When Facebook was first released back in 2004, there was a limited demographic of people who could even sign up for the platform. Moving forward, that demographic expanded quickly, but it took until 2007 (according to Business Week) to create the very first business Facebook page: The Fan Page.
Since then, Facebook has developed the business pages from ‘fan pages’ to business accounts and added countless features to encourage businesses to develop their page and eventually advertise through Facebook.
Before there was an option for businesses to build pages (and Facebook didn’t monitor fake accounts so closely), however, many businesses created ‘friend’ business pages. So, just like regular Facebook users, a person would add a business as a friend.
Overtime, Facebook has eliminated many of these accounts, marking them as ‘fake’ accounts and forcing users to shut them down. Every once and while though, I still run across a business that is consistently using a friend page to market their business.
Some businesses may think it’s not a big deal, but in reality, they are really missing out on many advantages to the ‘modern’ business page. I’ve created a list of the main disadvantages of having these friend pages for businesses:
1. You can’t monitor how your posts are doing: When you have a business page, you can see how many people are looking at each post and what kind of traffic each one is driving. Much like your personal facebook page, a business that uses a friend page will have no way to gauge how many people are actually seeing each post.
2. You can’t advertise or pay to expand your reach: In my opinion, this is the biggest downfall to not having a business page. With a business page, you can create ad campaigns, like campaigns, and promote your posts to expand the reach of your page. You can key in on your target market and see true results. A business with a friend page will have no way to expand their reach passed the friends they already have. And just like your friend’s pages, there is no way you see every single update on every friend, so reach is not guaranteed (and often minimal) with a friend page.
3. You can’t manage without logging in: This one isn’t a huge deal, but the only way to manage a friend page is by logging in. With business pages, you are able to manage all of them from your personal page without having to log into each one individually.
4. Friend profiles are not always viewable to the public: Much like your personal profile is partially blocked when someone that is not your friend views it, this is the same with businesses that still have friend pages. Most of your posts are not viewable unless that person has added you as a friend and you have accepted the request.
If you are one of these businesses, have no fear! Facebook makes it really easy to get started. They have a whole web page dedicated to it here. Once you convert over, you will quickly begin to see all of the great benefits!
Until next time