Facebook User Profile and Facebook Page: What is the Difference?

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on November 21, 2011

in Sisters of Notre Dame, social media, Uncategorized

From time to time, readers ask me about Facebook pages and often they don’t know that Facebook user profiles and Facebook “pages” are two different ways to be on Facebook. The question came up again this week, so I thought it would be worth a few words here.

To be “on” Facebook, requires that you sign up and create your profile providing your social résumé. You supply as much or as little information as you like: favorite songs, quotes, TV shows, etc. This information appears on your “Info” tab.  You can also post messages, pictures, videos, etc. to your “Wall”. These posts appear in the “News Feed” of your friends and their posts appear in yours. People can like, comment and/or re-share what appears in their news feeds. Something that is shared many times by many people is said to “go viral.” You can also send messages directly to your friends through Facebook. You accept people to be your Friends and you request to be Friends with others.

But what do you do if you have a ministry, a business, an event, a charitable cause, a brand, or an organization that you want to promote through Facebook? Then you create a Facebook “page.”  You must have a Facebook profile to create a page. A Facebook page is meant for the public. The information provided is about the ministry, business, cause or event and people who “like” this page receive its posts in their news feeds. Here are some examples of pages:

Christmas Carol Festival – Diocese of Trenton

Be A Franciscan

Catholic Web Solutions

Some individuals have “pages” to promote themselves or their “brand,” and use their individual profile for friends. For example:

Fr. James Martin, SJ has a Facebook page to post his messages. People follow him by “liking” his page. Fr. Martin also has a user profile that he shares with friends.

A Facebook page may have multiple administrators. Each administrator logs in through their own Facebook account and has the option to post on the page as themselves or the brand. For example we have three sisters who administer our community’s page at Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon. They each log in through their own account and post as Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon. A Facebook account may have more than one Facebook page. Administrators can be added and removed by any other administrator.

Facebook pages also have the advantage of “Insights.”  Facebook provides demographic data about page followers: age, gender, and geographic locations in very easy to read graphs.  It also reports how many followers interact with posts (like, comment, reshare) and tells you which posts are getting the most activity, and how many people saw content from your page in a given week. This is valuable data for measuring the impact and influence of your page posts and helpful in measuring the results of advertising your page should you decide to do that. Page administrators have access to Insights.

If you can add additional distinctions between the Facebook profile and Facebook page, please comment below. All comments are welcome.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie Manning, SND November 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

Thanks, Susan, your explanation is helpful! I await your assistance in setting up a Facebook page.

S. Patrice Colletti, SDS November 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Do you happen to have any data/research on trends relative to:

1. Use of FB by women’s religious communities (in USA)? (how many use FB for a community presence? How active these are?)

2. Impact/results of use of FB pages by women’s religious communities (in USA)? (i.e documented impact on vocation recruitment, or on donations, or something measurable other than just having a page “out there”)

My intuition says there’s great possibility here… but I can’t seem to find any data (yet!)


Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Dear Patrice,

It is interesting that you should ask your questions at this time. I am working on a survey for vocation directors of religious institutes to find the answers. I will be reporting the results soon afterwards. I will keep you posted.

If anyone else knows of data already collected, I would be happy to see it.


Maureen Spillane SND November 22, 2011 at 11:39 am

Dear Susan,
Wonderful explaination. I am still learning about Facebook. May you also have a Happy Thanksgiving.!

Sr. Mary Ann McFadden November 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thanks, Susan. Very helpful and I “went” to SND Facebook for the first time.
My goal presently is to do something with WEEBLY! Happy Thanksgiving.

Sr. Dolly, SND November 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Gracias, Susan!

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