If you know you're ready to make the switch, click here to convert your profile to a fan page. If you're not sure why you should bother, read on...
Point of Caution If you do not have a Personal Profile separate from your Business Profile and ALL of your Facebook interactions happen on your business profile, please read this Mashable Blog detailing the potential pitfalls of conversion. If that is the case you should create a personal profile as soon as possible for personal interaction apart from your business interactions. If you already have a separate Personal Profile the risks associated with conversion of your business profile to a business page are minimal and are detailed below.
PROFILES vs PAGES There are many businesses, organizations, bands, etc. who have set up Facebook accounts as "people" or personal profiles. Contrary to the US Supreme Court and Mitt Romney's assertations, businesses aren't people and Facebook agrees.
Click here for Facebook's explanation Why should I convert my profile to a page? clearly stating that setting a profile for anything other than a person is a violation of their policy's and could result in you losing the page. Yes, it happens and will likely be happening more frequently.
To better benefit your business and more securely protect your "friends" data, businesses should set up their Facebook pages as fan "pages" NOT as personal "profiles." If you are a business and you have "friends" on Facebook, you should convert your profile page to an actual Facebook page. Yes, I know you like your "friends" and they like you, but they can't invite your store over for dinner with the family or take your business to movies.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Capacity Fan Pages can have an unlimited number of fans. Profiles are limited to only 5,000 friends. Even if you only have a few hundred fans now, why would you choose an option that limits your maximum number of fans.
Delegation Fan pages allow you to assign numerous administrators.
This is great so that one person doesn't have to do all the work maintaining the page. It's also helpful if you're not available to monitor your page due to travel or illness. When an administrator posts, they do so as the page, not themselves personally. Although, I encourage signing your post when it's obviously a personal comment or a reference to someone else on your team.
You can manage multiple fan pages from a single personal profile. This is important if you want to promote various businesses, organizations or groups. Alice Ferris and Jim Anderson both have personal pages and we share administration rights for numerous clients and professional organizations we're affiliated with. Including: GoalBusters Consulting, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), KGHR Navajo Public Radio, KAWC Colorado River Public Media, KUYI Hopi Public Radio, AFP Arizona Statewide Meetings and the Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD)
Personal vs Professional Profiles If you have a business fan page, people will still want to connect with (most of) you personally on your profile. They want to know the people behind a business.
Consider your business fan page to represent your brand and your personal profile is a "sub-brand." You may also consider setting up two personal profiles. Use one openly and professionally taking care with the nature of the content to minimize offending customers or clients. Use the second as a "private" profile with your family and true friends. This is a good way to separate that crazy uncle or the person you dated in high school from your professional acquaintances.
Advertising Opportunities Facebook can help you advertise your page, not your profile.
Ready to Convert? The Social Media Hound suggests a review of the following information before your convert your personal profile to a page.
- All your confirmed friends will be converted to people who like your new Page.
- Your profile pictures will be migrated to your new Page.
- Photo albums, profile information, etc. will not be transferred. Be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration. (see step one, below)
- Once you convert your personal profile to a business page, that profile will no longer exist.
- You will not be able to convert your page back to a personal profile.
- You will continue to login with the email/password that you used before you converted the page.
Backup your Facebook profile. Login to Facebook and click the down arrow next to Account in the upper right corner of your screen, then select Account Settings. Toward the bottom of that page, you’ll see Download Your Information. Click the "learn more" link to the right and follow the instructions.
Post a notice indicating you are going to convert the page and explain the page may look different as you complete the conversion and update your information. When you are ready to begin the conversion click here and read How do I convert my profile to a fan page? Follow the instructions. After conversion post another notice to your friends who now "like" your page informing them of the conversion and thanking them for "liking" your organization
Good luck with your conversion.
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