Why you shouldn’t be running your business using a Facebook Profile
If you’re using a profile to represent your business, there’s a problem and it’s something you need to address straight away. Many businesses have previously set up an individual profile (rather than a Page) to represent their business, but Facebook’s Terms prohibit this. Here’s what Facebook says about the registration of account types –
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:
- You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
- You will not create more than one personal account.
- If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
- You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.
- You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
- You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
- You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
- You will not share your password (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
- You will not transfer your account (including any Page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
- If you select a username or similar identifier for your account or Page, we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe it is appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).
Your entire online presence on Facebook is potentially at risk, as Facebook has been known to simply remove these profiles without notice or appeal. We definitely don’t want you to fall foul of such problems, so here’s a couple of tips you can use if you find yourself in such a situation.
How do I know if I’ve got a Facebook Profile or a Page?
First of all, here’s an easy way to tell the difference between a Profile and a Page.
On a profile, you “ Add Friend” and on a Page you “ Like”. This easy-to-spot difference will help you tell quickly, whether you’re running a Profile or Page.
What do I do if my business has a Profile?
We’ve got a nifty tool for you here that will migrate your Profile into a new Facebook Page. A couple of things you need to know about using this free service –
- The features of your Profile will be moved to a new Page, but the profile will remain in existence, so you’ll have a personal account and a Page after conversion. You will then need to add your existing (if you have one) Profile as an admin on the new Page.
- Your profile picture and cover photo will be migrated to the to the Page
- The name on your personal account will become the Page’s name
- You can choose friends from your profile to automatically like your new Page, but posts on your profile won’t be carried over to your new Page
Ready to migrate your profile?
Why would I want a Facebook instead of a Business Page?
If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you.
First of all, because it’s the rules. And as discussed, breaching the rules can mean that Facebook simply terminates your account. That can mean that all your hard work building customers, sending friends requests, curating that community…gone.
But look, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are actually some pretty awesome reasons why you should be excited to do this.
Search engines, like Google, crawl social media sites, like Facebook, in the same way as they crawl ‘regular’ websites. But, Facebook Pages has more opportunities to optimise your online presence so visitors of both a human and machine type can understand what you’re talking about. So having a Facebook Page rather than a Profile can help your business get seen more.
Check-in. When your customers are at your business venue, they can check-in and share that information with their Facebook friends. This is an incredible marketing option, and the great thing is that people who are willing to commit to checking in, are much more likely to say positive things, endorse and recommend that their friends and family visit you as well – boom, brand advocacy!
By now, you should be champing at the bit to get your Facebook Profile migrated over to a Page, so backup your data so you can be sure that you have a copy of any images that are important to you etc. and go ahead and start enjoy the awesomeness that is your brand new Facebook Page!