We aren't in Kansas anymore...
These days it can be difficult to determine where your business needs to be active on social media. Choosing the right platform to reach the right audience can seem daunting. The whole process becomes even more confusing when the platform you choose has multiple options of how to present yourself. Facebook is a great example of this since they have profiles, pages, and groups all as choices for you to make when it comes to posting content. So how do you know what to choose? Here\'s a quick breakdown on what each area is all about.
The Facebook profile is for individual people. It\'s NOT for business use. However, for you to have either a business page or a group, you do need to have a personal profile. In your profile, you can share personal information like your birthday, relationship status, updates on life events as well as photos and comments about experiences.
Through your profile, you can connect with and message friends, like pages of brands you want to keep up with and join groups. Your timeline, a date-sorted feed, will show your updates and posts from people, pages and groups that you are connected to. You\'ll also see ads and sponsored posts from both pages that you are connected to and things that Facebook has determined that you might be interested in based on your past behavior.
Pages are really nothing more than timelines for businesses, public figures (celebrities, authors, politicians, etc.), organizations and brands. Pages are used to post news, updates, events, and other information related to the happenings of that business or public figure with the primary purpose being to raise awareness for the brand.
Pages are managed by administrators who can post any updates and these updates are seen in the news feeds of individuals (and other pages too) that have \"liked\" the page. Pages are a great way to interact with fans of your brand and you get unique insights to the analytics that Facebook includes with every page. With those analytics, you not only get information on who is liking your page (and therefore interested in your brand) but also key indicators about what they want to engage with. This helps you know what type of content is useful to them and what might need more work in the future.
Having a Facebook page definitely can give your business a boost of credibility and since Facebook is highly searchable, it also even helps your SEO. Beware though, a Facebook page should never be a substitute for a website. Think of it more as a doorway to your website instead. It can be a great way to direct traffic to your own website.
Over the last couple of years, Facebook Groups have become more popular. Groups are areas where specific segments of people can gather online to share information. Think of Groups as a discussion forum or community formed for a section of people interested in a very specific topic.
Groups can be public, closed or secret. If the group is private (meaning it\'s closed or secret) then you generally have to wait to be approved by an administrator before you\'re officially part of the group. Groups aren\'t just for personal communities; they can also be helpful to businesses. Many businesses are forming groups for people who have bought a certain product or service. There are groups for businesses doing workshops and training. And, there are groups formed prior to an event where people can get specific information about that event. There are lots of ways a group can be used.
Understanding, is key!
Facebook may not be the place for you to invest your time and energy for your business but if it is, it\'s best to understand the differences between profiles, pages and groups. You want to always make the best use out of your time online so taking some time to educate yourself on the nuances of Facebook activity will go a long way to maximizing your social media ROI.
Holly Kile - Marketing Assistant