Facebook has three different ways that you can use to publish content, but many new Facebook users get confused on where to get started, a Facebook profile, a group or a page? If you are just using Facebook as a hobby or want to promote your business and products, this blog post will help you understand what a page, a profile and a group are, what they do, and which one you should use.
What is a Facebook profile?
A “Facebook profile” is who you are on Facebook as a person. It’s where you have all of your statuses collected that you use and it’s where anyone who wants to learn more about you can visit.
Your Facebook profile includes your “Cover Photo,” with the ability to edit the photo as shown in the image below.
It also includes your “Profile Picture” with he ability to edit the photo like this.
Your Facebook profile includes your “Timeline” which has all of these features on it. This is your “Brief About Section.” Then “Friends” and all of the “Posts” you’ve made from the past.
You have the ability to go pick by year at the right of the timeline.
You can see who has liked and commented on the updates, photos and videos you’ve posted.
Down on the left side of your Facebook profile you have tabs that you can customize. You can have your photos or your videos at the top.
Then you can have your friends, the places you’ve checked in, books you’ve read, likes, all kinds of different things you’ve interacted with on Facebook.
The profile is the foundation of your user experience and everybody else’s experience on Facebook. A profile is not where people spend most of their time on Facebook, but it is your ticket in the door.
You need a Facebook profile to do pretty much anything on Facebook, but how do you make a good profile?
A good Facebook profile has to be complete. It must have a Cover Photo, a Profile Picture and all of the basic About information. Then, it also needs to have Friends, Photos and Status Updates.
When you see fake profiles online, they tend to have the minimum. If you want to make a good profile, what you want to do is log on and contribute something each day or every other day, whatever you can offer. I’ve got thousands of updates on my profile over the last ten years that I’ve used Facebook.
What makes a good Facebook profile is the consistent love and attention paid to it. Simple things like putting up a picture. Even if it’s just a picture here or a picture there, even if it’s just every few days, that’s good enough. Of course, if you have an adorable daughter like I do or whatever you have, you can use it.
You can post what’s funny, entertaining, or let people know what you’re doing in your life. The best updates often are the very honest ones.
You can post for example something about how you’ve been struggling or how you’ve been having a hard time, and this can really help other people out on Facebook. It has to be honest and not too judgmental or critical towards specific people, and if you can honestly share your experience on your Facebook profile, that can be one of the most powerful things you can do.
Whether it’s honestly sharing photos of what you’re doing, or even just stopping by each day to contribute something, that’s how you make a good profile on Facebook, especially when it’s done a little bit at a time over time.
A little bit everyday or every other day for years…
If you have not done much so far, today is a great day to get started.
The biggest difference is from doing nothing at all to a little something. The biggest difference is putting one photo up or one status up versus nothing. The worst thing you can have is a profile with no Cover Photo, no Profile Picture and no Status Updates.
You might as well be no one at all on Facebook if you’ve got it set up like that.
I hope these basic tips are helpful for you and the more you spend time with your Facebook profile, the more you look at other people’s profiles, the more you can see exactly how you’d want to do your own great Facebook profile.
Why using a Facebook profile?
The Facebook personal profile is the most powerful tool for building relationships on Facebook and for just learning how to be a user on Facebook.
If you haven’t done much on Facebook before, using your personal profile to start is a great way to learn more and to see if you really want to spend the time and effort required to do something more involved like a group or a Facebook page.
I’ve seen so many people that haven’t used Facebook that much rushing to do other things only to discover they didn’t like being on Facebook. If you don’t like updating your personal profile that much, if you don’t like sharing a little bit of what you’re doing on your own Facebook profile to your friends, if you don’t like building relationships and sending messages just as a person, it’s unlikely you’re going to enjoy doing it as a business or in a Facebook group much more.
The personal profile is the entry way into anything you want to accomplish with Facebook. Using the personal profile is what’s most powerful to get started with and to advance your knowledge on Facebook.
My personal Facebook profile has been the single biggest resource that I’ve used to get clients and to generate income for my business.
More than half of all the money I’ve made online can be traced back to my personal profile from the moment of signing up in 2005 as one of the first users to all the way through now where I still maintain relationships with the people I work with and even a few former clients.
The Facebook personal profile often gets overlooked in business and marketing applications as something that’s useful because there’s this rush to get to other things. So getting started definitely, put that time into the Facebook personal profile, that’s what I did. I used it for 6 years as a user before I tried to do anything for business with it. Now, I still realize that my experience as a user is the foundation of my ability to do anything else and to actually give to people.
What is a Facebook page?
A “Facebook page” is something that’s not an individual person’s profile. That’s pretty much anything else on Facebook as it’s more of an idea or a place, or it can represent a public figure, the way my page is.
A page is not a personal profile. A page is anything besides a personal profile that you see on Facebook that works just the same. This differs from groups, which are essentially a collection of personal profiles.
So for example, this is my Facebook page, this page then is representing me or my brand online. It’s not my actual personal profile and yet it requires my personal profile to go set up.
Your personal profile is your ticket in the door and you need that to set up your Facebook page. The main difference with the Facebook page is that I can advertise it and that’s the most significant advantage. I cannot advertise my personal profile.
If I could advertise my personal profile, I would not need a page.
Now if you have a business, it’s a huge advantage that you can have with using a Facebook page. You can make a business that will physically locate where you are at to your customers.
You can then make a business page that can have all kinds of things like videos. It can have map locations, it can have phone numbers, there’s all kind of things you can have on a page that is useful for a business.
If you want to do anything that you can’t do with your personal profile, a page is the first thing most people think of doing. I can make a page to set up my business or set up an interest, set up an idea or even set up just a representation of me that I can advertise.
A page is where you get a lot of opportunity to get creative on Facebook outside of using your own profile. A page at the same time does not have a lot of the advantages the personal profile does where people are used to make connections with each other. A page is another entity and it’s not a person, so it’s a lot harder to connect with other people on Facebook using a page.
When you use your page on Facebook, it’s a destination you want people to go to. You want people to visit your page, to like your page, do things with your page and at the same time it’s challenging because most of the interactions are in the news feed.
Most people who will like your page or click on your ad will never actually go to see your page itself.
They will only interact with these individual stories you post. As you can see for these videos I posted, almost the only way people interact with my page are through the things I post on my page.
If I want people to go to my page, I have to reach a lot of people to get anyone to actually look at the page itself.
When you plan your strategy, understand that most things that are happening on the page are still happening from the news feed, the same as with personal profiles.
Why using a Facebook page?
If you’ve got a lot of experience on Facebook and know that you want to use it a lot more for the future, a Facebook page is the next step. If you want to do ads and sell products, a Facebook page is what you need.
You need a Facebook page to show up in the news feed and you need a Facebook page to have its own stand alone page on Facebook. A page has its own area where you can publish things like you see on mine below. I published videos and get interaction.
What you notice about my page is that it has 1.6 million Likes on it at the time this screenshot was taken. I have now more than 2 millions Likes on it!
Even with all these Likes there’s usually only hundreds of people reached if I haven’t advertised a post. Now, a lot of my posts have been advertised as the one below. The light orange section you see is the reach I’ve got for free.
I’ve got a large audience and still only a small fraction of that audience interacts with my post.
That’s why a group is so powerful because you can get that organic interaction. It can be very challenging if you’ve got even a few hundred Likes on a page to even get one person to see your post. Even with 1.6 million Likes, I’m lucky to get a tenth of a percent of the people to see a post for free when I put it in the news feed.
This means that if you want to reach one person on Facebook, you need a thousand Likes. If you’re trying to do it with all perfect niche targeted Likes, then you are liable to spend anywhere from ten cents to a dollar per Like in the USA. You’re going to be out of a good bed of money to get one person to interact with you.
What you can see about a page is that it’s much easier to get started with a personal profile or with a group because a page is for scale.
I started pages before I knew what I was doing and I dumped money and time into poorly done Facebook pages. It’s taken me years to have one well done page after failing miserably at a bunch of pages, not only my own but clients’ as well.
What is not obvious about Facebook pages is how difficult it is to have a really well done page, how much time, effort, energy and ads spend it takes. It’s better to have a personal profile or a group that’s well done than to have a Facebook page that’s done poorly.
If you just want to use the page for ads, there’s often more effective ways of advertising like Google Ad Words. If you just want the page for Facebook ads then you might be able to get away with not putting any content on it or not doing very much other than maybe putting a photo and having a couple of basic posts.
The problem comes in that most of the good things that happened with me online are from deep relationships. A Facebook page deep relationship comes from someone scrolling, reading, watching and being really interested in what I’ve got on my page.
If you want to make a lot of sales of your products, what you need are deep relationships, often people who buy every product you put out.
A Facebook page is a great tool and yet I hope I’ve shared with you that there are a lot easier ways to get started than making a page. If you’re willing to go the distance, if you’re willing to put all that time, if you’re willing to put 4 years of effort in your Facebook page, then it can do some amazing things for you.
What is a Facebook group?
A “Facebook group” essentially is a collection of personal profiles. Groups bring together personal profiles who interact with each other in a custom news feed that is in the group. Then this also appears in the profile’s news feed of each member. Groups are one of the most effective ways to have conversations on Facebook about certain topics.
For example, this is my “Black Ops 3” Facebook group. We are 452 members in the groups and we have our own place where we can share things that do not appear on our personal profile.
If you have things you want to talk about with people other than all of your friends on your personal profile, then you can use a group. You can see what other people are posting when the group post comes up in your news feed.
A Facebook group is a great way to get people together for discussions. It has the kind of functionality of a forum where you can post things up, see what other people are saying and have focused discussions on certain topics.
Why using a Facebook group?
The second possibility if you’ve already used your profile a good bit is to then expand from there with a group. I say it’s a best way because it’s free.
A Facebook group doesn’t cost anything to create and it doesn’t cost anything to build.
I spent a lot of money very stupidly getting my business started, trying to advertise my Facebook page. It’s easier not to even have that temptation available when you’re trying to do something like affiliate marketing, or trying to build some new relationships with people and you’ve already maxed out your personal profile.
When you’ve already got a lot of friends there and you need a place to put new people and build a community, a group is a great way to do it. If I’d had to start over and do affiliate marketing, I would do it with a Facebook group building relationships and giving value to the group. Then, I could share any affiliate links right in the group.
I have a group for gaming on Xbox and it has over 400 members I built in the last few months. This group works well for me to play Xbox and to have a community of good people to play whenever I want to.
Now, think of creating a group, to anything you’re wanting to do: building your affiliate marketing, building feedback for your business, building an interest in your hobby, or just getting some help for yourself.
I joined the Udemy Studio group, which was the first group where I participated in regularly and I got a lot of help there to do what I’m doing now everyday. Facebook groups are a great way to use your knowledge and experience and to grow, build and be a part of a community on Facebook.
I hope this blog post has been useful for you, and if you liked it, I invite you to learn more about Facebook with me in my book:
Available both in Kindle and Paperback format.