I got asked this fantastic question by a physician in the physicians-only SoMeDocs group on Facebook:
(to join, simply click into the link, but don’t forget to join us as an official member – you get a ton of perks & we help spread the word on your work!)
“What is the difference between a Facebook personal and business page?”
It was a fantastic question, and so relevant to the times, as more and more physicians are looking to join the social media platform that’s still the most popular one in the world; even if many of us still cringe at having to use it.
Physicians are finally beginning to realize that social media is here and is here to stay.
So why not get on that bandwagon, and reap the benefits, where our careers are concerned?
(Read the article “Behind The Veil Of Fear: Diving Into Social Media As A Professional” for some more motivation-juice!).
Why not fight misinformation, right at the source, where it’s happening, especially since it’s seeping into our real life practices? Why not be on the receiving end of coveted awards, consulting opportunities, and speaking positions that are taken up by those who are simply networking (strategically) online?
Why not be on the receiving end of coveted awards, consulting opportunities, and speaking positions that are taken up by those who are simply networking (strategically) online? #MEDed #medtwitter #SoMeDocs Click To Tweet
Just ask folks like Drs. Kelly Fradin, David Rosenblum, and Amy Fogelman, who have been at it for a while and are beginning to not only experiences their numbers climb, but reap the benefits where that visibility and growth is concerned.
.. even “newer” physicians dabbling online, who are beginning to leverage this space – ones like Drs. Lara Berenstain, Funke Afolabi-Brown, and Efosa Airuehia – are beginning to recognize and feel the power that online presence has. They’ve each joined the cause, with their own purpose and messages.
The key, for each physician, is to individually stand out for in the niche of your interest and expertise, while collectively making yourself comfortable using the tools of today, used to speak up and connect.
So here goes:
What is the Difference Between Facebook Personal and Business Page?
(especially where it comes to doctors?)
A personal page, by Facebook “law”, cannot be used for business.
What you do with it is your own choice, of course. But first and foremost, you’re risking the possibility that this may be reported and your page closed down: especially harsh after hard work developing relationships.
Another binding factor: a personal page has a limitation on the number of friends you can have. I believe it is still the case at 5000.
So if you have a brand that gets so popular that your personal page “explodes” to well over 5000 friends, you could get stuck.
At that point, sure, you could start a business page.
But it will take a lot of work to get people to cross over to that page and “like”. You’ll essentially be staring almost from scratch.
Yet another hurdle, more specific to our being professionals:
We value “personal space and time” and want to separate the personal and professional: do you really want to “friend” your patients? Does doping this give off the right message or vibe?
When we have personal clients (depending on what your presence is aiming to do), that could be the way to go, but as far as patient-physician relationships, there are flaws within this model.
There are additionally legalities to being a professional online.
For example, you wouldn’t want someone thinking that, since you’re a personal contact, and now “a friend” (rather than a business because, hey, you’re technically “friends on facebook”) you’re there to answer online questions.
What if – and I know that this is extreme but we live in the real world – an online question goes unanswered on your personal page, or on messenger, and results in a patient or client being harmed? What if they take the “personal page” relationship as guide to their care?
“A-ha!” they could tell themselves, and falsely believe that they now have an “in” with their otherwise busy doc.
A personal page, by Facebook “law”, cannot be used for business. What you do with it is your own choice, of course. But first and foremost, you’re risking the possibility that this may be reported and your page closed down: especially… Click To Tweet
That being said, there’s another side to this coin.
Simply put (and last I checked), personal pages get more traction and therefore, get more views.
Because Facebook is an entrepreneurial venture. And as all entrepreneurial ventures go, it wants your business to pay.
So facebook knows that you’re opening up a business page and because of that, that you’re, well, a business. So it tags you as such, and then wants that business – YOURS! – to pony up for posts.
“Show me the money!!!” it says.
That’s why you then suddenly get all those requests to “boost”.
Facebook knows that ur opening up a business page and because of that, that you're, well, a business. So it tags you as such, and then wants that business - YOURS! - to pony up for posts. 'Show me the $$$', it says. Click To Tweet
“Pay up,” Facebook is essentially telling you, “If you want people to see what you sell.”
Even when you really aren’t selling anything. Because to FB, selling your message is equivalent to selling a product, or service.
So yes, FB is cleverly coming up with ways in which to force us to open up those business pages and not use our personal accounts.
You didn’t think they’re stupid, did you?
Facebook is an entrepreneurial venture. And as all entrepreneurial ventures go, it wants your business to pay.
So there you have it. Both sides of the coin.
If you want to catch the lecture “How To Monetize Facebook Groups”, catch it here.
You can also watch, “Facebook 101 For Doctors” right here.