Summary. Facebook is a popular online social networking website that allows individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations to create a presence and connect with others. As of 12 June 2009, Facebook began allowing individual users to have their own personalized and simplified permanent short Facebook URL website address. This now establishes an additional way that individuals, organizations, businesses, and/or groups can have a presence on Facebook.
Choosing Person, Page, or Group. As a general guideline, it is suggested that any person, group, organization, or business should consider having all three Facebook online membership presence options: user, group, and page. Regardless of what you choose, you will need a user account from the main Facebook page (or during the page creation process).
Individuals/People. An individual user can simply create a user account from the main Facebook page. The resulting personal page on Facebook has the ability for friends to follow the page. The user can post writings, photos, video, music, and other content. A group, organization, or business can also have a personal page setup on Facebook, but the Group and Page options (described below) offered by Facebook are probably best suited for updates and postings.
Multiple Facebook User Accounts. A single user account is probably fine for most users. However, it may be desirable for an individual to create multiple Facebook user accounts for the following reasons and uses:
- Helping People Find You. Facebook and other social networks have a great feature that allows people to submit their address book and quickly find their friends who are current members of the social network. For those who aren’t already members of the social network, an invitation can be sent via email. If you have multiple email addresses, it may be beneficial to setup multiple Facebook accounts for your various email addresses and their associated uses/purposes. For example, you may have one email address you use for work, another for personal emails, and another for a club you belong to. By setting up three different Facebook accounts, you can organize your Facebook activities and associations by these three categories and you can also automate the process of people being able to find you when they join Facebook.
- Focused News Feed Aggregation. One aspect of what Facebook offers is the ability to aggregate and combine news from various sources and display this news on a single page. By having several user accounts, you can become a friend, member, and/or fan of the people, groups, and pages for a given topic. For example, you may want to create a user account for all of your environmental and alternative energy activities. When you login and view your home page using that account, you’ll only see the combined news stories relating to that topic.
- Focused News Broadcasting. Facebook gives you the ability to broadcast (announce) news, writings, articles, documents, photos, audio, video, and other content to a list of people who subscribe to your user account. You may want to publish topic specific content to different user accounts. For example, you may want to create one user account for all of your environmental and alternative energy activities. When you publish (announce) news, writings, articles, documents, photos, audio, video, and other content using this user account, only those who are interested in the topic will be alerted to the new content. The Groups feature in Facebook allows you to push / announce / publish content relating to a specific topic (such as a music group). So, this would be another way to create channels of content.
Groups. A person, group, organization, or business can have a Group page setup on Facebook. A Group page on Facebook can accommodate multiple administrators. It’s like a shared blog or website that can be updated and managed by multiple people. The page layout and management interface for a group on Facebook is similar to a web page CMS (content management system) and is ideally suited for organization management and promotion. Group pages have Members in the same way that personal pages have Friends. Members are followers (supporters) of a certain group and they will be informed when there is activity for the group. An individual may want to create a Group page if they have a consulting business, hobby, or special interest and would like to offer a collaborative workgroup space to those involved.
Pages. The Page designation on Facebook is ideally suited for businesses, music bands, an organizations that want a presence. In the same way that Group pages have Members, and personal pages have Friends, a Page on Facebook will have Fans. Updates and published content will be pushed to the Home page of Fans. Pages can have additional features that aren’t available to Groups.
Friends, Members, Fans. Remember that individuals have Friends, Groups have Members, and Pages have Fans. These all function in about the same way. It’s possible that an individual who sets up the Group and Page presence for an organization, will have friends, members, and fans. Information pushed to the personal page, Group, and Page will be redundant. So, it may be best to settle on one location to post news and information.