Recently 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.