I’ve noticed a need for a very basic post for authors and other entrepreneurs on Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups, how to tell the difference, what each of them are good and not good for, and how to navigate. I made graphics!
The difference between a page and a profile
A profile is what you end up with as soon as you sign up for Facebook. A profile is the default setting, it’s what you get automatically. You can tell you’re on someone’s profile when you see a “Send Friend Request” or a “You’re Friends” button. On your own profile, there’s always an EDIT PROFILE button.
- Profiles can create Facebook Groups and join Groups created by others.
- Profiles can “Friend” other Profiles.
- Profiles can “Like” Pages.
- Profiles can have up to 5000 Friends. *Last I knew.
Like everything on Facebook there are hundreds of potential settings available to you when creating your profile, and you really just need to try everything that makes sense to you in order to figure it out. It would take a novel length piece to explain them all, and I’m sure there’s more I don’t know, than do.
If you have a Facebook account, you have a Profile.
If you’re not sure whether you’re on your Profile or not, first look to see if your header image, or “Cover,” is there. Second, look for buttons such as Edit Profile or the one that tells you how many Friends you have. If those are there, you’re on your Profile.
That's not what I'm seeing...
When I first sign in I land on my “Newsfeed” rather than on my Profile.
Your Newsfeed is a stream of posts that have been written by Profiles you have “Friended” and Pages you have “Liked.”
To get from your Newsfeed to your Profile, just click on your photo in the blue bar at the top, near the right, beside the HOME button. This will take you to your Profile.
Notice that the Newsfeed does NOT have a Header Image, or what Facebook calls a “Cover.”
When you’re on a Facebook Page, as opposed to a Profile, you can tell by looking at the buttons right under the header image/cover image. Like, Follow, and Share. Those do not show up on Profiles, only on Pages. If you’re already a fan of the Page, the buttons say Liked, Following, Share.
A PAGE doesn’t have FRIENDS. It has LIKES and FOLLOWS. It allows unlimited LIKES and FOLLOWS. (LIKE means you’re a fan of the Page and will see some of its posts. After Liking a Page, you have the option to also FOLLOW it. That will ensure you see more of its posts than liking alone.
PAGES allow for boosting posts and buying ads. Both Boosts and Ads cost money. You can start with $5 and go as high as you want. You can also target your audience by interests, like “Romance Novels” or “Vampire romances” or “Debbie Macomber.” You can get as specific as you can imagine in targeting, and all those options open up as soon as you begin to create your ad.
You, as your Profile, are the Administrator (Admin) of your Page. You can add other people’s Profiles to be Admins too. I have my daughter and assistant as co-Admins.
Pages signal to the casual Facebook visitor that you are a professional.
If you’re an author, or an actor, or any sort of entrepreneur, you need a PAGE.
How to Create a Page
Couldn’t be easier.
- Sign into Facebook and click your photo to get to your Profile.
- Click the small arrow in the right corner of the top blue bar, that same one pointed out in the graphics above, to open a drop down menu.
- From the dropdown, choose CREATE PAGE.
You’ll get lots of choices for settings. As I said before, choose what makes sense, explore them all, try things out.
Choose your Page’s name. You’ll be able to give it a shortened URL later in the process. Last I checked you needed 20 Likes before that option unlocks.
When you can, give your page an easy to remember URL. I think you can’t change this once it’s done, so think it through.
Below is one of my Facebook Groups. You know you’ve landed on a GROUP when you see JOIN or JOINED just below the header image.
A PAGE can have a LINKED GROUP. You can see that’s what this one is.
PAGES can only belong to GROUPS to which they’re linked. They cannot join Groups owned by others. (Profiles can join other groups.)
In a GROUP every member can post and it will show up to all the other members. (Unlike a Page where very few of your Followers actually see your posts unless you boost them, and where ONLY the things posted BY the Page are generally seen by the Page’s followers.) *More on these items in a future blog post.
How to create a group
Easy Peasy. From your PAGE, click that now famous tiny arrow on the far right side of the blue bar, the same one you click for everything else, and select CREATE GROUP from the dropdown.
You can make your group public or private. In a private group, posts from the group cannot be shared outside the group, and only members of the group will see the posts in their newsfeed. Even if someone tries to share a post, it will only show in the newsfeed of other members.
So that's a start...
Don’t feel like you have to master all this at once. Do one thing at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. In my next post on this subject, we’ll talk about what to post on your PAGE, how to make sure more people see your posts, and we’ll have a primer on using links and making easy graphics