Stop using Facebook Profiles for business
Start using Facebook Pages instead Some Dorset businesses are still using personal Profiles rather than Pages and this is not a good thing.
If you don’t know the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page, let me explain. If you do know the difference, you can skip to the next section.
It can get a little confusing if you’re not used to the two different terms, Facebook Profile and Facebook Page, but stay with me!
When you first set up an account on Facebook, for your personal use, you created a Facebook Profile. (I will use Profile with a capital ‘P’ when talking about your personal Profile).
Your Profile is where you share status updates, photos and videos. It’s your own special space on Facebook. When you become a 'Friend' with someone on Facebook, you're connecting your Profile with their Profile.
When Facebook first started, the only way to create an account was to have a Profile. Some enterprising people decided to set up a Profile for their business, to keep it separate from their personal Profile.
Facebook saw what was happening and created a different type of account for businesses, called a Facebook Page or a Business Page. These Pages can also be used by charities, clubs or anyone wanting a public presence that's separate from their personal Profile.
Facebook does not like businesses having Profiles
The idea is that every person using Facebook has a Profile, and every business or organisation has a Page. Clubs, brands and celebrities can also have their own Pages. Anyone can set up a Page for any purpose.
Profiles and Pages are very similar in lots of ways, but they also have some important differences. The first is that to connect with someone’s Profile you become their Friend. But to connect with a Page you must to 'Like' it.
Facebook does not want businesses to continue using personal Profiles.
The problem with using a Facebook Profile for a business
There are big reasons why using a Facebook Profile for your business is bad:
Firstly, it’s an invasion of your privacy. The only way to connect with a business that uses a Profile is to become its Friend. By becoming a Friend of a business, you’re allowing the person who runs that business account to see many, perhaps all, of the personal posts that you’re putting on Facebook.
This is not a good idea, because you probably don’t know who is running the Facebook account for the business. Don't assume that it's the business owner, because it may well not be. You're giving a complete stranger access to your personal Facebook.
My advice to people is never, ever become a Friend of a business on Facebook.
The second reason why it’s bad to use a Profile for a business is that it’s against the Facebook rules. Which means they can turn off your account at any moment. If your Profile is an important way of connecting with your customers, you don’t want it to disappear over night. But that’s the risk you’re taking.
The third reason is that you can only have 5,000 Friends on Facebook but a Page can have unlimited fans. If 5,000 sounds ambitious, remember that by using a Profile you're also restricting the number of people who will become Friends with your business, because they understand that it's not a good idea.
How to solve the Profile and Page problem
Fortunately, Facebook has made it easy to convert a Profile into a Page – there’s a special feature for that. The process turns Friends into Fans. Click here for more information on how to make the change.
They’ve also created a tool to merge Pages, in case you’ve ended up with more than one Page for your business. It's also possible that Facebook has automatically created a Page for your business, which you know nothing about. Click here to learn more about how this happens and what to do about it.
Other reasons why your business should be using a Page
Because Facebook Pages are designed for businesses, they have special tools designed to make it easier to manage a Page. These include:
- A Page can have more than one person managing it.
- You can schedule posts into the future on Pages.
- Facebook advertising tools are linked to Pages.
- You can access detailed statistics about activity on your Page.
If your business is still using a Facebook Profile, and connecting to people as a Friend, I recommend that you convert it into a Page.