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Understanding Facebook: Personal Profiles vs. Business Pages

Updated: May 18


What is Facebook and Why Should I Use It?

Facebook is basically an online network made up of people and businesses where one can connect, share things like updates, pictures and videos and interact with others. From a marketing standpoint, Facebook is a tremendous tool for businesses as it can result in mass communication and outreach with minimal effort.

Consider the fact that if one person becomes a fan of your veterinary page on Facebook, every single person that they are connected with will see this and may in turn also become fans. Businesses capitalize on this by posting interesting, fun or compelling content that they hope their followers will share with others, thereby instantly increasing their reach and brand recognition.

A good example of this from a veterinary standpoint would be ABC Vet Clinic posting a funny video involving an animal. Joe Smith who is a fan of ABC’s page shares this video with all of his friends (let’s say he has 150 connections). Several of his friends also watch the video, love it and ultimately decide to “like” ABC Vet’s page too. Multiply this by the number of fans ABC has and the subsequent number of their collective friends and you’ve got instant mass viral marketing – all by simply posting a funny video.

Do I need a Facebook fan page or a profile?

Understanding the benefits of Facebook for your practice is the easy part. Actually signing up and establishing yourself is a different story. It can be confusing to say the least. There are actually four basic options available to you when setting up a Facebook account for your practice:

  1. Personal Profile;

  2. Business Profile;

  3. Group Page;

  4. Fan Page.

Understanding the fundamental differences between each of these will help you to decide which is the best choice for your practice. That said, let’s take a look at each option.

Simply put, personal profiles are for individuals. They should be used by one person, who is setting up an account to share information about themselves and their personal life. It is against Facebook policy to open a personal profile for a business so if you’re setting up a page for your veterinary practice, make sure you don’t choose this option.

A business profile sounds like it would be the logical choice for your practice’s page, right? Not necessarily. Here’s where Facebook can get a bit confusing. Business profiles are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. The problem is that Facebook does not allow you to have both a business account and a personal profile. Additionally, business profiles have limited functionality in terms of interacting with other people on Facebook.

Group pages are simple extensions of an existing Facebook profile. Anyone can create a group and an unlimited number of others can join the group. These are typically created for short term purposes, such as to host a group discussion. Group pages are limited in terms of viral potential so they are not typically used for businesses.

Fan pages, like group pages, are established by someone who already has a Facebook profile. For instance, you can create a fan page for your practice if you have a personal profile already. Fan pages are much more versatile in terms of ability to interact and share content with others making them much more valuable from a marketing standpoint. Anyone can become a fan of your practice’s page by simply clicking “like” at the top of the page. You can share updates, pictures, videos as well as interact in two way communication with your fans by asking and answering questions, creating discussions, hosting contests and more. Better yet, you can customize your fan page to make it more personalized to your practice and foster better brand recognition.

With all the choices, it can be confusing to figure out which type of Facebook page or profile is right for you. While the choice is ultimately yours, for veterinary practices, we recommend using fan pages because they are much more valuable in terms of viral marketing potential. Regardless of the type of account you choose, however, actually participating on Facebook is no longer really a choice. If you are to successfully establish and benefit from an effective online presence, Facebook is a necessary tool to do so.

Remember, your clients and potential clients are already on Facebook – so you should be too!

Our Advice on Personal Profiles vs. Business Pages Facebook in 2024

What specific steps are involved in setting up and optimizing a Facebook business page for a veterinary practice?

To set up and optimize a Facebook business page for a veterinary practice, start by creating a page through a personal account, selecting "Business or Brand." Add a recognizable profile photo, like a clinic logo, and a compelling cover image that reflects the practice's values. Complete the "About" section with accurate contact information, a brief description, and service details. Enable messaging for client inquiries. Post engaging content, including pet tips, staff spotlights, and promotions. Finally, invite existing clients to follow the page, encourage reviews, and monitor page insights for continuous improvement.

How can practices ensure their Facebook page content aligns with their overall branding and messaging?

Practices can ensure their Facebook page content aligns with their overall branding and messaging by developing clear brand guidelines. These guidelines should define tone, style, and visual elements like logos and color schemes. Consistently use these elements in all posts, images, and videos. Share content that reflects the clinic's values, such as pet health tips, team achievements, and community involvement. Regularly review social media strategies with key staff to maintain consistency and update content calendars to ensure posts align with ongoing campaigns and the practice's broader goals.

What are some best practices for creating engaging and shareable content for a veterinary practice Facebook page?

Best practices for creating engaging and shareable content for a veterinary practice Facebook page include sharing heartwarming stories of successful treatments or rescued animals to connect emotionally with the audience. Educational posts like pet care tips, breed-specific advice, or seasonal health alerts can position the practice as a helpful resource. High-quality images and videos of pets encourage interaction. Hosting contests or polls sparks engagement while sharing community involvement or event participation builds trust. Finally, responding promptly to comments and questions helps cultivate an active, supportive online community.

How can practices encourage their clients to leave reviews and recommendations on their Facebook page?

Practices can encourage clients to leave reviews on their Facebook page by politely requesting feedback after a positive visit, either in person or via follow-up emails. Displaying signs or brochures in the waiting area with QR codes or direct links to the review page makes it easy for clients to respond. Regularly sharing positive reviews on social media reinforces the behavior and shows appreciation for client contributions. Incentivizing reviews through promotions, such as discounts on services, or charitable donations can also motivate clients to share their experiences.

What metrics should practices track to measure the success and impact of their Facebook page?

To measure the success and impact of their Facebook page, practices should track engagement metrics like likes, comments, and shares to gauge audience interaction. Page reach and impressions reveal how many people are exposed to posts. Monitor click-through rates to see if content drives traffic to the website or booking page. Review demographics to ensure the audience aligns with target clients. Additionally, analyze the volume and sentiment of reviews and recommendations to assess client satisfaction. Page insights also offer trends that help refine content strategy for sustained impact.

For more practice management tips, tricks, and expert advice, bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often for fresh content.

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