Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups

For those who are new to Facebook, and even some more experienced users, there is a lot of confusion over the different ways to interact with others, so this post aims to help explain the three main ways to do that: Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups. Though there are countless different ways to interact with others on Facebook, those are the three main frameworks which all other interactions fall under and each has different purposes and features.

1. A Facebook Profile

This is what every person in the world may create and is designed to be a representation of you personally on Facebook.  As there is only one of you, you are only allowed one profile and the idea is to use your legal name (though I know many people use a variation of this).  As outlined clearly in Facebook Terms and Conditions (which you can read in full here: https://www.facebook.com/terms.php) “you will not create more than one personal profile” (section 4, number 2). This is an example of a personal profile:

One big mistake some people make when setting up a profile is to create one in the name of their business, which is also agains the terms and conditions – you should be using a page for this (see below).

It is up to you how you represent yourself on your personal profile and how much information you choose to share with others.  This is mainly controlled by the account and privacy settings (click on account in the top right hand corner).

You would use this personal profile  to connect with friends and family (add friends, send them messages, write on their walls and more)  “like” and comment on pages, join groups and basically interact with facebook as an individual.  You can also then create pages and groups….

2. A Facebook Page

Creating a Facebook page is something I recommend for all businesses and organisations.  It is your valuable “real estate” on Facebook and an additional marketing tool alongside (or sometimes instead of) a website, blog and other internet marketing methods.  It is a public way to not only promote your products, services or cause, but also interact with your potential customers, clients, staff, volunteers and the general community.  This feature has taken off in the last year and it seems that those who don’t already have a Facebook page are in the process of considering or creating one.  If you don’t yet have one, click on the link above for a step by step guide.

Once you reach a minimum number of 25 followers of your page (currently called “likers), you can even set up a unique Facebook URL (to essentially give your business or organisation a Facebook domain name) such as www.facebook.com/zesteeconcepts

Every Facebook page must have at least one administrator (and can have many).  You need a Facebook personal profile to be an administrator – however you can choose whether you share any of your personal data at all on the page.  Even your name is not shown on a page you have created unless you choose it to be (there is a neat tool you can use to show people you are the administrator if you wish under edit page & featured).   Any posts and comments you write on that wall will show as the page name, not yours, though this depends on your settings.  There is also recently a feature (use Facebook as a page) which allows you to post elsewhere on Facebook as your page name – more about that in another post.

You cannot send direct messages to all members of a page, however you can encourage their interaction via posting on the wall and create and broadcast events.

This is an example of a page:

3.  A Facebook Group

As the name suggests, this feature is for any group of people who wish to join together to interact with each other on Facebook.  Anyone with a personal profile can create and join a group.  Some groups are public and others are private  (so only those invited by the administrator will be able to join, and their membership needs to be approved.)

Why use groups?  It’s a way to bring together those with a similar interest and keep discussions and interactions in one place.  Group sizes can vary from 2 to hundreds or even thousands.  From my experience, groups work best when you all come together with a specific purpose, and the size is manageable  (say approximately 10-25).  As in real life group situations, it often seems a couple of people will dominate the conversation and others may not contribute at all.  It’s up to you to decide if creating or being part of a group is valuable to you and your purpose.

This is an example of a group:

That is the introduction to the three main ways of interacting on Facebook.  Questions and comments most welcome!

Renee Veldman-Tentori

7 thoughts on “Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups

  1. Hi Renee,

    just wanted to take a moment & say ‘thanks so much’ for sharing this

    I’ve been thinking of creating a page or group … separate from my ‘personal’ page to share my love of animals, their causes, etc. & was googling for information … when I came across your Blog post … funny, how you posted this today … just when I was searching for an ‘easy to understand’ answer to explain the differences ~

    looking forward to following your blog ~ thanks again – Lynn

  2. Hi,

    You may remember me from connecting women meetings. I wonder if you could advice on a facebook matter.

    When I post messages on Facebook, the message shows up with my name and picture. We wish to post this as the connectingwomen group. I tried to change it and looked at several help sections.
    The only thing I found was a grey flowery button on the right under the header. However if I click on it I can change
    Machtigingen voor plaatsen:
    – Alleen leden kunnen inhoud in deze groep plaatsen.
    – Alleen beheerders kunnen inhoud in de groep plaatsen.

    This means either member or the board can add content, instead of both.

    Do you know what I mean, do you ideas how to get around the problem?

    Thanks for your input.
    Regards,
    Anja Gerz

  3. Hi Anja,
    I think this is as you are trying to post as a group – this is not possible. You instead need to create and post as a page to be able to post as the business/organisation name.
    There are pros and cons of pages vs groups. As there is already a Connecting Women group you would need to decide to keep the group (which I would probably do) or start a page (which you could do if you wish but would have to rebuild – to either replace the group or run along side it).

    I hope to be there tonight at the event, so if you are too we can talk then – if not, then if this doesn’t answer your question let me know and we can chat more.

    Renee

    1. Thanks, this is useful, now I will stop looking and wasting time. Indeed starting all over with a page is not my wish.
      On our facebook group we can explain the responsibilities of the board members.
      Look forward to this evening’s bazaar and talent show! We may find an opportunity to discus this further.

      Anja

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