The difference between FaceBook Profile and Fan Page

Confusion abounds! There is a difference between a FaceBook Profile and a FaceBook Fan Page. My most-oft question this month concerned creating a FaceBook Fan Page for a business. First, let’s explain the difference between FaceBook Profile and Fan Page:

FaceBook Profile: This is strictly for humans. Hey, that’s you! You’re putting your “Face” on facebook! It’s your picture! It’s your name! It’s your profile! Posting this info makes it easy for you to connect with your friends! You’re posting your status updates, videos, pictures, sending messages, writing on walls, and socializing within the FB environment. For example, here’s my FaceBook Profile Page.

FaceBook Fan Page: Now that you have a FaceBook profile, use it to create a Fan Page for your business. This is where you can post business information: events, videos, photos, specials, promos — and encourage your fans to post testimonials and help spread your business stories. (Since I’m also my own business, I started a FaceBook Fan Page. I also create & administer Fan Pages for other folks & businesses, too.)

Got it? One FaceBook account can create several Fan Pages and assign administrators for different businesses. No need to create separate accounts for each business you rep! But now you want to know — what’s the business advantage of a FaceBook Fan Page?

Energizing and Supporting. A FaceBook Fan Page can help a business find its best customers. The business can then energize its best customers to engage in word-of-mouth marketing. Further, a Fan Page can also be a place where customers can support each other.

Here’s a favorite example of how a FaceBook Fan Page lets the customers of a small business:

a) energize the business with powerful word of mouth marketing and

b) support each other with after-visit care.

The Dolphin Journeys Energizing + Supporting Example. About 14 weeks ago, I helped create a Fan Page for my client, Hawaii-based Dolphin Journeys. Here’s how the customer self-support function of a FaceBook Fan Page works: when you go on a dolphin or whale tour in Hawaii, you often don’t get a great shot from the boat — maybe you’re too excited or having too much fun! But chances are, someone else on the boat captured a terrific video or photo. When you become a fan of Dolphin Journeys, you can upload your terrific shots — and share them with other folks on the boat.

When customers share photos or videos on a Fan Page — they can also spread stories to THEIR friends and families when they return from vacation. And people who didn’t get the shot? They become fans, too — and share the videos, photos, and stories with their friends. And of course, there’s a Wall on the Fan Page where people can write about their experiences — authentic stories that can help spread the word that Dolphin Journeys is a terrific vacation experience.

But wait, there’s more! A FaceBook Fan Page also lets you track metrics, so that you’ll know the number of visitors to your Fan Page and their demographic data. You can also incorporate reviews, events, notifications and more into your FaceBook Fan Pages. Worried about administration? Don’t be. You can assign several administrators, so that when you go on vacation, someone else can be in charge of the Page.

For many businesses, a FaceBook Fan Page may make a great deal of sense. It depends quite a bit on a) how ready your audience is to participate and b) your business objectives.

How has a FaceBook Fan Page helped YOUR business?

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