The Social Whirl: Facebook Personal Profiles vs. Facebook Fan Pages

Many folks these days have a personal page that they use for business purposes. I’ve seen multiple clients do this, all seeming to not understand the difference between having a personal profile and a business page. Well, the fact of the matter is that a personal profile just can’t do what you need it to in terms of promotion and branding.

Below are a few reasons why you should think about swapping over your account if you are currently employing your personal Facebook account to promote your business…

– It’s actually against Facebook’s terms of use to use a personal page in this fashion.
– Fan Pages are set up for business use so they have much better usability.
– You can easily convert your page to a fan page without losing any of your “friends.”
– Personal pages are not searchable in search engines while fan pages are.
– Personal pages can only have up to 5,000 friends, while a fan page can have unlimited fans.
– Fan pages have analytics and statistical information for who sees your posts and also how they interact with you.

You may say, “But I’ve already put all of the time and effort into it, I don’t want to start from scratch!”

That’s fine, Facebook actually has a very easy way for you to convert your personal page into a fan page and NOT lose any of your previous work. It’s super-easy… check out the steps below for more information.

Step One:
First you need to save your current information just in case something goes wrong. Login to Facebook and go to Account Settings. You can download your information from here (it literally says “Download A Copy of Your Facebook Information,” in shaded letters on the bottom.)

Step Two:
Here is the link to begin the migration: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate *Please note that you’ll be asked to choose the type of page you want to create (examples include: Local Business or Place, Company Organization or Institution, Brand or Product… you get the idea.) It’s best to just pick the one that you feel identifies your brand the best way. It’s very easy to get confused, I mean if you have a company it can still be a local business and vice versa. Just try to pick the best one and move on in the process (I would suggest “Company” for a more B2B based set-up and “Local Business,” for a storefront type business.)

Step Three:
By migrating your page you have moved over your contacts and profile photo, however you will still have a profile page as your fan page will need this for an anchor. From here however, you can add folks to your business page as admins. This is reserved for people that you wish to have posting privileges (as the business) and to monitor fan activity on the page, so choose wisely.

For more information on this topic just Google “Facebook Business Page,” for countless slideshare uploads, articles and blog posts that detail out more of the finer points. For now, happy Facebooking!

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