Are you using your personal Facebook profile to market your business? If so you are unfortunately in violation of Facebook’s Statements of Rights and Responsibilities that restrict personal profiles to individual/personal use only. By using a Facebook personal profile for business purposes, you actually run the risk of losing access to your profile and all your content. Because Facebook realizes that many people may have started using their personal profile for their businesses in error, they now offer an easy conversion tool to help you migrate your personal profile to a business account. This is a fantastic offering from Facebook, but it is important to understand both the advantages and limitations of using the Facebook migration tool.
What is the best way to set up a Facebook Business Page?
The best way to set up your business on Facebook is to have a personal account that you use for personal use and then create a business page off of your personal account. You can create as many as you would like. Facebook allows you to easily “switch” in between your personal profile and your business page(s) as you move around the site interacting with other pages and profiles. One of the great advantages of using Facebook as a social network is that it allows you to be both a business/professional and a private person under one account while keeping them totally separate. You can create as many business pages as you like.
How to know if you have a Business Page or a Personal Profile?
The best way to tell if your page is a personal profile and not business page (commonly known as “fan page”) is if you can send and accept friend requests. Only personal profiles are enabled to send and receive friend requests. Business pages operate on “likes”.
Why change a personal profile to a business page?
If you currently have a large business following on your Facebook personal profile, you basically have two choices.
1. Using your personal account, you can create a business page and alert all of your “friends” that you have created a Facebook business page and invite anyone interested in following your business to please like the page. This may be a more gradual approach and take some time to get your friends to move over and like your page. The good thing about this method is that you can keep your personal profile intact and continue using all of the functions available on Facebook. You will also begin to use the numerous features available to help you grow your business on your new business page. A couple of tactics you can use to invite your friends to your new business page is through status updates and messaging from your personal page. From your business page you can go to Edit Page>>Resources>>Tell your fans and upload an email list.
2. You can use the Facebook Profile to Business Migration Tool to instantly convert your current personal profile to a Facebook business account. The conversion will migrate your profile pictures but none of your other information will be transferred. Your “friends” will automatically become “likes.”
If you are not sure whether you should create a business page/account rather than continue to use your personal profile for business, here are 4 important points to consider:
1. Personal profiles are limited to 5000 friends and business pages have no limit to the number of “likes” you can have.
2. Business pages offer much more robust features than personal profiles that are aimed at helping grow organizations, businesses, brands, and public figures.
3. Business pages require less “fan management” because people can automatically become a fan of your page without you having to accept their request.
4. Facebook created business pages to help you keep your professional life separate from your personal life online. You can successfully have two online personas (business and personal) so that you don’t have to share your pictures of your kids, pets and parties with your business following.
5. By using your personal profile for marketing your business, you are breaking Facebook’s rules and run the risk of losing your account and all the data.
What happens in the conversion?
1. All of your profile pictures will be transferred to the new business page.
2. All of your content will NOT be transferred to the new business page. Information such as photo albums, profile information will not be transferred.
3. All of your friends on the personal page will automatically become “likes” on the new business page.
4. The account associated with your old personal profile will be converted to a business account. (Note: This is tricky. Read more about Facebook Business Accounts because they can limit your Facebook experience.)
5. The business account will be the sole admin of your new page until you add another admin.
Prior to converting your profile to a business page/account, you should make sure you back up all of your personal information. Read the instructions for downloading personal Facebook information.
After you have changed your personal profile to business page, (using one of the two options above) you should think about creating a marketing, engagement and post-like plan on your new business page that is in line with your business goals. People often forget that it is what happens after “the like” that really matters. Try to use the 90/10 rule which means post 90 helpful information and only 10 marketing messages. Making your page content all about your audience and less about you will help keep those “friends turned likers” around and engaged. You may also want to refer to the Facebook Business Resource Center.
Also, realize that your Facebook url has changed and you will want to make sure any links you had coming to your previous page are redirected.
If you have any questions or comments about changing to a Facebook business page, please let me know in the comments below.