5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform


Today’s guest post is by freelancer Lisa Hall-Wilson (@LisaHallWilson).

My host here today, Jane, was among the first to announce she was only going to use her personal Profile on Facebook rather than starting an official Page. That trend is growing, and there are a number of reasons why that might be a good idea for you too.

First, let’s make sure we’re all using the same terms. A Page and a Profile are distinct things in the Facebook environment, and there’s an easy way to tell the difference between them.

A Page is available to businesses, brands and products, causes, public figures, and so on. It offers special features and capabilities, such as marketing insights into your followers and custom apps to capture e-mail addresses via contests, and more. To receive Facebook updates from a Page, people must actively “Like” it.

A Profile is for individual users, which allow people to “friend” you. (You are limited to 5,000 friends.) What’s less well known is that a Profile can also be opened to up to Followers. Because you aren’t meant to sell anything from a Profile, there aren’t any marketing capabilities, features, or insights into who is following you. When people encounter your Profile, they are asked to “Friend” or “Follow.”

page vs profile

What Readers Want

Readers are looking for three main things from authors on Facebook.

  1. Behind-the-scenes glimpses into the writer’s life and writing process
  2. Inside scoops on new releases, sales and upcoming events
  3. Access

What Authors Want

Writers and authors are using Facebook for driving traffic to their blogs and websites, name or brand recognition, social proof and authority, e-mail acquisition, and growing a tribe (readership).

People are not going to Facebook to buy or find books.

Plus Facebook’s search feature isn’t set up to do this well. I don’t know of any big author selling books directly from Facebook (using Facebook commerce) because they’d rather people bought books from Amazon (or another online retailer) for the sales rankings and reviews. For the big-name author who needs to hire a social media administrator, and is looking for the marketing capabilities such as analytics, advertising, and capturing e-mails through third party apps, a Page is the better choice. But for everyone else who isn’t there yet, a Profile is often the better option. It’s simpler and easier to get your content in front of people, takes less time to manage, and will build a tribe or platform faster, especially if you don’t plan to run ads.

Here are 5 reasons to use a Profile over a Page to build platform.

1. It’s more personable.

Some readers will find your personal Profile and prefer to connect with you there, rather than your Page. And that can become awkward and difficult to explain your “friend” policy. You’re not a faceless corporation or multi-national company. Readers want to connect with you, the author, personally. Profiles give the appearance of being more approachable than a Page because a Page comes with a perception of built-in distance. If readers want to get to know you and your writing, a Profile can be a more organic place to accomplish that, especially with both the “Friend” and “Follow” option.

2. Your posts are more visible.

Some authors find that content posted on a Profile gets seen by more people than a Page, especially a Page with a low fan count or Edge Rank. There are more than 50 million Pages on Facebook, and competition in the News Feed is staggering. The average person on Facebook has just over 200 friends, so those odds are a lot better. With a Page, you must wait for people to find you and like you. You won’t be able to comment on Profiles with your Page. You can’t join groups as your Page or comment on group posts. When you like another Page from your Page, that like isn’t included in the fan count and the Page owner won’t be notified of your like. Very quickly it can feel impossible to get your content in front of people without running ads.

3. It’s simpler.

Running a Page and a Profile is very time consuming to do well. If you’re duplicating the posts on your Page and Profile, why run both? If you’re speaking to the same group of friends and family on your Page and your Profile, why do both? Some people get mixed up and accidentally post to their Page instead of their Profile or vice versa. It can get confusing.

4. You can have unlimited followers while keeping aspects of your Profile private.

While there’s a 5,000-friend limit on Profiles, there’s no limit to Followers (previously known as subscribers). Many professional athletes and other media personalities—journalists for instance—are using this option instead of maintaining a Page. It allows you to designate every update, photo, and profile element as viewable by specific circles of friends, or by the public (for your fans/followers).

5. You can publicize and embed your public Profile content on a website or blog.

You can now embed posts from your Profile (public posts only), as well as a Page. The official Facebook for WordPress plugin also does this very well with a lot of bells and whistles. These work just like the embedded video from Youtube. This allows those readers who lurk to interact with your content in perhaps a more familiar or trusted format, and gives your Facebook content a bump if it’s seen by more people.

Do you have a Facebook Page and/or a Profile? Which do you prefer?

Posted in Guest Post, Marketing & Promotion and tagged , .

Lisa Hall-Wilson

Lisa Hall-Wilson is a freelance journalist who’s published over 70 articles and is a syndicated columnist. She writes fantasy, and teaches classes on craft, business and social media for writers through WANA International, and at writer’s conferences. She blogs at www.lisahalwilson.com and hangs out on her Facebook Profile.

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160 Comments on "5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform"

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[…] blogger Lisa Hall-Wilson suggests there are “5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build a Platform” too. Again, the […]




Hi, I kinda did the reverse and now need guidance. I set up a diff FB profile, but using a Theme” name about Horses in Costa Rica. Currently have 3600 friends, 2500 in CR and the rest global. Is there a way to take my friends list, all 3600, and “with one click” import them all at once either to a new Group, or an event?

Jane Friedman

As far as I know, there isn’t a way to do this.


oki, let me know if you think of anything, my best email is info@cararacostarica.com


Facebook doesn’t sell books. Period. But it helps to find connections to other things that do. But having a FB page as an author will not see more books. Your friends will not buy your book because your friends all read different things.
Get on twitter, follow those in your genre and your sales will climb. So simple, and takes 90% less time to manage,

[…] Facebook Facebook feels very intuitive to me and slips into my daily life effortlessly. From the start, I decided that I wouldn’t use this platform to “sell” to my friends. While I was learning marketing, I signed up for Dan Blank’s newsletters which highlight the importance of connection in today’s fast-paced techno world. So I’m choosing to connect with my friends and family like I always have on Facebook. Yes, I do update them about what’s going on with my writing career, because they want to know. But I also talk with them about my family, my kids, and all the other daily life… Read more »
I have a page in order to keep my personal profile (where I post about personal things and pics of my kids) seperate from my writing persona. However, Facebook’s algorithm ensures my posts never or rarely get sent out. The social interaction that was the point of my page is non-existent. I am currently deciding whether to keep it at all. Maybe, I’ll transfer to a page. Hopefully people follow. There is also the issue of posting on writer websites as my personal self, and people sending me friend requests to the profile I, again, want to keep seperate. They’ve… Read more »
Crystal Sutherland

Thank you so much for sharing this info. I have been torn on what to do about my FB page, and now I’m confident I need to just work with my profile instead. Great article!

Diane Rheos

That was incredibly helpful! I didn’t know about the follow option and it makes it all work! Thank you!


[…] I ran across a post from a year and a half ago by Lisa Hall-Wilson on janefriedman.com listing the reasons to use a Profile rather than a Page to […]

Chris Ritma
I currently have a Facebook Profile that gets really high engagement. It gets anywhere from 250 to over 300 likes per post, and a decent amount of comments. I am nearing the 5000 friends limit. Facebook allows you to convert your profile to a Facebook Page. Here is my question. Do Facebook Profiles get more visibility than Facebook Pages? For example, will the same 5000 likes be the same as the same 5000 friends? Will I still get the same engagement from the same content on a page or on a profile? I’m really hesitant to change the profile to… Read more »
Jane Friedman

Chris – You might start by simply turning on the “follow” function for your Facebook profile if you have such good engagement. I write more about the follow function here: https://janefriedman.com/2014/12/08/facebook-for-authors/

I don’t know if profiles or pages get more engagement, but I do think it’s safe to say Facebook is *always* changing how things work—so even if one is better today, that doesn’t mean it’ll be true tomorrow. Base the decision on what your needs are for functionality/insight, and keep producing engaging content.

freethink thinkfree

Lisa and Jane mam thank you for giving such a useful post and letting me know where i should step up in. But if you could tell me of whether promotion of such as posters or links to my upcoming ebook, would violate the fb laws. if so, then could i use another way other than fb page to promote my works. and thanks once again as ever before, for your back posts and do let me know with an such posts in time of yours.

Jane Friedman

It’s OK to link to your book from your Facebook page or post images related to your book. You just have to be careful when trying to run contests or giveaways—only do the latter through approved services.

freethink thinkfree

Jane mam, can you tell me of one of your post to which i may not be known but tells me of A TO Z of ebook (from writing to making it available into the hands of readers) by giving me those links. thanks


I “converted” my profile to a “Page”, but cannot figure out how to switch back and forth between the profile and Page, as some have mentioned above. Can you explain how to do this? Or do I need to delete my Page, and add a Page to my profile? FB is still confusing to me in some regards.

Name Source

Isn’t it a violaton of facebook’s terms to use your personal page as a business? They can delete your account inf you do.

Jane Friedman

Mark Zuckerberg uses his personal profile to run his book club and also be a public figure. (He has no “fan” page.) Authors are in a similar boat. Much depends on how you’re using the profile.


This was extremely helpful. I am sticking with a profile instead of a page!

Carol Malone

If you, for instance, have an author Page, can it be converted into a profile page? And if I already have a profile page for me and my friends, can I start another one for my author friends and readers?

Jane Friedman

If that author page was formerly a personal profile, you may be able to get a reversal. But it’s not possible otherwise, at least to my knowledge. According to Facebook terms, you should only have one personal profile. The only legitimate way I can think of to get around this is if you used a pen name, and used a personal profile for that pen name, while also having a personal profile for yourself (under your “real” name).

Edwin van der Veer
Hi, Thank you for explaining the ins-and-outs of having a Facebook profile or Page. Personally, I tried them both and switched between privacy and public with my personal profile. Just recently, after finding out the Edge Rank algorithm and how it influences your posts, I decided (I think for the third time in a row) to once again delete my Business Page. (I’m a photographer and noticed a decline in people seeing my posts). Right now I’m a little reluctant to start all over again with my personal profile, as FB might treat the posts as business posts. (I only… Read more »
Jane Friedman

Unless you’re using hard-sell, promotional tactics (that should really be advertisements), it’s fine to be professional on a personal profile. Good luck!


My friend has a Facebook page, and it’s great, but I don’t always see all of her posts… However, I wouldn’t want the awkwardness of a complete stranger wanting to friend me, and then not friending them back.

Unfortunately, as much as I agree with you…Facebook doesn’t. They just locked me out of my profile because they say it’s an organization and I must convert to a page! The problem is their migration program is a failure. They tell you, you can download your account info, request you to confirm by email that it is your account..And then, they are not able to send a simple email. Result: I am not able to access my profile and nobody in FB is helping. According to FB, it is against their terms of service to open a profile if you’re… Read more »

Exactly! I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you and exactly what I’m trying to warn other authors against since one of the authors in my writing group just tried to share this article! Facebook is entirely remorseless because they have SO many accounts to try to manage!


Lisa, thank you! hoyecomova.com


[…] start a profile rather than a page because I agreed with the advice Jane Friedman gives in her post 5 Reasons to Use Facebook Profiles to Build a Platform. I’ve started by liking some of my favorite authors and favorite pages and will next focus on […]

alison brodie

I wish I had read your post three months ago! Thank you SO much for your clever advice. 🙂


[…] A Facebook Profile is often a better option than a fan Page for author platform building. It’s simpler and easier to get your content in front of people.  […]

John F Harrigan

Hi Lisa, You have written an article about why to use a Facebook Profile and not a Page. I clicked thru to your webpage … and you are using a FB page, not a profile. What’s the story here?


[…] TO READ: 5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform […]

Derryan Derrough

I think it’s definitely easier to use a profile page, and toggle between public and private posts. As someone who had an author page, it was pretty evident that my posts were barely being seen, and I was under the impression that that was the whole point of it. That’s probably why they push the ads so much. I don’t love it.


[…] like Jane Friedman suggest using the personal Profile as your ‘author platform’ on Facebook. However, Lisa  Hall-Wilson warns that […]

michelle pescosolido
I have to say this is horrible advice. If you are branding you or a business you build that on a Fan Page. #1 You can still personalize your Fan Page…just like I have. It’s still personable. People can still comment and message you. Just because it’s a fan page doesn’t mean you can’t be personable. #2 Competition in the news feed is staggering period. It doesn’t matter if you have a profile page or a fan page it’s still the same amount of competition. You can push your status update to the top of the news feed of your… Read more »

Fantastic points, Michelle! Plus, one thing that struck me as a social media manager is the risk authors are running if they take this route! When (because it’s more often when than if) Facebook’s “math” catches on that they are running their personal profiles like a business, they will completely disable their accounts. Better for authors to gather their fans into groups! Great input! Especially if someone marks a profile as a spammer, Facebook will be HOT on it!

Martyn V. Halm
Why not do both? A Page is less active, but can be used for all promotional/announcement messages, while the personal page can be used for day-to-day activity. If the personal page ‘likes’ the author page, all posts on the author page will also appear on the personal page, so you get two birds with one stone. As to promoting your books on FB – every author seems to pimp their books on FB, but I stopped that. People who check my profile because they like my post can easily find out that I’m an author. It’s true that less clicks… Read more »
Jane Friedman

No reason not to do both, although I find that some writers have trouble being consistent and high-quality in their use of both.

Natascha Thomson


thanks for this very timely and well-written blog. I had the same experience with a client. He is a public figure and really wanted a page but it never caught on that well, as he has a small budget. Now we are building his profile back up that had done great. I hope Facebook now won’t come up with ways to “ruin” this option to use the profile, as they are determined to make money via the pages.

Best, Natascha

Dave Read

The Facebook plugin you recommend has a rating of 2.2 out of 5 and hasn’t been updated in 2 years; why do you recommend it?


I’ve spent a month googling for the answer to my question which is this?
Is it possible to get the Blogger posts directly embedded or through RSS feed to the profile page.
My posts are not selling anything. As an author, I’m just telling other authors how to avoid the mistakes I made. But I’d prefer an autopost method. So far I’ve searched, there’s no app. Or they allow you to use notes and post it to a fan page. But I don’t want to create a separate fan page?
Is there any way? Any answer from anyone would be appreciated.


For instance.
As a writer I’m often coming up with ideas and proven to follow through on some of those ideas I find it hard to get that energy and recently have discovered a reason and a mindset to exact follow through with bringing about some sort of change in the manner in which these large email corporations are (or at least with mine.) Complicating making it darn near impossible for me to recover an account.
Q. Would fictionalizing this story be the only way in which to keep these kinds of top facilitators and their advertisers out of my profile

Jane Friedman

How and why would these facilitators and advertisers be in your Facebook profile?


[…] For Jane Friedman’s explanation of why to use a Profile (with the “follower” option) for author promotion instead of using a Page, go HERE. […]


[…] I’ve read a lot about creating an author page vs. using your personal page and I was torn. I choose the author page for the potential of advertising later on, but I never thought of using a personal page. Here was an interesting blog on that: https://janefriedman.com/5-reasons-use-facebook-profiles/ […]

Kenneth E Miller

Lisa, this as enormously helpful! I’d increasingly been wondering about the point of having a separate FB page, which I’d dutifully created as a new author. Your post helped crystalize my thinking, and somehow gave me the “green light” to just use my FB profile. So thanks–one of the most useful blog posts I’ve read on a while.

I love and respect Jane Friedman, and I understand that Lisa Hall-Wilson is experienced and respected as well. No arguments there and no disrespect at all is intended to either! A lot of the advice in this pose seems to makes sense, but there are some critical counter-points. As a social media manager, I about lost my mind just reading the title of this. I actually just went Live in my writing group on Facebook and advised my writers and authors to NOT follow this advice because it is, unfortunately, fatally-flawed. Authors MUST know the rules of each platform they… Read more »

Of course, I thought this was recent because one of the members of my group had just shared it and I sprang into action! LoL! Then I realized, after posting my very long warning, that this post is over 3.5 years old!

Jane Friedman
Thanks, Audrey. I agree there’s risk in relying on a FB profile rather than a page for business or professional development. I think the risk, frankly, lies mostly with authors who either misrepresent themselves on their profile (don’t use their real name or use a business/pen name) or use FB in a ham-handed fashion. That is, they lack the skill and nuance to use a profile in a way that doesn’t feel spammy. When people were very new to social media and didn’t understand how to use it, I think this risk was heightened. So, for those who are new… Read more »
AJ Sefton

I found it irritating that every time I posted something it pushed me to spend ££ to reach my fans. Viewed by 12 people out of 500. What’s the point? Just set up a profile instead. I feel better already 🙂

Anthony Lynch

This is great stuff thanks so much , but one question, if you are into marketing using links etc. what should I use Fan page or profile page?

Jane Friedman

You should use an official business or fan page.

Elizabeth Zane

Because of my genre as an author, I have chosen to use a pen name. Facebook does not allow you to use an alternative name on your profile, which requires me to use a Page instead. Just a tidbit about why I choose a page instead of a profile.

Vex Vane
I primarily publish under pen names and I do not really use my personal FB profile except for Messenger. I mean I do not really post many updates, on any page, nor on personal profile, but I wanted to point out my different experience than yours with one item. Namely the “People are not going to Facebook to buy or find books.” I’d agree that they are indeed not going to Facebook to buy anything, but that does not mean that people do not keep clicking shop button on my pages. I have maybe 40 pages, and on most there… Read more »
Mama T (Michelle)

Hi Lisa, I tried to create a new profile with my author name, but Facebook will not allow it. I would like to just have a profile for people to visit opposed to a page from my personal FB account. Suggestions?


While creating my author page I think I mistakenly two pages– both a profile and a page. How do I consolidate? I’d like to take your advice and use the profile page. How do I do that please? Thanks

Jane Friedman

Hi Tess: If you /just/ created the business page, then I would recommend you delete it and continue using the profile if that’s what you prefer. Unfortunately, there’s no way to consolidate a business page into a profile page.


Hi Lisa,
Here’s a question based on your article… I think that I mistakenly created an author page and duplicate profile. I would like to put fix it so I just have the profile. Any ideas on how to do that? Thanks

This article is 4 years old and a bit outdated. I use a business page because not everyone on my friends list cares about me being an author, and I’d rather not spam all 400 of these people with business posts every day. Also, I use a pen name. So unless I can make 2 profiles without getting flagged is a huge no for me. When I made my page, I got 30 likes the first day. all from people who are actually interested in my books. The ones who didn’t like it I don’t interact with anyway, so that’s… Read more »

I just got to 5k friends on my profile – any ideas for how to get more followers to a profile page when friends limit is all filled up?