Did you set up a Facebook profile for your business instead of a page?

A previous post explained the differences between Facebook profiles, pages and groups.  If you created a Facebook profile for your business instead of a page, this is against the terms and conditions of Facebook and you may want to look at changing this to comply instead of risking losing your profile altogether.  The text below in italics is taken directly from : https://www.facebook.com/terms.php

Registration and Account Security

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. You will not create more than one personal profile.
  3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
  4. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).

This is of course open to discussion but my interpretation is that Facebook want people using a profile for themselves (using their real name or at least a derivative of this such as a nickname) and creating a page for a business.  Perhaps they should be renamed Facebook Personal Profiles and Facebook Business Pages.

The main reasons people seem to have created profiles for their businesses are either simply misunderstanding the structure of Facebook, or having concerns about privacy.  Others like that you can personally message followers (friends) on a profile but you can’t do this on a page.  However one of the many things I admire about Facebook is that they do listen to users and address concerns such as these within their own structure.  One example is by allowing you to remain personally anonymous if you wish with no visible links between a page and a profile.  You can now even “use Facebook as page” and comment on and “like” other pages using your business page name instead of your profile name.

Until recently, if you had created a profile instead of a business page and wanted to rectify this, you had to start from scratch.  However they have recently introducted a “profile to page migration tool” which you can use to convert your profile into a page, bringing across all of your followers.

Here is  great post explaining this process by facebookflow.com and another by InsideFacebook.com.

This is not something you can easily experiement with, but I was able to try this out for a client this week, and it worked well.   She did lose data such as photos and wall posts, however the main thing is that it transferred all her “friends” into “likers”.It even kept her unique URL which she had set up as a user name for her profile but is now a page user name: www.facebook.com/nappycake

She is now complying with Facebook terms and can build her page accordingly.  Being a fairly new business it was quite easy for her, but if you have been using your profile for some time then you need to consider the implications of losing your previous data and may like to take some screen shots.

Another option is to start a business page from scratch and ask your “friends” to move over and “like” your new page, then delete the profile later.  Though not all friends will convert into likers this way, and some people worry about the reduced numbers, it’s also a great way to see who are active followers.  It’s not all about the numbers!

This is simply my prediction but I do think that now Facebook have released this migration tool, there may well be a crackdown on “business profiles” in the future where the profile name (and photo) is blatantly promoting a business.  Facebook is a fantastic free service for your business and I believe it’s best to comply with their terms and guidelines to ensure you don’t risk losing your profile later.

2 thoughts on “Did you set up a Facebook profile for your business instead of a page?

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