Facebook take their T&C’s seriously but just recently I’ve seen an increase in the number of business owners who are seemingly unaware that they are on the wrong side of the rules with their Facebook presence.
I’ve been prompted to write this post because there is one particular aspect of Facebook marketing which for many business owners is unclear – the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Page and which is the correct option.
Before I continue, let me clarify the definitions;
Facebook Profile – connect with other Facebook users as friends. The Profile owner controls who they wish to connect with by sending or accepting friend requests.
Facebook Page – connect with other Facebook users who have clicked on the Page’s ‘Like’ button. The Administrator of the Page cannot control who chooses to click on the like button to see the content.
What does this matter?
Point 4 of Facebook’s Terms and Conditions state that;
Users must not supply false personal information
Profiles must not be set up in the name of anyone but yourself
Profile status updates must not be used for commercial gain
No more than one profile to be set up per person
Translated this means that If Joe Bloggs’ Pet Store sets up a Profile for the business, Joe himself is;
Supplying false personal information (his name isn’t Joe Bloggs’ Pet Store),
Using his status updates for commercial gain (he’ll be sharing details of new products/special offers etc)
Very likely to have a personal profile too therefore in breach of the ‘one profile per person’ rule!
What are the consequences?
The bottom line is that your Profile will be pulled down by Facebook. It may not be today, next week or even this year but Facebook will discover it and take it offline without notice. Yep, you read that correctly – they won’t give you any warning. One day you’ll go to log in to your profile and it won’t exist anymore. All the hard work you’ve put in building your contacts and adding content will all have been in vain! You’ll be right back at square one!
Yet it is easily avoided. If you are starting out with your business’ Facebook marketing then please, please, please set up a Facebook Page and not a Profile. On any Facebook page, under the Page image you’ll see a link to “create a Page like this”. Click on the link and follow the step by step instructions.
If you’ve already got a business Profile there is a process which will convert your Profile into a Page and friends to fans but there will be some loss of content.
Here is some guidance on how to convert your Profile into a Page. Make sure you do this carefully as it is irreversible.
I hope I’ve been able to help clear up any confusion. If you’d like assistance with any aspect of Facebook marketing, please get in touch.
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