You may have heard of Facebook Fan Pages–they are also referred to as “business pages” or “public pages.”

To give you some explanation of what these are, a Fan Page is just a public profile that allows you to share information about your services or products with other Facebook users.  Facebook has two different kinds of profiles—personal profiles and public, aka Fan Page profiles.

So, why are there two different kinds of profiles?  Well, Facebook states pretty clearly in their terms of service that a person is only allowed to have one personal profile and that it must be in a person’s first and last name only.  For example, “Christine Gallagher.” Facebook has actually been known to disable people’s accounts if they’re named anything other than your full name or if you are using it to represent your business.  So instead of using your personal profile for business, you can just use a Fan Page.

Let’s talk a bit about the benefits of using a Fan Page for your business over a personal profile.

First and foremost, Fan Pages are public. What this means is that in order for people to see your Page, they don’t have to login to Facebook or be your “friend” to have access to it—there’s no barrier there to keep from drawing people in. Pages are actually the only part of Facebook that are totally public. This is also great because the search engines are able to see and index Fan Pages.

This is important because Facebook is currently the #2 site on the entire Internet, so you can benefit from that high search engine ranking by having a Page. In other words, because Facebook ranks so highly, your business has a good chance of ranking highly.

Second, personal profiles have a limit of 5000 friends—although Facebook has said several times they are going to raise that limit, they haven’t yet. Now, that might seem like a really high number to you right now, but if you think about continuing to build your business on Facebook, reaching that number is actually not all that unrealistic. In comparison, Fan Pages allow you to have an unlimited number of Fans.

Third, you’re able to send a message—or as they’re called, “Updates”–to all of your Fans at one time, no matter how many you have. With personal profiles, Facebook only lets you message a small number of friends at a time–last I checked it was somewhere around 30 or 40 at once.

Lastly, there are a lot of people who use Facebook personal profiles for just that—personal. They might be using it for staying in touch with friends and family and may have NO interest in ever buying from you—plus, not everyone friends people they don’t know on Facebook. With Fan Pages, people who become a “fan” of your Page are expressly saying they want to find out more about your business, not just you the individual. They have shown their interest by “opting in” as it were.

Do you have a Fan Page for your business yet?  I would love to see yours if you do, so let me know in the comments.  Feel free to visit my Page and “fan” it as well too! 🙂

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