Facebook can be confusing for small business owners trying to establish an online presence. When I’ve suggested setting up a Facebook page in addition to a website, I’ve encountered some surprising reactions:

  • “I don’t understand Facebook. My son set it up for me and now he’s off to college.”
  • “I have no idea how to manage my Facebook account. It makes me nauseous to even look at it.”
Facebook icon

Here are some helpful hints to help you understand the difference between Facebook pages and profiles to help you overcome your Facebook phobia.

Facebook Profiles versus Pages

 Most People on Facebook have a Profile.

Personal Profiles represent individual users. When you first join Facebook, you start with a profile. It’s all about you.

  • If you have a Facebook Profile, you can have Facebook friends. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people you know.
  • You can also use your Facebook Profile to upload pictures, videos, and status updates.

What is a Status Update?

NOTE: A status update, in Facebook, is basically just writing some text in a box to describe what you’re doing or thinking about at the moment. You can add an image or video to it. It’s very easy for friends to comment on your status and get a conversation going.

  1. To write a Status Update, click in the box where it says “What’s on your mind?
  2. Then write some text in it. Add a photo or video if you like.
  3. Click on the Post button. It’s that simple.
Facebook Status Update Box Example

What is a friend request?

You can also go to the search bar at the top left corner of your Profile to invite more people to become your Facebook friends. Type your friend’s name into the search bar. If you find their name, you can send them a friend request. If they accept, you become Facebook friends.

Think you’re popular? You’ll be glad to know that you can have up to 5,000 Facebook friends. But you can only have One Profile.

One nice thing about Facebook Profiles is that you have some control over your privacy.  That’s why Facebook Profiles require that you accept/extend a friend request before you’re connected to another person. Profiles have features to protect your information and help you differentiate what you share with whom.

Some People have Facebook Pages.

Facebook Pages are a little different than Personal Profiles.

  • They’re designed for businesses, organizations, non-profits, bands etc.
  • Facebook Pages can be viewed by the public. They’re not private.
  • Facebook Business Pages don’t have friends. Instead, they have followers. 
  • You can set up multiple Business Pages.
  • Facebook Pages are well suited for businesses because they can be promoted with Facebook ads and can be maintained by multiple people.

On your Facebook Page, you can add status updates by clicking on the “Create Post” button. When someone becomes a follower of your Page, they will begin seeing your status updates.

Facebook Create Post Box Example for Business Page

Facebook Page Admin Panels

Facebook Pages also have Admin Panels.

  • You can find information about how your page is doing in this admin section. It will appear at the top of your page.
  • You can see your Admin Panel, but your visitors can’t.
  • You can track metrics to find information about who is looking at and interacting with your page.

Start with a Profile. Then create a Page.

You can set up a Profile and then create a Facebook Page through it. Then you’ll have your personal Profile (where you can protect its privacy) and your Business Page (open to the public).

Here’s what you’re not supposed to do:
You can’t use a Profile as a Business Page.
That’s breaking one of Facebook’s Rules of Etiquette. 

Cover Photos & Profile Pictures

It’s important to have a nice Cover Photo and Profile Picture included in your Profile and Business Page. A Cover Photo is the large rectangular photo at the top of your timeline, right above your profile picture/business logo.

Help! I’m Still Lost on Facebook

Are you saying to yourself, “Wait. I’m Still Lost. When I go to Facebook, all I see are pictures and updates that other people are posting. Where am I?”

Lost in Facebook

Don’t worry. You’re probably looking at your News Feed.

Understanding the News Feed

The News Feed is a special page where you see everything that other people are adding to Facebook. It’s all arranged in a timeline, where the newest posts are on the top. They slowly slip down the page over time and eventually disappear when new information replaces it.

Out with the Old. In with the New. 

Facebook Newsfeed - Status Update Example for a Business

The News Feed is at the heart of the Facebook experience since it’s the place where you can view and comment on what’s happening on Facebook. You’ll spend the majority of your time looking at your News Feed. So you want to get comfortable with it.

Now that you understand the basics of Facebook, it’s the perfect time to post a Status Update. Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll become part of the conversation and your Facebook phobia will soon be a thing of the past.