Pages vs Profiles

Rotary International and the Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship encourages the use of social media networks to foster fellowship in furtherance of the service Rotarians provide locally and worldwide.

Currently the most-used social media network is Facebook. Within the world of Rotary, thousands of friendships and many service projects have grown and flourished. However, in the use of Facebook, we have found an issue to address, in order to help Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact Clubs, and Rotary Districts, maximize the benefits of using Facebook.

We strongly advocate that a Club or District establish their public presence on Facebook as a “Page“, and should you choose to create a private internal discussion hub, that would be a “Group“.

If you have established your Club or District as a “person” with a profile, we recommend that you switch to a Page as soon as possible.

We recommend this for two reasons:

  1. While there is a limit to how many Facebook “friends” someone may have, there is no current limit on how many Facebook users, inside and outside of Rotary, can “like” your Page. As a matter of public image and as a matter of membership growth, a Page is the best alternative.
  2. A “person” on Facebook must be a real person. To establish a Rotary Club as a “person” on Facebook with a “profile” is a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. While it is up to Facebook whether or not to enforce their own provisions, Rotary International and ROSNF are concerned that Facebook will decide to enforce their rules. They could close down the accounts of Rotary Clubs who have established their presences on Facebook as a “person”, and those Clubs will lose their photos and information and have to start over without the ease of transferring the materials within Facebook.

In summary, Rotary International and Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship continue to encourage Rotarians and Clubs to use social networks to advance the Object of Rotary, and we strongly suggest that on Facebook in particular we exercise care not to violate that company’s terms of service and establish a Club or a District as a Page and not a “person”.

4 Replies to “Pages vs Profiles”

  1. We hope ROSNF members will help promote the creation of Facebook pages for all clubs and districts. They are a great way to share information about service projects and events with members and potential members in your area.

    If you currently have clubs or districts in your “Friends” list, we suggest you send them a message or post about the need to switch to a page, and then you can unfriend them via link at the very lower left of your Facebook home page.

  2. Nicely said Mel.

    I might add a few things if nobody minds. When a club sends a message as a profile, how many of their friends “see” that message? What percentage of their friends “engage” with that post? What sort of reach did the message have?

    A big difference between Profiles and Pages is that Pages have a neat tool called “Insights”. Think Google Web Analytics, but for your Facebook Page.

    With a Profile, you have absolutely NO WAY to measure your reach. No way to track your progression of Like growth. No way to see what media is more popular to assist you with generating engaging content.

    “First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure”
    ~Mark Twain~

  3. Mel,

    This is an excellent article on a very timely topic.

    Why is it so relevant now? In my district a momentum is building to create club presences on Facebook. Where we previously had few clubs with active pages, there are now 14 active clubs with the fan base up 400%..

    There’s a steady stream of new club and district pages being recorded on our ROSNF group list, too. Sadly, I still see my Facebook friends choosing to “friend” Rotary and Rotaract club personal profiles.

    I operate the Facebook page for my district. A profile was created originally just to administer the page. Unfortunately, the profile proved to be a better drawcard than the page and attracted hundreds of friends.

    Whilst the process for converting the profile to a page is clear, I will then have to merge the existing page with the new one. Trials with the Facebook duplicate page-merging process haven’t been encouraging, so rather than finish up with two district pages, I’m encouraging the friends of the profile to migrate to the page.

    There’s the rub! Personal profiles make friends much more readily than pages draw fans. We need to break that cycle for this campaign to succeed.


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