06 Jun Facebook Professional Mode: Pros + Cons
Companies have long relied on the Pages profile format to manage their brand presence on Facebook. However, craft businesses have recently experienced a noticeable decline in their organic reach and engagement via Facebook Pages and Groups. The rates of organic engagement vary depending on the type of post (video, link, image, etc) and the size of the Page, but on average, a Facebook page with 50,000 followers can expect approximately 105 engagements on a single post. For a Facebook Page with fewer than 10,000 followers, the average engagement rate falls to approximately .32%, or 32 engagements. (Datareportal)
Fighting an algorithm that rewards higher engagement to paid advertisers can feel like a losing battle. While many businesses should consider Facebook ads to increase engagement, we know that option isn’t within everyone’s budget.
So: how to game an algorithm that prioritizes pay to play? Enter Professional Mode.
When Facebook introduced Meta in October 2021, it provided a strong clue about the future of the company. In his founder’s letter, Mark Zuckerberg intimated that the metaverse would not be created by one company, but rather “by creators […] making new experiences.” (Facebook). Three months later In December 2021, Facebook rolled out Professional Mode to select Facebook profiles. Reading between the lines, it appears Zuckerberg’s ultimate goal may be to turn Facebook into a creator community, where every profile is a content creator: “We need to help build ecosystems so that more people have a stake in the future and can benefit not just as consumers but as creators [emphasis added].”
Supporting this move towards individual creators, in a recent Craft Business Roundtable, Craft Industry Alliance Co-Founder Abby Glassenberg discussed an interesting cultural shift in consumer behavior. Where before consumers would turn to institutions and businesses to receive information and guidance, consumers now turn to individuals.
We believe this shift away from institutional businesses and towards individual creators supports serious consideration of the power of Facebook Professional Mode.
What is Professional Mode?
Professional Mode is a setting accessible to any personal Facebook profile. It essentially turns Personal profiles into creator profiles for promoting personal brands. Profiles that turn on Professional Mode maintain previous connections with friends and family while also offering supporting features to build a public presence.
What are the benefits of Professional Mode?
Professional Mode offers many benefits, especially if you have a robust personal profile on Facebook. If your Facebook profile has been lying dormant or has few followers, you can also elect a trusted person in your company to become the face of your business with a Professional Mode profile.
- Built in audience: As stated above, Professional Mode includes the audience you already have as a Facebook user. Individuals can still create a Page to manage their professional presence on Facebook, but this requires building an audience from the ground up. If you already have a large audience of friends and family who follow you on your Personal profile, you carry them forward into your Professional Mode profile.
- Greater visibility. Anecdotally, profiles that switched on Professional Mode early on have reported greater engagement and visibility in the Facebook feed. Professional Mode was only introduced to all users in November 2022, so we have yet to see hard statistics regarding visibility, engagement, and reach.
However, the image below was pulled from Facebook’s Q1 2023 Transparency Report. It indicates the breakdown of views across various sources: Groups, Friends, Pages, etc. Only 6.8% of views came from Pages. Professional Mode may or may not encompass many of the remaining views, including: Friend Original (30%), Unconnected (18.8%), and Friend Reshare (17.6%). Individually, each of these sources is greater than Page Follower. Together, they share a whopping 66.4% of the views on Facebook!
- Access to Page tools. Professional Mode confers access to many of the tools Pages currently enjoy. Professional Mode profiles filter into Facebook’s native “Suggested for You” algorithm, which recommends content to Facebook users to increase visibility. Professional Mode profiles also gain access to a Professional Dashboard, which provides access to insights and analytics about content performance. Professional Mode profiles can also schedule content with recommended times for optimal posting and crosspost content to Groups, just as a Page would.
- Monetization Features. In the beginning, Facebook created a bonus program for Professional Mode profiles called “Reels Play.” Reels Play monetarily rewarded creators who attained high views and certain performance targets. The bonus program was discontinued in March 2023; however, Facebook has stated that they are evolving the Reels Play program and “investing in a suite of monetization solutions to help creators earn steady streams of income,” including ads. (Verge) Professional Mode users should prepare for more monetization features in the future. Subscription services are currently being tested, for example.
- Inherent trust. Remember at the top when we mentioned the shift away from large institutions towards small individuals? Part of this cultural shift relies on the inherent trust we feel around people vs. brands. It’s the reason why User Generated Content has become an effective marketing tool, and it explains the rise of Influencer marketing. We want to hear from people we know and trust, and increasingly that means choosing individual people over large, faceless companies. Professional Mode leans in to utilizing a person to act as a bullhorn for your brand. That could be you, or someone on your team you trust with a large, relevant audience.
Are there any downsides to Professional Mode?
There are inherent downsides to Professional Mode, but it really comes down to personal preference.
- Loss of privacy. If you’ve been using Facebook to keep in touch with a small group of friends and family, then turning on Professional Mode may not be for you. Professional Mode was designed to increase your global reach, which means a larger audience of fans and people following you as a person, whether or not you choose to also represent a brand. Once you turn on professional mode for your profile, anyone can follow you and see your public content in their feed. However, you’re still in control of who sees the content you share. Share public updates for all followers, or isolate certain content to only share it with your friends.
- No boosted posts. Professional Mode profiles can’t boost posts—the feature is only available to Pages. This may change in the future as Facebook plays with Professional Mode’s monetization features.
- You are the only admin. Unlike a Facebook Page, Professional Mode profiles are managed the same way a Personal profile is managed. This means you can’t delegate administrative duties to a trusted person. Facebook discourages giving out your Personal password, so while this is a way to bypass that issue, it raises additional security concerns. Essentially, if you switch your Profile to Professional Mode, only you are scheduling and creating content for the profile. You can assign a Community Manager to moderate when hosting Facebook Lives, but that’s about it.
- Facebook is always changing. If you’ve been on Facebook for a long time, you know that the platform is constantly evolving and changing. A feature you may have relied on for years will suddenly disappear, the Content Creator Studio becomes Meta Business Suite, etc. The second you find your footing, the ground gives way. Which is all to say, we don’t know if the boost in engagement that Professional Mode profiles have enjoyed thus far will continue. The increase in visibility could be Facebook’s way of encouraging more Personal profiles to switch on Professional Mode. Looking ahead, who’s to say all those people won’t experience a sudden drop in engagement once the platform becomes flooded with Professional Mode profiles?
We hope this introduction to Professional Mode has provided insight into this new, evolving Facebook feature. Stitchcraft Marketing is a marketing agency of crafting experts. We customize every program to showcase your brand, engage your customer base, and generate sales in a way that is nothing less than magical. If you’d like to work with us, contact us today to get started!