Avoid this Mistake or Lose your Facebook Page.
According to the movie 'The Social Network' (a questionable source!), Mark Zuckerberg's central aim whilst at Harvard, apart from his degree, was to ‘take the entire social experience of college and put it online.’ However, Facebook is now a medium far bigger than anyone could have imagined at its inception. Not only can you keep in touch with friends from university, you have the ability to promote events, associate yourself with groups and even chat to your parents, should you not want to go downstairs.
More recently, users have been given the chance to approve companies and services, including hair loss clinics, with the simple click of a 'like' button on a fan page. Giving your approval to a charity or product for instance allows content to reach all of your Facebook friends (unless they've blocked you) and gives an additional incentive for others to spread the word.
Of course you can increase the visibility of an organisation by combining a standard profile with regular updates and engagement; this is something which I don't think can be disputed, although you're welcome to have a go. But would you also have the opportunity to track the number of unique visitors, their location, age, gender, visit time and duration for the purposes of a future social media marketing campaign? In addition, would you have the chance to create pay per click adverts or customised buttons for contact details or photo galleries? Nope, didn't think so!
Fan pages should also be used, simply because a ‘like’ gives instant access to a wide range of content, whilst a friend request may not be approved until the following day, especially if you’ve already gone to bed. Furthermore, the former can act as a backup link to a website, has the potential to improve rankings on search engines such as Google and allows a business to place an emphasis on customer service, without complaints with bad language clogging the timeline.
Perhaps most importantly though is that the future of Facebook lies in search facilities, people will be searching for businesses on Facebook! If your business has a profile then you will not appear in those search results! Due to this Facebook are actively going through and deactivating businesses that are not following protocol and creating fan pages rather than profiles. So all your work could soon be deleted!
Other considerations include the ability to connect to a particular location, add page admins and information about your company, plus the fact that profiles are limited to just 5000 friends. In conclusion, fan pages have clear advantages over standard profiles.