Facebook profiles, pages and groups – what are the differences?
This post examines Facebook profiles, pages and groups. It discusses what the differences are between them. With more than 2.93 billion monthly active users as of July 2022; it’s a website that you really should take notice of.
When researching various things about the world’s favourite social network – one thing jumps out at us. Many people don’t understand the differences between Profiles, Pages and Groups. Hopefully this article will help clear some of that up.
What are Facebook Profiles?
This should only be used for YOU. It is your very own corner of Facebook. You can let people know what you’re up to, but also see what they’re doing too.
It should be in your given name and forms the basis of a personal account.
Ideally, your name should be what is on your passport, driving license or birth certificate. Facebook rules say that you can use the name you are known as in your everyday life if that’s different. For example, my given name is Eleanor Draper but I’ve been known as Elle since the mid 1990s. So it’s acceptable to be known as Elle Draper on my Facebook profile. Of course I have plenty of evidence of that to provide to Facebook should they ever question me. What wouldn’t be acceptable would be “Elle Spain”, “Elle Almería”, “Spain Buddy Elle” or “Elle Web Design”. A Profile certainly isn’t to be in your business’ name… that’s what a Page is for.
Your Profile will display all of your own status updates plus posts where other people have tagged you. However – these individual entries are not necessarily viewable by everyone… depending on the individual posts’ privacy settings.
What are Facebook Pages?
Think of this as a showcase for your business.
While setting up a “Page” you can select what your business type is and what industry it is in. Use it to really push your business. We do this for ourselves and our clients very successfully.
You can add contact details, opening hours, a map, reviews, photos, videos and all manner of other goodies. These can help drive more customers to your business.
it’s a great way to add rapid updates without having to add content to your business’ website. Things like seasonal messages, updated opening hours – anything that you want your followers to see quickly and easily.
We have several Facebook Pages of our own, (plus plenty that we run for our clients), but our main two are Gandy-Draper Web Design and Spain Buddy. Feel free to leave us a little “Like” on each Page if you so wish.
Further Reading: Facebook Pages
What are Facebook Groups?
A Facebook Group is a community – much like a forum. This may be related to your business, but more often than not it is a place where likeminded people can gather and chat about their favourite things. Handicrafts, travel, classic cars, television shows, networking. The list goes on and on. There are tens of millions of Groups on Facebook so you are almost guaranteed to find something that interests you.
You can allocate roles to your members such as Administrators, Moderators and Editors. These should make running your Group much easier.
You can also set rules in your Group – which is vital as they grow. Such rules may include things like “Not posting business adverts”, or “Being polite at all times.” You can do this by simply pinning a post that contains your rules (which will ensure it is always at the top) – or using the built-in “Rules” feature.
You can post as a Page in your OWN Groups as an Administrator by having the Group linked to your Page (instructions below for that).
Further Reading: Facebook Groups
As of 2018, Pages can now also join Groups as normal Members. As of October 2018, only Apple device users seem to have that functionality – however we expect this will roll out to others at some point too. Apple users will see a little area on the top left of their screen that asks them who they wish to interact as (Profile or Page). If you select “Page – it will enable to to apply to be a Member of said Group. Please note that some Groups have disabled that ability though – so if you’re on an iPhone or Mac and can’t see it ion your favourite Group – it may be that the Group’s Admins have disabled that feature. That Page will then act as a Member – with the functions available to Admins as normal… such as “muting” or “banning”.
What is a Facebook News Feed?
Your Facebook news feed is where you see all the updates of your friends’ Status Updates, plus any updates from the Pages you have “Liked” and Groups you are a member of. You can sort it by “Top Stories (which Facebook decides using algorithms behind the scenes) or “Most Recent”. The sorting looks to be available only on desktop computers… although some mobile devices may show it also. Our Android devices don’t.
Not everything will display there – it varies according to the preferences you have set yourself. For example – you may have “Unfollowed” a friend’s posts or elected not to receive updates from a particular Group. Don’t assume that just because you can see something private on your Facebook feed that everyone else can see it too. It is down to the privacy settings on each individual Post. For example, I am a member of a private “Facebook Admin” Group based here in Spain. I get updates on my news feed where I can see what people are posting within the Group. But I also get a notification because I have elected to receive those as they occur. People who are not members of that private Group can’t see those updates.
I’ve not included an image for this section because in order to display my own feed, it would include items that are marked as private that have been posted by other people. Clicking “Home” while you logged into Facebook will show you what your own Feed looks like.
What is a Facebook Post?
A Facebook Post is either a status update by a person, a new conversation in a Group, or a new entry on a Page. It may also be an activity you have carried out, such as updating your profile or cover photos, or commenting on someone else’s activities.
It can be in the form of a photograph, some written text, an uploaded video or simply a link to something else.
The example on the right shows a status update I shared on my own Profile. I did it by updating the cover photo at the very top of my Facebook News Feed. I had it set to display publicly, so anyone can see it on Facebook, whether they are on my Friends’ list or not.
If anyone is interested, it is a photograph taken during a party where we said “Adios” to our loved ones in the UK before moving to Spain.
From left to right are: My Mum, me, my youngest sister (Mimi) and my StepDad.
It’s the last photograph I have of me with my parents, and I like to be reminded of it from time to time. Plus I look much younger there *cough* (but that’s because I was).
- Example Status Update on a Profiule: “Had a great time at Bar la Sociedad today with the ladies. Must do it again soon!”
- Example Group conversation: “Can anyone please recommend a local plumber who can fix a leak in my kitchen?”
- Example entry on a Page: “Please note that we have new opening hours”
What are Sponsored Posts?
These are Posts by a Page that have been boosted in return for payment to Facebook.
Businesses may promote various items on their Facebook Page in order to get more orders, more traffic, or simply to get it seen more often.
You can set criteria such as who the ad displays to (by area, age, gender etc).
Well we hope that has cleared things up a little. You should now be able to tell the difference between Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups. It will certainly help people know what you are talking about when you ask them to “look at our Facebook Page” or you suggest “Add me as a friend on Facebook – here is the link to my Profile”.
PS: If you’d like to follow my Profile on Facebook, by all means do so – here’s the link to my profile: Elle Draper on FB.