Posts in Facebook
The difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook group

Should I set up a Facebook Page or a Facebook group? That’s a common question from small businesses right now. Which is why I’ve put together this guide. It’s in two forms - a short version and then a more detailed explanation.

A short guide to the different Facebook options

There are three ways to engage with people on Facebook. These are through a personal account, a Page or a group.

Personal Facebook account: This is the basic Facebook account that most of us use to connect with friends and family. More than 7 out of 10 UK adults now have a personal Facebook account. One personal account connects with another by becoming their ‘Friend’.

Facebook Page: Anyone with a personal Facebook account can set up a Page on behalf of their business, club, charity, hobby, cause or for any other reason. People with personal accounts can choose to ‘Like’ a Page, but a Page can’t become friends with anyone.

Facebook group: Anyone with a personal Facebook account can set up a Facebook group. A group allows people with a common interest to have shared conversations, and groups have a variety of privacy options. Groups are only open to personal Facebook accounts, not to Pages (although there is an exception to this that I cover in the longer guide below).

If you want to use Facebook for business purposes, you can create a Page to represent your business, and/or a group for discussion and information sharing. You must have a personal account in order to set these up.

What if I don’t want to use Facebook personally?

Not everyone wants to use Facebook for personal use, and you may be reluctant to open an account in your own name. But you’ll need to, if you want to set up a Page or a group. There’s no requirement to add any personal information, or to become a ‘Friend’ of anyone on Facebook.

It’s important to note that Facebook forbids the use of a personal account for business.

I’ll cover the pros and cons of Pages and groups in the detailed guide below.

A note for those bothered by my use of capital ‘P’ for Facebook Page. I’m following Facebook’s own convention in its online guide and help text. Both the Facebook account and group use the lower case ‘a’ and ‘g’, but when it comes to the Page, they use a capital ‘P’.

A longer guide to the different Facebook options

I’m assuming you’ve read the short guide above, so I won’t be repeating the absolute basics.

Personal Facebook account

Your personal account is what Facebook is all about. Here you share information, jokes, pictures and more with your friends and family. If you want to, that is.

There are rules about how you use your account, although most of us don’t know them. These include that you can only have one personal Facebook account, and you shouldn’t use it for commercial gain (that is, for running business).

Click here to read the detailed rules (aka Statement of Rights and Responsibilities).

If you do use a personal Facebook account for business, you run the risk of it being shut down.

I actively discourage people from becoming the ‘Friend’ of a business run through a personal account. You can’t be sure who is managing Facebook for that business, and by becoming their ‘Friend’ you’re giving them access to information you post on Facebook, some of which could be quite personal.

It’s important to be in control of your privacy on Facebook and there are plenty of controls to help you. Find out more information here

You can use your personal Facebook account to make posts on:

  • Your own profile
  • Profiles of your friends

  • Pages

  • Groups

I won’t list the features and options of a personal account, because Facebook continues to add and change them. If you want more information about what you can do, take a look at the Facebook help pages, such as this one: https://www.facebook.com/help/239070709801747

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Facebook Page

You could think of a Facebook Page as being an alternative website for your business, charity, club etc. People who like your Page are described as ‘fans’.

People don’t need to be logged into Facebook to see your Page, but they can’t interact with it unless they have a Facebook account. I don’t recommend that your business only has a Facebook Page and no website, although some do. If you rely entirely on Facebook, you’ll be stuck if they take your Page down (and it does happen very occasionally).

More than one person can administer a Facebook Page. It may be that you set up a Facebook Page but in due course, pass it on to others to run, and eventually you cease to be an administrator. If you were to sell your business to someone else, you would probably pass on the Facebook Page to them.

There’s a separate app for managing posts and messages on your Facebook Page. If you’re not already using it, consider downloading the Pages app for your phone or tablet.

Who gets to see what’s posted on my Page?

Everything posted on your Page is public. However, not everything that you post on your Page is automatically presented to all your fans.

Facebook has a complex algorithm that decides who gets to see what on Facebook. After all, every time you visit Facebook there are loads of posts it could show you (from your many connections with friends, family, Pages, groups etc). It has to decide what is likely to be of most interest to you, and show these first.

The number of fans seeing posts from Pages has declined significantly over the last few years. That’s partly because businesses have posted lots of low quality content that, frankly, few people would choose to look at - who wants to wade through a stream of dull ‘buy this from us’ posts?

Recent changes at Facebook (from January 2018)  mean it’s going to be even harder for businesses to get their posts seen by fans. But harder doesn’t mean impossible. For the best chance of having your posts presented to fans, they need to be very interesting and very engaging.

Posting from your account onto your Page

Every Facebook post is linked to a specific author, or person who wrote it. The author can be a Facebook account or a Page.

When you’re the administrator of a Page, it’s easy to get confused about who’s the author of a post you’re making. Is it your personal account or the Page? And which should it be?

This is made more complicated when you’re posting from the Facebook app on a phone or tablet. When you post from a desktop you’re given the option to choose who you’re posting as, but that option isn’t always clear in the app - and remember, there’s a separate app for managing Facebook Pages.

Posting as a Page, you can make posts on:

  • Your Page

  • Other Pages

A Page can like other Pages, and individual posts on other Pages.

You can’t post on personal accounts or into groups (with one exception, which I’ll cover in the groups section below).

Can other people post on my Page?

You can choose whether to allow fans to post on your Page. You can also hide comments and block people from your Page.

You can’t control the ads that appear when people are viewing your Page.

While people can make comments and generate discussions on your Page, it all remains under your control. Even when you allow others to post on your Page, these posts are not shared with fans. This makes it almost impossible for someone else to share information or initiate a discussion on your Page.

There’s lots more information in the Facebook help section about Pages.

Just one of the many Dorset Facebook groups

Just one of the many Dorset Facebook groups

Facebook group

A Facebook group is a discussion and information forum that allows anyone in the group to contribute.

Groups can be private or public. Every group has one or more administrators or moderators with control over who has access to the group and who can delete posts.  

There are several big differences between a Page and a group. One is that it’s much easier for any group member to initiate a discussion.

Another difference is that Facebook is keen to grow activity on groups, making this an area where you can expect to see new features being added.

A third big difference between a Page and a group

You can only post into a group using your personal Facebook profile. You can’t post into a group as a Page.

There is one exception to that rule, and it’s fairly new (introduced in late 2017). Page administrators can now set up a group that’s linked to a specific Page, and can post into that group as the Page.

Why would this be useful?

Groups are a great place for discussions. Let’s say your business sells pet products and you want to set up a group where people can discuss issues around pets. You can now create this group and link it to your business Page. Then you can enter into the discussions by posting as your Page, rather than posting from your personal account.

How groups differ from personal accounts and Pages

You can author a Facebook post from your personal account or your Page. You can’t author it in the name of the group. Nor can a group like or share posts made by others.

There’s lots more information in the Facebook help section about groups.

Final thoughts about Facebook accounts, Pages and groups

We all use Facebook differently. There are loads of things you can do in Facebook, and more are being added (almost daily, it feels like).

If you feel Facebook is getting too big and complicated to fully understand, you’re not alone. What’s important is that you find a way of working with Facebook that gives you the results you’re looking for.

If you’re not sure how to do something, don’t be afraid to ask someone. Ask me, if you want.

This post 'The difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook group' was first published on www.dorsetsocial.co.uk.

 

FacebookAndrew Knowles
Ninety-something tips for using Facebook for business

Sometimes I feel swamped by incoming advice on how to use Facebook for business. My Twitter feed and inbox are bulging with links to posts promoting ‘killer tips’, ‘top strategies’ and ‘essential how tos’.  How often do these posts, from a variety of different people, repeat the same information and messages, I wonder?

I’ve decided to consolidate the wisdom from a batch of these posts into a single blog entry. While I’m focusing on Facebook tips, if this article proves useful, I may create similar posts for Twitter and LinkedIn.

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For each post, I’ve pulled out the headline tips and provided a link so you can click through to read the detail, if you want.

As far as possible I have removed duplicate tips and advice. The posts are listed in the order that I came across them.

Facebook’s own top tips for posting in your Facebook Page:

  1. Use link posts to drive people to your website.
  2. Use engaging copy, images and videos.
  3. Share exclusive discounts and promotions.
  4. Provide access to exclusive information.
  5. Be timely.
  6. Plan your conversational calendar.
  7. Schedule your posts.
  8. Target your posts.
  9. Review the performance of your posts.

Click here to see this article in full.

These tips come from Hubspot, a company specialising in tools for digital marketing:

  1. Don't create a dummy account for your business page. (By ‘dummy account’ they mean using a personal profile, an issue I cover in my article 'Stop using Facebook Profiles for business').
  2. Add a recognisable profile picture.
  3. Choose an engaging cover photo.
  4. Optimise the descriptions of your profile picture and cover photo by adding links.
  5. Bonus: Integrate your profile picture with your cover photo.
  6. Add a call-to-action (CTA) button to your cover photo.
  7. Customise your Facebook Page with apps -- then organise your tabs.
  8. Fill out your 'About' section with basic information, and add company milestones.
  9. Promote lead-gen and non-lead-gen content.
  10. Pin important posts to the top of your page.
  11. Decide whether you want Facebook fans to message you privately.
  12. Monitor and respond to comments on your page.
  13. Promote your page to generate more followers.
  14. Try some Facebook advertising to amplify what works.

Click here to see the detail for Hubspot’s tips.

Postplanner provides an app that helps you plan your social media content:

  1. Get targeted Likes.
  2. Experiment with how often you post.

Click here to read the article in full.

This advice from Wishpond takes an alternative approach.

They take a look at different types of post from a variety of Facebook Pages and use these real-life examples to draw out suggestions of what could work for you.

  1. eReader Nation - Literary showdowns to increase engagement.
  2. Lazy Pants - Make your customers famous.
  3. Le Cig - Funny, crazy videos.
  4. June Designs - The customer shout-out.
  5. Beginner’s Oil Painting - Practical tips.
  6. SIPP Soda: Keeping it local.

Click here to read the Wishpond article in full.

Forbes has a lot to say on business issues, including providing its own Facebook tips:

  1. Offer value.
  2. Be strategic with images.
  3. Avoid lengthy posts.
  4. Focus on engagement.
  5. Connect like a friend, not a business.

To read these tips in more detail, click here.

Social Media Examiner is a great source of information and advice on using social media:

  1. Check your wall-posting preferences.
  2. Assign admin roles.
  3. Choose your featured Likes.
  4. Bookmark Facebook’s Page guidelines and reacquaint yourself with what’s changed recently.
  5. Use Facebook as a Page instead of as yourself.

Click here to read this article in full.

Three tips from Entrepreneur.com:

  1. Get your fans off Facebook ... and onto your email list.
  2. A call to action.
  3. But be easy to find. Create a vanity URL.

Click here to access Entrepreneur’s full article.

Facebook tips from American Express:

  1. Integrate Facebook connect buttons into your company website.
  2. Be responsive.
  3. Don't make it all about you.
  4. Promote events.
  5. Be a resource.
  6. Run a contest.
  7. Partner with other small businesses.

Click here to access the entire list of American Express tips.

How about these tips from the government of Queensland, Australia?

  1. Don't use Facebook for the 'hard sell'.
  2. Have a clear goal and strategy.
  3. Create a human voice for your business.
  4. Encourage comments and reply quickly.
  5. Promote your Facebook page.
  6. Use Facebook Insights to learn more about your customers.

Click here to see all the Queensland tips.

Succinct Facebook Page tips from the Telegraph:

  1. Invest.
  2. Be different.
  3. Act fast.

For the details behind these tips, click here.

Every social media expert has Facebook Page tips - these are from Jeff Bullas:

  1. Video channel with “How To” tutorials.
  2. News updates in your industry.
  3. Market research and surveys.
  4. Promote your thought leaders.
  5. Leverage the trust factor through shareable content.
  6. Provide customer service on Facebook.

Click here to read this article in full.

Facebook Page tips from Social Media Today:

  1. Find the answers. Why are you on Facebook? What are your goals? Who is your target audience?
  2. Your Cover Should Talk.
  3. Understand the Platform.
  4. Use Facebook’s Features.
  5. Respond to All Comments.
  6. Cross promote.

There’s lots more information in this article. Click here to read it.

A couple of tips from Smarta:

  1. Use Facebook friends to market your business
  2. Create a Facebook group to help your business.

Click here to read more.

Three Facebook tips with a local focus:

  1. Save Time When Replying To Fans’ Queries by using canned replies.
  2. Create Content for Walk-In Customers using Place Tips.
  3. Create Events For Local Customers.

Want to read more? Click here.

Even more Facebook Page tips:

The article, ‘42 Facebook Marketing Tips’ from Texterra chops its advice very finely, with many of the tips looking very similar. That said, quite a few qualify to be listed here because they’ve not been covered earlier.

  1. Fill all the Page Info Fields.
  2. Invite All Your Email Contacts.
  3. Invite Your Friends.
  4. Invite Your New Friends.
  5. Thank Anyone Who Likes Your Business Page.
  6. Make Your Likes Section Public.
  7. Put a Link to Your Page in Your Twitter Account.
  8. Add a Link to Your Fan Page in Email Signature.
  9. Ask People to Like and Share Your Posts.
  10. Ask People to Follow Your Fan Page.
  11. Promote Your Page on all Social Networks You Use.
  12. Write a “10 Reasons to Like Our Facebook Page” Article.
  13. Write a Guest Post.
  14. Conduct a Webinar.

Click here to read all 42 tips.

Here are two tips that haven’t popped up before:

  1. Test and Optimise Your Updates.
  2. Check Out Your Competition.

Want to know more? Click here.

The final two Facebook Page tips:

  1. Highlight Posts.
  2. Set Your Featured Tabs.

Click here to see the details.

Having got this far, I gave up. Article after article offered me tips that I’d seen before and were already listed here in some form.

That’s not to say that I might have missed a gem somewhere. If you come across a tip that I’ve not included, or if you’ve written an article including some original tips, please let me know.

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If you liked this post, take a look at:

How to get more people reading your Facebook posts

Stop using Facebook Profiles for business

Why you're missing out on Facebook likes and reviews

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How to get more people reading your Facebook posts

Getting people to read your posts on Facebook can be hard work. A good place to start is by sharing stories, pictures and information that will be of interest to your target audience, but even then, persuading eyeballs to look at your Page can still be a tough task. So here’s a tip for making it a little easier. And it’s a great alternative to continually pleading with people to visit and Like your Facebook Page.

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Did you know that every post you share on Facebook has its own unique web address or URL? What this means is that you can share a link to a specific post, rather than just to your Page.

 

Share great photos or interesting conversations

Here’s an example. Let’s say you shared a great picture or some news and you know it’s connected well with your audience because it’s getting Likes, shares and comments. You want to share the post with a wider audience off Facebook, because you know they’ll appreciate it and it will help promote your Facebook Page.

Here’s how you do it. Click on the date or time stamp at the top of your Facebook post. This is the text that tells readers when the post was published. It’ll say something like ‘5 minutes ago’ or ‘14 hours ago’ or ‘May 7’ , like the example below.

FB-Post-2015

Clicking on this link opens the unique web page for that specific post, displaying the URL in the browser navigation bar.

You can now copy and paste this URL into an email, a tweet, a blog post or any other way you want to share it.  

URL

Remember to give people a great reason to tap or click on the link. Let’s say you’ve posted a photo that people are really liking. You might say: “Hundreds of people like my latest Facebook picture - what do you think?” Or perhaps your post has led to lots of comments on a particular subject, so you might want to encourage people to join in the discussion.

Even if the person clicking on the link doesn’t have a Facebook account, they should still be able to see your post and the comments.

This works for Facebook Pages, but if you share a link to a Facebook post on a personal account, be warned that the link may not work for everyone. It depends on the privacy settings you’ve chosen.

This post-sharing technique also works with Twitter. Every tweet has its own unique web address and you can get to it in the same way, by clicking on the time stamp at the top of the tweet.

Telling Twitter about my most popular Facebook post

Take the time to share your best posts

Choose your best Facebook posts to share, and by best, I mean those that have the most Likes, shares and comments. You can tell a post is popular by its high level of engagement - all those Likes and comments - this means it has wide appeal.

Capitalise on this appeal by sharing a link to that post with your audience on other networks. Some of them will click through, some will also engage with the post and some will Like your Facebook Page for the first time.

Give this link sharing a go and see for yourself if it makes a difference. I’d be interested to hear whether it works for you.

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If you liked this post, take a look at:

Stop using Facebook Profiles for business

Why you're missing out on Facebook Likes and reviews

Put more pictures into your tweets

 

Stop using Facebook Profiles for business

Start using Facebook Pages instead Some Dorset businesses are still using personal Profiles rather than Pages and this is not a good thing.

If you don’t know the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page, let me explain. If you do know the difference, you can skip to the next section.

It can get a little confusing if you’re not used to the two different terms, Facebook Profile and Facebook Page, but stay with me!

When you first set up an account on Facebook, for your personal use, you created a Facebook Profile. (I will use Profile with a capital ‘P’ when talking about your personal Profile).

AddFriend

Your Profile is where you share status updates, photos and videos. It’s your own special space on Facebook. When you become a 'Friend' with someone on Facebook, you're connecting your Profile with their Profile.

 

When Facebook first started, the only way to create an account was to have a Profile. Some enterprising people decided to set up a Profile for their business, to keep it separate from their personal Profile.

Facebook saw what was happening and created a different type of account for businesses, called a Facebook Page or a Business Page. These Pages can also be used by charities, clubs or anyone wanting a public presence that's separate from their personal Profile.

Facebook does not like businesses having Profiles

The idea is that every person using Facebook has a Profile, and every business or organisation has a Page. Clubs, brands and celebrities can also have their own Pages. Anyone can set up a Page for any purpose.

Profiles and Pages are very similar in lots of ways, but they also have some important differences. The first is that to connect with someone’s Profile you become their Friend. But to connect with a Page you must to 'Like' it.

Facebook does not want businesses to continue using personal Profiles.

 

FBforBusiness

The problem with using a Facebook Profile for a business

There are big reasons why using a Facebook Profile for your business is bad:

Firstly, it’s an invasion of your privacy. The only way to connect with a business that uses a Profile is to become its Friend. By becoming a Friend of a business, you’re allowing the person who runs that business account to see many, perhaps all, of the personal posts that you’re putting on Facebook.

This is not a good idea, because you probably don’t know who is running the Facebook account for the business. Don't assume that it's the business owner, because it may well not be. You're giving a complete stranger access to your personal Facebook.

My advice to people is never, ever become a Friend of a business on Facebook.

The second reason why it’s bad to use a Profile for a business is that it’s against the Facebook rules. Which means they can turn off your account at any moment. If your Profile is an important way of connecting with your customers, you don’t want it to disappear over night. But that’s the risk you’re taking.

The third reason is that you can only have 5,000 Friends on Facebook but a Page can have unlimited fans. If 5,000 sounds ambitious, remember that by using a Profile you're also restricting the number of people who will become Friends with your business, because they understand that it's not a good idea.

FBPage

How to solve the Profile and Page problem

Fortunately, Facebook has made it easy to convert a Profile into a Page – there’s a special feature for that. The process turns Friends into Fans. Click here for more information on how to make the change.

They’ve also created a tool to merge Pages, in case you’ve ended up with more than one Page for your business. It's also possible that Facebook has automatically created a Page for your business, which you know nothing about. Click here to learn more about how this happens and what to do about it.

Other reasons why your business should be using a Page

Because Facebook Pages are designed for businesses, they have special tools designed to make it easier to manage a Page. These include:

  • A Page can have more than one person managing it.
  • You can schedule posts into the future on Pages.
  • Facebook advertising tools are linked to Pages.
  • You can access detailed statistics about activity on your Page.

If your business is still using a Facebook Profile, and connecting to people as a Friend, I recommend that you convert it into a Page.

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Why you're missing out on Facebook Likes and reviews

FB-LikeButton-printpackaging Are you missing out on valuable Facebook likes and reviews of your business? There’s a good chance that you are, and the reason is that your business may have more Facebook Pages than you think.

These duplicate Pages are attracting likes and reviews from people who use your business. The content of these Pages is shaping some people’s opinion of your business. This could be a problem for you, because you have no control over the content of these duplicate Pages. You might not even know they exist.

This is a problem you need to fix. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to do just that.

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What creates these duplicate Facebook Pages?

There are two main reasons why these Pages, over which you have no control, exist.

The first reason is that the Page was set up by an employee or a fan. They may have created it a few years ago and it’s been neglected since then. If this Page is still out there, there’s a good chance that people are interacting with it, at least by leaving likes.

This can easily happen for firms with multiple branches. The local manager might set up a Page for their specific branch without telling you. Although set up with the best of intentions, they could be diluting your Facebook presence or giving a poor impression, particularly if the Page is out of date.

Another reason why your business might have a duplicate Facebook Page is because Facebook generated it automatically, based on the activity of their users. These Pages often attract likes and reviews.

I’ve discovered several Dorset businesses, including specialist food producers and retailers, along with a local sports centre, who had Pages they didn’t know about. One business had over 200 likes, and lots of positive reviews, across two Pages that had been created automatically, and which they did not realise existed.

Some businesses have no ‘official’ Facebook Page at all, but they still have a Page that’s been automatically generated and is collecting likes and reviews.

How to reclaim your Facebook Pages

The first step is to search for the Pages. That’s relatively easy – just type your business name into the search box and see what comes up. Several of the firms I’ve searched for have multiple Facebook Pages or places listed, which suggests that they’re not in full control of their Facebook presence.

Should you find a Facebook Page that represents your business, but has been set up by someone else, you need to find out who controls it. The easiest way is to message the Page, although it’s also worth asking your own staff.

Facebook report Page options

If you can’t make contact with the Page administrator, you can choose to report the Page and select the ‘I think it’s an unauthorised use of my intellectual property’ option. Then follow this up with Facebook support. Please note that you must be using Facebook as a Page in order to see this option.

For Pages which have been automatically generated by Facebook, select the ‘Is this your business?’ option. You can then choose whether to merge it with another Page that you already manage, or to claim the Page for your business.

Claim Facebook Page options

Both of these steps will be verified by Facebook, so it will take some time for the process to be completed.

I manage social media for Weymouth Museum, as a volunteer. I recently discovered that in addition to the Weymouth Museum Facebook Page I had set up, there exited a Weymouth Museum and Timewalk Page, which had been created automatically by Facebook some years ago. I followed this process to merge the two Pages, and the merge was approved within a couple of days.

Even after you’ve taken all these steps and you’re in full control of your firm’s Facebook identity, it’s worth double checking from time to time that additional Pages have not been created without your knowledge.

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This post originally appeared on the Writecombination.com blog