Best Practices for User Management of Your Business’ Facebook Page

I discussed the Facebook Page vs. Profile question in regards to writers a while back, but the issue also applies to businesses, as well as the users who manage the businesses’ online presence. This week alone, I had three separate clients ask about how these two types of Facebook presences work, so I thought I’d address the question in more detail here. For those who want the quick lowdown, head straight to the crib sheet.

As mentioned in the above article:

Every user by default has a Profile, which is intended for the personal use of an individual. A Page, on the other hand, is used for commercial purposes, such as marketing a brand, product, or public figure, such as an author.

Example Scenario

Let’s use the fictional advertising firm from Mad Men as an example. Say Don Draper wants to set up a Page for his advertising agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. If Don is going to be managing the page, he would have his own personal Profile, while SCDP would have a Page. (“Profile” and “Page” will be used throughout this post to differentiate between the two.) Don only has to log into his personal Profile, and from there can manage the SCDP Page; he does not have a separate login for the ad agency.

Because Don is the administrator for the SCDP Page, he has complete control over it and can add/remove other users and decide how much control each individual has. Because he has complete trust in Peggy, he gives her admin-level access, which allows her to have the exact same control he does. Pete, on the other hand, has shown his vindictive side more than a few times, so Don only gives him editor-level access, meaning Pete can post to the Facebook Page but cannot add/remove other users. Don, Peggy, and Pete all manage the SCDP Facebook Page by logging into their personal accounts.

A few of my clients have been confused by this setup, asking me for the “login to their Facebook Page.” They already have the login: It’s the very same one they use for their personal Profile. It sometimes takes them a while to understand why this is, so I’ve created the following diagram:

Facebook Mad Men users diagram

How Not to Set Up Your Facebook Page

Another client created new, separate Profiles for new employees, each with the business’s name as the Profile name. If Don had done this, when he looked at his user panel in Facebook, he would have seen multiple users, all with the name SCDP. But who is who? There’s no way to tell. In the screenshot below, each employee’s name is used, but their profile image is the same. Imagine how confusing it would be if each of these said SCDP. If Peggy left for another firm, you wouldn’t know which user to remove. (Click on photo to see larger image. Note that this is a screenshot from a former Facebook layout.)

Facebook business page users Mad Men

Even if you only have one “fake” Profile account for managing the Page, you could be leaving yourself open for problems. If every employee is logging in using the same account, someone could change the password and lock out everyone else.

One of my clients had done just that — created a fake Profile for all employees to access the business Page — because she saw that Facebook displays who posted to the Page’s timeline:

Facebook status update business Page

The client didn’t realize that only users of the Page (those who are admins, editors, etc.) can see this info. Her fans and clients wouldn’t see the “Published by” line. Therefore, her reason for creating the fake profile account was unnecessary.

Another client said that he didn’t want a personal account on Facebook. If that’s the case, managing the Facebook page shouldn’t be one of your responsibilities (for a wide variety of reasons). But if you do decide to take on this role, all you need to do is create a Profile with just your name and the most basic of info, and then have a Page admin add you as one of the Page managers. To control who can see what on your Profile, be sure to update your security settings. Because Facebook is constantly updating their privacy options, it’s best to go directly to their privacy tutorial.

Points to Consider When Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Authors and other public figures may have a Page and a Profile with the same name. Neil Gaiman, who maintains one of the largest Facebook fanbases of any author, has his Author Page, but you can be sure he also has a personal Profile, both for managing the Page and for sharing information (with friends and family) that he doesn’t want the general public to see. I’d bet the privacy settings for his Profile are all cranked up to 11 so that you or I couldn’t find it unless we knew something very specific, such as his personal email.

While you’re at it, make sure you have at least two admins for your Page. If Pete were the only admin, you can bet he’d soon be changing the Page name to Campbell Campbell Campbell + Campbell — and no one would be able to stop him. If Bert Cooper had been the only admin, after his death, no one would have been able to add or remove users — rendering the page virtually useless. So choose at least two trustworthy people — they don’t have to be employees — to be admins.

Recap of Best Practices for Facebook Page Management

As a recap, here are best practices for creating a Facebook presence for your business:

  • Create a Page, not a Profile. Businesses that create Profiles are in violation of Facebook’s terms of service and could have their profile deleted at any time, thereby negating all the hard work put in to build up followers. Remember: Profiles are only for individuals.
  • Make sure each Page user has a Profile with their real name. If an employee doesn’t want to be on Facebook, they only have to use it when managing your business’s Page. (Although this is probably not the person you should have managing your Page.)
  • Have at least two admins for your Page. These should be people you would trust with the keys to your house. The business owner should always be an admin — no matter what a social media agency might tell you.

Managing and setting up a Facebook Page are two different tasks. So if you need help setting up the administration for your Facebook page, contact us.

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