I got asked this fantastic question by a physician in the physicians-only SoMeDocs group on Facebook: (to join, simply click into the link, subscribe, and even join as an official member – we get tons of perks!)
“What is the difference between a Facebook personal and business page?”
It was a fantastic question, 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.
At the end of the day, physicians are beginning to realize that social media is here and is here to stay and so why not get on that bandwagon, and reap the benefits where careers are concerned? Why not fight misinformation, especially since it’s seeping into our real life practices? Why not earn coveted awards, consulting opportunities, and speaking positions that are taken up by those who simply dabble (strategically) online?
Why not earn coveted awards, consulting opportunities, and speaking positions that are taken up by those who simply dabble (strategically) online? #MEDed #medtwitter #SoMeDocs Click To Tweet
Just ask folks like Drs. Kelly Fradin, Rena Malik, and Jovita Oruwari, 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 Dr. Anjanette Tan, Faith Whittier, and Dr. Silvana Barone – 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 of us, is to individually stand out for our own truth, while collectively feeling comfortable using the tools we can use to speak up, as professionals.
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 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 that 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 a patient-physician relationship, 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, he, you’re “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 heard-to-reach 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.
That’s why you then suddenly get all those requests to “boost”.
“Pay up,” it’s essentially saying, “If you want people to see what you sell.” Even when you don’t. 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 this helped you, please share. It helps let me know this is valuable. Plus, when I see that it adds value, I can add more.
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