I have a pet peeve to share with you – businesses using a Facebook personal profile as their official business presence … it’s wrong so STOP IT (please). I’ve seen countless examples where they have amassed hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’ and they don’t realise what the price is that they may end up paying.
I’ll explore here why businesses do it, what’s wrong with it and the benefits of using a business page. I’ll cover using Facebook groups in a separate post.
[NOTE: I'm not talking about one-man bands/small businesses who are themselves on Facebook, I'm talking here about personal profiles being used with a business name, not a person's name]
Why are businesses using personal profiles on Facebook?
1. You don’t understand Facebook and set it up as a personal profile in error – I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and some genuinely have no clue.
2. You think it will be easier to collect ‘friends’ than ‘likes’ – to a large extent, they are right. On average we have 130 friends on Facebook but only ‘like’ 10 Facebook pages on average.
So what’s the problem then?
Either way, you need to understand that they are violating Facebook’s T&C’s. As a result, Facebook can [and have] suspend you from Facebook with immediate effect which means the businesses lose their loyal fan base in one fail swoop – oops…., bet you didn’t write that part into your online marketing risk analysis eh….
What’s so special about business pages?
There’s plenty already written about the many benefits of a Facebook page, including:
1. Facebook advertising – you need a page to do advertising on Facebook, it’s growing in popularity and is a very useful tool to have in the marketing toolbag for most businesses.
2. Insights & analytics – why are you using Facebook (or any other social media site for that matter) if you’re not tracking the success and impact, or otherwise, of what you are doing?
3. Added functionality – you can offer a better user experience by adding plugins/apps to your page such as surveys,
4. Multiple admin function – for many businesses you have a team operating the page.
5. Welcome tab – you can make your page have the same look and feel as your website which offers a seamless online experience & a welcoming effect.
Eek! So I need to convert my profile to a page, what do I do?
Go to the Facebook help pages here and follow the instructions – just note that:
- your ‘friends’ will become ‘likes’
- your profile picture(s) will be carried over
- your content will be LOST so be sure to download a file of anything important as you’ll have to build the content up by scratch
Don’t risk Facebook closing you down and undoing all your hard work – convert now and reduce the risk to your business.
Do you see personal profiles being used as pages? Does it bother you? As always, I’d welcome your thoughts….