Are You In Danger of Having Your Facebook Page Shut Down?

funny baby wearing glasses and fake noseRecently I received a “friend request” from a Home Health Agency on Facebook, which, of course seemed odd because a Home Health Agency is not a person.  This request  should have been presented as a request for a “like” on a business page but it was clearly a friend request. 

As I perused this “person’s” friend list, I noticed that a lot of their “friends” had business names rather than personal names.

I actually see this a lot and it worries me, especially because it is done by well-meaning, heart-centered businesses that just don’t know the rules.

Social media can be confusing and Facebook has a tendency to change things up frequently, so it’s never as simple as it seems.  But this is not the proper way to use Facebook and could result in your personal profile page being shut down by Facebook. Let’s chat about the right way to set up a business page.

Facebook states “Personal timelines are for individual, non-commercial use. They represent represent individual people and must be held under an individual name.

Facebook Pages look similar to personal timelines, but they offer unique tools for connecting people to a topic you care about, like a business, brand, organization or celebrity. Pages are managed by admins who have personal timelines. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your timeline.”

You can have as many Facebook pages as you want but you are only allowed ONE personal Facebook profile.

There is an exception if you are a “public figure”.  Facebook states:

“If you’re a public figure, you can continue posting to your audience from your personal account by allowing followers. When people follow your personal account, they’ll be able to get your updates in News Feed without being friends with you. You should only add someone as a friend when you know them personally.

If you’re not a public figure and you’re using your account to represent something other than yourself, you could risk permanently losing access to your account and all of its content if you don’t convert it to a Page.”

If you want to allow a broader audience to see your updates so that perhaps they might be interested enough to click over to your business page, you have the ability to allow followers (which used to be called subscribers).  Keep in mind though that if you allow this function, you may get some lurkers and unrequited marriage proposals. :)   To make sure that folks have the ability to FIND your business page from your personal Facebook account, you’ll want to be sure that the link under your photo in the left hand side is functioning.  (You can find more about that here.)

It would be a shame to gather a significant number of friends only to have Facebook shut down your personal page and cause you to lose everything, so it’s important to get it correct, right from the start.  Also, as Facebook mentions, there are many more great tools available when using the Business Page

You might ask “what if I have already created a personal page and listed my business name instead?  How do I change it back to my real name?”  You can change that but Facebook limits the number of times you can do it.  To find out how to do that, click here.  

You are still able to share updates from your business page to your personal page if you wish.

I hope this helps to clarify the difference between your personal Facebook timeline and a Facebook Business page.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.   I’ll be glad to answer as best I can.

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

 

Comments

  1. That is such a pet peeve of mine and it makes me so sad when people do it. One of the worst is when they use their personal profile to blast crapola all over it. Your friends and family are usually never your ideal clients. It does nothing but tick them off. Great post!
    Heather recently posted…Google+ Social Media NewsMy Profile

  2. I had a similar request recently from someone I know who inadvertently set up their business page as a personal profile. Fortunately, I told her about the error and she corrected it immediately. She was very grateful because the last thing she wanted was to be shut down by Facebook as she was just starting to build her brand.

  3. Brian O'Neill says:

    I think some people make an honest mistake with the business page, but some people are just trying to promote their business knowing they should not use the business page that way. I’m sure you wouldn’t want do business with them anyways.

  4. Some information never gets old, Shelley, and people need to be reminded of things on occasion. This is definitely one of them! Good stuff.
    Jackie Harder recently posted…What’s wrong with my website?My Profile

  5. Right on! Girl! You did a great job! Keep preaching it! So important to share this reminder every once in awhile.

  6. There are so many people that just don’t seem to know this and have never even thought about the fact that there might be Facebook rules. This is a great post! ;-)
    Daveda recently posted…Don’t Let Them Hush You!My Profile

  7. Shelly, Thank you for this very important information. Sometimes it’s so hard to know all the facebook rules. It gets confusing. I appreciate your pointing this out. I see this all the time!

  8. Many people have gotten into the habit of not reading the fine print, and this includes people who then use a profile in order to have a facebook presence. If they’re new, they may not know the page vs profile differences or perhaps were ill-advised. Like with anything else, you need to know the rules.

  9. Great article Shelley. I had a client that had spent years building up friends on Facebook, both on her personal page and her fan page. She used each page for promoting her business and when told of the risks she took the view that Facebook probably wouldn’t take action. That’s not a risk I’d be prepared to take.

  10. Right! This is a good reminder for how entrepreneurs can use Facebook for their businesses. Sometimes what seems to be ok is not really ok. It’s great that you were able to mention distinctions between a Business page and a Personal page.
    Edmund S. Lee recently posted…How to Protect Your Brand on FacebookMy Profile

  11. Very informative post. This is especially a very useful post for those who are just starting out to build a business or who actually do not exactly know the rules. How do you make the most out of your Facebook business page?

  12. Jazmín says:

    Hello,
    I found your site because my personal profile is shut down by this message “It looks like you’re using your Timeline to represent an organization, business, brand or public figure.
    Personal Timelines are for individual people and must be held under an individual name. Facebook Pages are similar to Timelines, but offer unique tools for connecting people to a topic they care about, like an organization, business, brand or public figure.
    We recommend converting your Timeline to a Facebook Page, because using a personal Timeline to represent anything other than yourself doesn’t follow the Facebook Terms.”
    It is not a page, is a personal profile with years of holiday pictures and contacts.
    Do you know how can I get it back?
    I am so lost here, I cannot find any related article online and you seem to know a lot about the topic.

    Thanks in advance

    • Shelley Webb
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Katha,

      If your personal timeline had the name of a company instead of your own name or if you were advertising a product to sell (such as a direct marketing product like the wraps, essential oils, jewelry, etc.), your account may have been disabled.

      You can appeal by going to this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/183000765122339 and filing an appeal. They will ask for your ID, will request endorsements by your friends, etc. Just tell them you don’t know why your account was shut down and need their help to get your account reactivated. It may take some time but it’s worth a try.

      If you are denied, you can start again by using another e-mail address but I would wait it out until you get a response because you don’t want to lose all that data.

      As an aside, all users of Facebook who run GROUPS, it’s best to appoint someone in your group as an ADMINISTRATOR so that if your personal account is ever deactivated, you have a stand-in who can run the group and get you back in it if your account is denied reactivation.

      I hope this helps. Best wishes!
      Shelley Webb recently posted…Optimizing Your Pinterest Account for Business My Profile

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