There’s a lot of confusion around about having multiple Facebook pages. Part of it stems from the terminology itself. Some people use “Facebook page” to refer to any account, personal or business. Others use “page” to refer exclusively to the business page. Some advice claims you can have a many pages as you want, while others insist that having two pages will be grounds for a ban.
Before getting into the reasons to have multiple pages, and the benefits thereof, we’ll first cover the potential hazards.
1: Multiple Personal Profiles are Banned
Personal profiles are limited to one per person. Technically, creating a personal profile for anyone other than yourself – fictional characters, cats, children – can get your accounts banned. Having more than one personal account is grounds for a banning of at least one profile.
2: If You Need to Make a Second Email to Register, Don’t
Facebook keeps track of everything of yours on the site under one email address. You need an email address to make a page, profile, group or anything else. You might not even know this, because when you’re logged in and go to make a group or page, it just works. You don’t need to verify your email address a second time or anything. As a shortcut; if you have to register a new email address to create a profile or page, don’t do it.
3: Multiple Websites Dilute Search
Both on Facebook and on the web at large, having more than one site can come back to bite you. If a user searches for you and finds several results, what are the guarantees they’ll find the “right” one? Which one even is the right one for them? If you only have one page, it keeps everything centrally located.
There’s also the potential issue of impersonators or spam profiles. A while back, Facebook merged their places system with business pages. This made many businesses have a duplicate page that wasn’t maintained. Additionally, impersonators could register a page for a business and try to harm that business. In both cases, a contact to Facebook could clear the issue up, but the fact remains that it was an issue.
On the web, this has other issues, including duplicate content issues and SEO penalties. You certainly don’t want to run afoul of those.
4: Management Issues
When you’re running multiple Facebook pages, you have a couple of management issues to consider. Every page needs an admin. Are you that admin? How much time do you have to devote to all of your disparate pages? If you’re assigning moderators, how much do you cross-link between each account? Are you posting the same content on multiple pages? Essentially, it becomes a management nightmare.
So, with all of these risks, why might you want to create more than one business page?
1: Segmenting Your Audience
One possible benefit to creating multiple Facebook pages is to segregate your audience. You see this often with large brands that don’t necessarily rely on local stores for their SEO and segregation. A clothing brand might, for example, have a Clothing Women page, a Clothing Men page and a Clothing Children page. In each case, the pages have something valuable to provide, but they stay segregated in order to keep their message from being diluted. The children’s clothing page will attract teenagers and mothers who don’t necessarily want to see men’s clothing messages in their feed.
This is generally only a good option if you don’t need geographic segregation for your business. However, there’s one caveat to this; it’s no longer necessary. See, Facebook debuted the Post Targeting filter, which allows you to publish a post to your page and have it only show up in the feeds of certain users. The general clothing line could create a post about men’s clothing and target that post specifically to men. This allows you to keep your full audience in one place, while still maintaining targeting.
2: Local Advertising
Whole Foods is a great example of this. Nearly every individual store has its own Facebook page, managed by the people in charge of that individual store. The company as a whole has a hyper-local focus, so a visit to one store or another will be very different. The multiple page approach also can be beneficial in a local SEO sense.
Maintaining individual local pages for each branch of a national chain is only beneficial if the message the brand presents is one of individuality. A company like Target, for example, which prides itself on the experience from store to store being identical, will have a hard time introducing such individuality.
Additionally, for chain-wide promotions or advertising, you will need some way to push a single update on every page. Usually this requires a suite like HootSuite to manage, and it also requires you being the owner and admin of every page. Appointing individual managers as moderators would be the way to go, but even that can get tricky with more than a dozen store pages to monitor.
3: National Advertising
Consider the local SEO standpoint, but picture it from a global brand’s perspective. A brand like Coca-Cola can’t create individual Facebook pages for everywhere Coke is sold; it would take years and would require an infinite amount of worthless upkeep for no benefit whatsoever. Coke benefits much more from having a single American or global Facebook page, and additional Facebook pages for country-specific iterations.
4: Product Lines
Coke is another fantastic example of a brand having multiple pages for multiple product lines. In addition to the Coke pages for regions, there are pages for Diet Coke and other product lines. They all have millions of followers and push constant advertising.
5: Corporate vs. Retail Segregation
Another good reason to create a second Facebook page, even if you’re a small business, is to create a separate space for a certain type of interaction. Your consumer-branded Facebook business page doesn’t need to be cluttered up with your interactions with other businesses and suppliers, which could be handled more easily from a more restrictive corporate Facebook page. Likewise, you could handle customer service on a dedicated customer interaction Facebook page, while your main page remains for offers, discounts and other engagement.
All told, Facebook doesn’t stop you from having multiple pages, if you have a good reason for it. If you’re just hoping that more search results means more users finding you, however, you’re in for a shock.