Many business owners join facebook, in the hopes of connecting with their target audience. Facebook is a free service so many take it into their own hands to figure it out. Intentions are good to connect and share information, however they make a mistake and set up a personal profile when they should have set up a business page. Time goes by and they connect with many people before they figure out they did it wrong. They dread starting over and losing all of their connections so they continue. Good news (that few know) is facebook will allow you to convert to a business page. If you aren’t convinced you need to fix this mistake, keep these points in mind.
- It’s against facebook policy to be set up as a business under a personal profile. Look it up in facebook...taboo.. and invasive if you ask me. Can you imagine if every business, that wanted you as a customer, could send you a ‘friend request’? Annoying right. Well, if you are set up as a personal account not only are you offending others, but you are invading privacy. Think about it. When you are connected to someone, on facebook as a friend, you are more than likely exposed to many personal facts about them...photos of their kids, vacation schedules, personal events, etc. When a business is connected with an individual it’s basics (name, gender, city, age) You don’t know how many kids they have, or what they are cooking for dinner, etc. You get the basic demographics..safe, informative and enough.
- Get this - If you get caught, by facebook, for running a business from a personal account they will turn off your page. Your competitors or anyone offended by the ‘friend request’ can report you as inappropriate. Enough of these and you lose it. No warning and time to convert - adios. Start over by creating a page and lose everything.
- Pages have many advantages to personal timelines. You will be able to easily measure your efforts through the built-in insights board. You will gain significant data to interpret what posts are working as well as demographics on your page followers. You will be able to create ad campaigns and even share admin responsibilities with team members. Another unique feature is that you will be able to ‘like’ other pages and read through the newsfeed to easily see what’s going on with your favorite companies, referral partners, manufacturers, etc.
Ready now? To convert your ‘personal’ facebook page into a ‘business page’ follow these guidelines and refer to facebook help section for up to date current guidelines and details.
Ok, from the toolbar in facebook select ‘help’ and type “Convert friend to page”. You will then be given instructions. Be sure and take their advice and download a file first otherwise you will lose all of your photographs, videos, messages and more. (this takes some time, but is well worth the effort) If you are admin of any groups, be sure and turn over a new manager or correctly set up a personal page and transfer admin responsibility away from the page you will be converting. Here are a few items to keep in mind before your convert:
- Your page name will be the profile name you selected.
- Your ‘friends’ will transfer into “likes”.
- You must be the official representative of this business. Facebook will guide you through proving you are the responsible party. I’ve even have to send in a utility bill for a client. This is for your protection, otherwise you may have a fan (or worse -competition, hater, etc.) claim your page to keep it from you. It’s your business and you should have control. Even if you hire someone or delegate who posts - you are the page owner so claim it.
- You will lose all content and posts including photographs, etc. (download as mentioned above so you can add some of this data back.)
- Be courteous and tell your fans or friends prior. Send out a few announcements that you are converting to a business page and will continue to post your updates, specials, events, etc. on behalf of the business.
- Be sure you have a personal facebook page to assign this new business page to for admin access.
After you are set up correctly, start adding back content. You can use the timeline feature and add significant dates with photos and data from the download you stored. Don’t do this all in one sitting as your posts will be seen by all of your followers (even back dates posts). Too many posts at once may confuse people and annoy causing them to go explore and unlike. Add this data back over time.
Now that you have an official facebook page enjoy connecting with your followers by offering engaging content on a regular basis. Measure your results and adjust as needed. Don't be afraid to ask for a few recommendations from your favorite supporters. Refer to our past blogs for other social media tips and how to's.
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