[Translated from a contribution by Israel Yoroba]
Exactly one year ago, I tried an experiment. I disabled my personal Facebook account and kept only my Page to mark my presence on this network. The objective was to analyse the "pros" and "cons" of choosing one or the other. Here I give you some of those points.
Actually, I created my Facebook page because I had reached the 5000 friends limit. But, over time, I wanted to position "Israël Yoroba" as a brand. It was therefore necessary to communicate on a "professional page". There was then a distinction in my communication approaches. My personal information was on my personal profile and my professional activities were on my page.
Closing my profile allowed me to win, on average, 4 to 5 hours a day. When you have 5000 friends, you navigate between the information that appears in your newsfeed, the notifications of the groups to which you belong, or the update notifications of posts that you commented on, the chats, etc.
With my Page, none of this happens anymore. I do not have a newsfeed, I rarely comment on other people's profiles (except when I'm mentioned) and chat is more moderate. So I have a lot more time to stay focused on my work. Because, let's face it, Facebook can easily become a "weapon of mass distraction".
For a journalist and someone who is watching the news, I miss out on scoops or interesting information (fortunately, my communication staff brief me on the most relevant parts). To have only one page is to lose sight of what is being said elsewhere. It is a kind of self-sufficiency that makes you "blind" and even a little "narcissistic" not to say "selfish". Because your communication is one-sided. You can publish, but you cannot see what others are doing on their wall or in groups. I admit that it's a bit frustrating, especially when you belong to many communities on Facebook.
The Facebook policy for pages is designed so that your posts are not instantly visible to your subscribers (43,000 of them, in my case). The conversion rate in terms of commitment remains relatively low (less than 3% on average in my case). Their goal is to encourage you to pay for advertisement in order to highlight the publication (and by extension, your page too).
On a profile, however, a publication is immediately shared on the news feed of all your friends. You benefit from a faster and much more consistent commitment (between 15 and 20, or even up to 40% on average).
Being on a page is like being a "public figure" (in my case). This requires much more rigor in the publications. Typing mistakes that may go unnoticed into a personal account are less tolerated on a page. I often get poked every time I let one out.
Communicating on a Page requires planning. Every weekend, I update my editorial calendar. I know what I will publish from the beginning of the week and what could be put on weekends. By following the local/international news and according to my activities.
I am surrounded by a team that works with me to succeed. Because despite all the experience I have, it's almost impossible to manage your own page. Rest assured, I am the only one who accesses it. I personally respond to messages and comments.
Upstream, I have my calendar validated. Each post is re-read by at least one person before being published. Unlike a profile where I can publish any way depending on my mood, my page respects a publication quota. No more than 3 publications per day (with few exceptions).
What's the key point to keep in mind?
From this 12-month experience, I conclude that for an individual, a Page is only necessary when there is something to sell. The question does not arise for products, services, companies, institutions, associations...
Because on a personal account, you can also decide to make more professional publications. By setting rules, limits, and adopting a strategy.