaking the facebook T&C’s.

    Your arguments are sound – but perhaps the most important is #11 – you just look stupid!

    The problem – like much social media – is that it is so accessible – companies ask the secretary to set up a fb presence and add some news to it on a weekly basis – there’s no plan, no strategy, no tracking, nothing….

    Then a few months later it comes up at another meeting and it’s decided that it doesn’t work – “It’s just not for us”

    Unfortunately many companies don’t want to pay for someone to do what they think they can do themselves. They don’t think twice about going to a restaurant to eat a meal they could cook at home – or paying someone to wash their car. Their argument would be that the restaurant or the car wash – “do it better” – well, you know what – a social media expert would do it better too!

    A friend of mine ids a professional photogrpaher and one of his favorite quotes is :

    If you think working with professionals is expensive, try working with amateurs…

    Thanks for all your thoughts

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks so much, Steve! You’re absolutely right. I roll my eyes when I go through the “People You Man Know” and see businesses there. Looks… so… dumb…

      If they set it up as a profile and fail, I have no sympathy for them. There are so many tools available to them with a Page that could completely change that. You can only lead a horse to water, right?

      Thanks for your comments.

      • http://retiredinsamar.com/ Retired in Samar

        You guys are on target. As a entry level fb’er, I began using fb as a real estate broker back in 2007. I’ve gone through the complete morph and have to agree, if you are in business, then you should act (make it look) like you are in business! Thanks for your thoughts and imput!

    • Ahmad
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  • http://www.facebook.com/michaelsweeneyphotography Michael Sweeney

    Overall I agree.. but I have some issues with how Facebook is executing interaction of a business page vs. a profile. Often times I want to interact as my biz.. posting.. commenting. . etc. And I cant. Often I have to be a profile to interact with my clients. Then there is nonsense about a business page and a place page. And that now that I have a place page, I cant delete the damn thing and it comes up in search before my biz page. In fact, posting here I had to switch from my Biz page to my profile. All that happens is now I have to duplicate content and posts between three different pages. That alone discourages me from really embracing FB as much as Zucker would like to see do :)

  • http://twitter.com/aislesoffiles Ellyn Weber-Bynum

    The main disadvantage I find is with the use of Facebook groups. Facebook only allows you to post in groups with your PERSONAL PROFILE and not your PAGE. Further, if you’re posting in an open group, all of your Facebook friends are notified of your post in their newsfeeds (the viral component). Promoting one’s business in various Facebook groups is prevalent in the online/affiliate/network marketing community; however, one shouldn’t have to use their personal profile to do this, and thus have “personal” friends, who have no interest in these online endeavors, be subjected to these posts in their newsfeeds (they can elect to delete the notifications, but the burden shouldn’t be placed on them to do this in the first place). The line between business and personal is a sound one, but Facebook doesn’t extend it when it comes to the use of their groups.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Interesting point, Ellyn. Although, I would say I appreciate communicating with people on a more personal level within Groups. Just my opinion though!

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  • Ben Sharples

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for your post, and I agree with about all the benefits you listed about converting your personal profile to a business page. Which is why I converted mine. The problem that arose for me, however, was that I lost the search bar at the top of my newly converted page, and thus lost the ability to effectively navigate within Facebook. Have you heard of this happening before, and do you have any suggestions about how to get my search capability back?

    Thanks so much for any help.



    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      hey, Ben. You need an admin of the Page. So I assume you actually have a personal profile as well? You should assign yourself as admin.

      • Ben

        Hey, Jon. Thanks a lot for the response. Once I converted my account, my personal profile became my page, so they’re no longer separate. I no longer have a personal profile I don’t think, which may be why I lost the search option. I just checked under admins, and it looks like I am an admin- but it’s weird because the picture for it is my old personal profile picture, and I’m not able to change it.

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Okay, this is going to sound weird but you should make sure that you have a personal profile as well. You lose functionality when a page doesn’t have a person as an admin.

          • Ben

            You were absolutely right. I reopened my old personal profile and made it the admin of my page, and that did the trick. Thanks so much for your help!

          • Karine

            Hey Jon,

            I need to convert! How do I move all my ‘friends’ over from my personal page to the business page?!

          • Ahmad
  • Renee

    I created a business page on facebook, but now when I try and log on to my business page the “Advertise on Facebook” page pops up and there is no way to get around it. I cannot access my business page directly to post on my business. To get around this advertising block I have to log into my personal profile, go to my likes, click on my business page, then I can post on that page. Why does facebook automatically direct my business account to this page (http://www.facebook.com/advertising) instead of my actual business profile when I log into my business page?

  • http://twitter.com/Robasolo Robert Abasolo

    When you convert do your friends definitely become likes? For example, if I had 1200 friends, will they automatically convert to 1200 likes?

    • Controlled Release

      Yep! Friends automatically convert to page likes.

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  • Amy

    One problem is that some systems will only connect with a profile. I’m thinking of thinks like mailchimp and twitter, so if you want to manage more than one page it gets difficult as those services want to run through your profile, and sometimes you can only connect them once. For example if I have my personal profile, plus a page for my business, and I want to run a page for a local non-profit group I cannot set up mailchimp and twitter connections for the business and non-profit as they all want my profile. Sometimes you really do want to keep your personal and business profiles separate. It would help if Facebook separated the Business pages and personal profiles better rather than one being tacked on to another.

    • Noelle

      I don’t know about mailchimp, but you actually can post and push to Twitter on both your personal profile and business pages. It’s not even hard to set up.

      Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I get paid money to tackle social media for people and, frankly, much of the time I spend explaining basic concepts — like pushing to Twitter via personal profiles and/vs business pages — because folks don’t want to do the simplest Google-fu. Just read, the information you seek is out there, in abundance. (And don’t take any one word for it, read a lot, compare different sources. Be smart.)

      • Amy

        I’m actually fairly competent, the issue is that if I want to push my twitter posts to facebook, I try to connect the two, but my personal twitter account is pushing to my personal profile so I cannot link a business twitter account to a business page created by that personal profile. The exact error message is: “A different Twitter account is already connected to your Facebook account. To connect, log in as @personalaccount and remove the existing connection.” Google-Fu doesn’t have any suggestions or fixes other than multiple facebook accounts which brings me back to a ‘business profile’

      • Amy

        Also as I have just discovered, you cannot send a message as your page. For example, I made an offer to do something on my fb page which people responded to, however as a) some of them haven’t liked the page and b) even if they have their privacy settings mean I cannot see them I cannot send them a message regarding this as my page, I would have to send it from my personal profile which they won’t recognise and will possibly not see as it will go in their ‘other’ folder.

        I agree with keeping business pages separate from personal profiles but FB just isn’t set up that way.

  • Aaron

    this seemed to be written by facebook with an additude. the person that wrote this seemed to take offence to how some people use facebook. kinda of weird.

    fut through the snarky additude, great information.

  • http://twitter.com/RachelleQ1 Rachelle Q

    Hello Jon,
    I am not on facebook yet, but am about to take the plunge. I am a personal trainer and want to use facebook to bring people to my website/business, and wondered what the best way to do that was? Any tips? Should I sign up for a personal account and have a business page or just sign up for a business account? Since I am not on facebook, I am a bit lost trying to learn the in’s and out’s of it all. Thanks!

  • Ramsey

    I’m not convinced they ARE taking any steps to close down personal profiles acting as businesses. I have reported many many pages over the last few months and not one has been shut down…

    • http://retiredinsamar.com/ Retired in Samar

      Why are you reporting them? Are you a snitch?

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  • qaz113
  • cyberghost

    OK… so my problem is this: I quite passionately don’t want a Facebook profile. I’m guessing you might consider that ridiculous, but it is my right not to hand my personal details over to Fb and that is a choice I’ve made. I’m on the brink of converting a Fb profile to a business page, but I don’t think I should be forced into creating a profile to do that. It’s just wrong. I also don’t want to have to do that for work – this is not my business, I’m an employee and I object to being put in that position. And if I don’t, I lose functionality. Great. Between a rock and a hard place it would seem. Any suggestions (other than suck it up and get a profile)?

  • jaswinder

    I have Fan page, but don’t know how to use it properly. Still learning about it and got your site. Got some information from here, thanks for that.

  • Dorian

    One SERIOUS problem that I think holds people back from making the switch is that when converting you lose all emails sent and received, all posts, all photos in every album, everything in the timeline…basically everything is lost and you start over with fans. You can download this info, yes, but what good is that if no one can see it? One of the points of Social is that other people can see a history of what you’ve done, how you’ve interacted over time, other comments etc . To lose years of interaction, photos and everything in the conversion seems like a high price to pay and doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    Am I wrong about this?

    • Controlled Release

      Not entirely. You do lose a lot of what you’ve already created. But you can download the info (photos and such) and re-upload it to your new page. And honestly, most people aren’t going to scroll down your page to see your interactions from 2013. Those fans will still be fans. All you need to do is get to creating new content, new interaction, and they’ll still be following you.

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  • Andi

    We have a business page and some customers give us a like – but it seems that we cannot “like” a page – how can we follow their posts?

    • http://retiredinsamar.com/ Retired in Samar

      As a business entity, why would you focus on following somebody else. Are they signing your paycheck? Just saying.

  • Nitin Gupta

    great ,I agree thanks to save my time and my business also.

  • JohnT

    Jesus, I had to stop reading this half way through, why so aggressive? Is there any need for the derisive use of the second person singular? As Joe Schmo reading the article, “I” haven’t committed any of the laughable errors that you seem to assume “I” must have. It’s pretty distracting stylistically, and actually detracts from the point you’re trying to make.

  • Brockney C

    Very interesting reading! I am a DJ and my profile include(d) posters for events I am playing at. I am also friends with my mrs, my family and my friends. I have lots and lots of conversations on a daily basis and a long long timeline of fun and friendship.

    This morning Facebook suspended me without warning and told me I must have a business page. I am not a business! I like Facebook, a lot, but their one huge drawback is their reluctance to communicate with those who use it.

    And without us users, there would be no advertisers. Period!

    I will set up a page for my bookings, as apparently demanded, just like I would toe the line in a dictatorship regime (lol!) but I will miss some of the great friends I have because I think there is a limit to how many requests I can send out.

    It is also a real real shame that all the fun and antics I have had with my pals will no longer be there and that is the part that is a real shame.

    Business owners (including Facebook’s) – please remember that we are all human beings just like yourself.

  • http://www.DeltonChilds.com Delton Childs

    I have a client who’s doing this right now & runs one profile & one page in parallel for his business. He loves spamming people on their walls from the profile & it works. Half the audience is so clueless that the posts stay on their walls. I’ve seen it. I found this article looking for ways to convince him to stop. It’s killing me.

    It’s unprofessional & I won’t go near it but it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t work because it does.

    • http://retiredinsamar.com/ Retired in Samar

      Maybe he is used to making minimum wage. I can think of many more ways to be productive in advertising!

  • Peter Honey

    Jon enjoyed your information & had to say thanks …
    I have use facebook to spark non profit businesses in poor countries with no money …. it is a significant way of doing things and we use facebook like a project management tool, all the poor people are on it and we have members everywhere .. everyday we save lives or significantly improve lives … face book gives transparency like never before in history .. I thought I new a bit about facebook … I certainly now a few tricks and it works but I am starting to realise their are even more tools … we have no money & I wish I new more

    So thanks … if you have a minutes would love you to glance at our project

    Kind regards Peter Honey