Facebook Profiles do not work for Organizations

by admin on May 24, 2011










There are two kinds of Facebook opportunities, profiles and pages (see http://www.facebook.com/influencers). Profiles are generally for individuals and pages are geared for organizations.  There are organizations that create a presence using both formats.

Yes, some of us have experimented with Profiles while representing blogs, associations, agencies and nonprofits.  The thought was that the Profile page would provide more robust opportunities for information exchange when compared to Pages. The results were less than satisfactory (understatement).

Profiles didn’t push Facebook users to our websites and the interaction was 99 percent spam or non-relevant comments.

The Power of Facebook

First, no one doubts the power of Facebook Profiles to act as an exchange of information between friends, family and people with targeted interests “if” you are careful as to who you choose to add as friends.

Too many “friends” dramatically expands the possibilities for useless encounters.

Second, no one doubts the influence of Facebook as it applies to Pages for corporations, government and organizations.

Facebook will be the first to tell you that “friends” belong on Profiles and entities belong on Pages. Yet there are a lot of organizations on Profiles and we figured there must be a reason. We were wrong “probably” because we friended everyone who wanted access to the sites.

We had Facebook Profiles for associations and nonprofits with thousands of users. Question, how many invitations to Farmville can one person stand?

We Targeted the Right People

The vast majority of people we friended came from backgrounds we were trying to target. So we ended up with thousands of people who were, for example, social workers who did not want to discuss social work while on a Facebook Profile.  Yea, there were some social work discussions, but they were few, vague and lacked detail. Direct questions were equally frustrating and off-topic.

People seemed far more interested in items having nothing to do with social work (general observations on life, games and causes) and there were endless appeals for causes that no one has the time to verify (yes, there’s a lot of fraudulent organizations out there).

To date, no one has deleted their Facebook Profiles; they just don’t go there very much and they have learned to manipulate Facebook settings to limit the endless and meaningless e-mails.

So the moral of the story is not to create Facebook Profiles if you represent an organization. Stay on Pages. More on Pages soon.

Dissenting opinions welcomed.  Examples of successful Profiles advancing organizations are encouraged.

Best, Len.


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