On Facebook there are Accounts and there are Pages. An Account is meant for an individual. A Page is meant for everything else, including law firms; regardless of size of firm. To help you understand the difference, Pages are connected to and operated from Accounts. You cannot have a Page on Facebook without having some form of an Account. There are special Accounts you can utilize if you prefer not to have a major personal presence on Facebook as well. To add to the confusion, these Accounts are called Business Accounts. (I think Facebook needs to work on its terminology.)
A Business Account is still the Account of an individual, it is not the Account of a Business. Business Accounts simply allow an individual to create and manage Pages without communicating with other Facebook users at large.
For this post, when I write Account I mean an individual’s presence on Facebook. When I write Page I mean a place on Facebook for a law firm or other business.
The TOS (terms of service) of Facebook make it very clear that an Account is meant for an individual, not a business. For example,when registering for an Account the individual must provide his or her actual name, not the name of a business.
Given the TOS of Facebook A business should never use an Account, it should always use a Page. This does not mean that you cannot have an Account that is mainly a business networking tool, but the purpose of that Account should be for you personally to connect with individuals, not to advertise your firm.
There are reasons beyond Facebook’s terms of service to use the right kind of setup. The purpose of a Page is to enable users to find the business and follow it as easily as possible. If you use an Account for your Firm, individuals who wish to follow you will have to request permission to do so as opposed to simply clicking on “Like.” Also, if you mix your Firm’s Page with your personal Account you will now be forced to decide whether you want to share your personal information with your business clients.
Facebook Pages also offer many options that Accounts do not, including the ability to create several Pages, much like a Website. For an example of a Page check out the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Page that I created. You can see that I created various tabs on PBI’s Page, including a tab that links to other Pages that I created for PBI on Facebook.
Since you can only have one Account on Facebook you don’t have the option to create various Accounts to emphasize different areas of your practice, something you can do with Pages as I did with PBI’s.
It is quite easy to create a Facebook Page. Click here to begin.
If you already have created an Account for your Firm then create a Page by clicking on the link above, send a message to all your Friends on Facebook letting them know, and have them move over to the new Page. Then convert your Account into a true Account simply by changing it to represent you as an individual, instead of as a Firm.