Essential Guide to Understanding Facebook Pages, Profiles and Groups

There can be a lot of confusion about what sections of Facebook are used for different purposes. With the recent addition of Community Pages there has been even more confusion about the different ways individuals and brands can connect on Facebook. Here are some guidelines to help clear up the confusion.
In a Nutshell:
  • Personal Profiles: people connect with people
  • Groups: people connect with groups of people
  • Pages: people connect with businesses
  • Community Pages: people connect to information

Personal Profiles

Purpose:

Personal profiles are the section of the Facebook platform where you manage your personal presence on the site. They are intended to connect individuals with other individuals. Your personal profile houses all of the content you post and actions you take on the site.

Connections:

Personal profiles can connect with other personal profiles by becoming a friend.

Examples:

Biana Bakman

Mark Zuckerberg

Dos:

  • Do use your real name and an actual photo of yourself.
  • Do connect with friends, family members, co-workers and old acquaintances.
  • Do customize your privacy settings to a level you are comfortable with.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t share anything you would be embarrassed for your mother, boss or significant other to see, even if you have hidden most of your profile from them.
  • Don’t become a friend of a business using a personal profile as their presence on Facebook.
  • Don’t create multiple profiles for yourself or create a profile representing more than one person.

Groups

Purpose:

Groups were the predecessors to all types of pages on Facebook except for the personal profiles. They are intended to gather a group of people (personal profiles) together to foster discussion around a particular topic area. Groups tend to be more specific and user generated topics than Community Pages, and you have the option of creating private and even secret groups whereas all Community Pages are public. Groups used to be listed as part of your personal profile, but are now treated as an application and navigable from the left hand side of your home page.

Connections:

Personal profiles can join groups to become members.

Examples:

New England and Boston Web Analytics Wednesday

Musicians for Music 2.0

Dos:

  • Do use public or private groups as a collaborative space on Facebook.
  • Do feel free to join groups with silly names and purposes like “The Coalition of People with Mispronounced Names” (I am not the founder, but am a member).
  • Do use the ability to message members inboxes to communicate with them.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t use groups as your brand’s official presence on Facebook.
  • Don’t spam people’s inboxes.
  • Don’t forget that when you message members’ inboxes, your personal profile will appear as the sender along with the group.

Community Pages

Purpose:

Community Pages are created for a common topic or experience that people across the Facebook platform can connect to. The Community Pages currently feature an applicable Wikipedia article if one exists, posts from your friends and others on Facebook referencing that term. Community Pages are intended to add a social element to the bank of crowdsourced information available on the web.

Connections:

Personal profiles can list a “like or interest” to like a Community Page.

Examples:

Tennis

Sleeping

Dos:

  • Do populate your profile with likes and interests that connect to Community Pages.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t list anything as an interest that you would be embarrassed to share with others.
  • Don’t be surprised if a  Community Page with the same name as your official business page exists.

Business Pages

Purpose:

These are now referred to as simply “pages.” This is the sole section of Facebook where businesses, brands, organizations and public figures are intended to have an official brand presence. Facebook users can connect with brands with their personal profiles on Facebook. Business pages should only be created and managed by verifiable representatives of the brand.

Connections:

Personal profiles like a page to connect with it.

Examples (the examples listed below are companies we have worked with):

Single Edition

Leica Camera

Dos:

  • Do use pages to create your official brand presence on Facebook.
  • Do create multiple pages for different brand entities and/or divisions of your company.
  • Do designate multiple people at your company as administrators to the page.
  • Do regularly communicate news and stories on your page through the stream.
  • Do customize the page with applications and FBML.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t give anyone administrative access to the page that you don’t trust.
  • Don’t set a name for your page unless you are completely sure you won’t want to change it.

Post written by Biana Bakman aka @bianalog. To learn more from fbadz.com, connect with us on Facebook!

BBakman

BBakman

Before helping found Sociality Squared, Biana Bakman worked at the Kbuzz (currently Likeable Media) as the Director of Buzz Builders. Biana has worked in marketing for a variety of companies in the non-profit, public and private sectors. Currently, Biana works as the Social Media Marketing Manager for Sociality Squared client Leica Camera AG and contributes to the company blog. She also serves on the board of Ann Thomas Coaching & Consulting, LLC. Biana received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from Boston University.