Changing Your Facebook Presence To A Fan Page

Facebook offers three tools for creating a presence: a profile, a page, and a group. Facebook designed the page for businesses, bands, and public figures. Some people put their business on Facebook by creating a profile (personal) or a group instead of a page because it wasn’t clear that businesses belong on pages. You can move your business from a profile or group to a page.

Moving To A Facebook Business Page

It's smart to separate personal and business on Facebook.If you started out using a profile or group for your business, are you stuck? No. You can set up an official (business) page for your business (or for yourself as a business professional or public figure) and transition people to the new account. Here’s the general process.

  1. Create an official page. Take some time to fill out the new page with a lot of content. No one will like (become a fan) of an empty page. Start posting things to your new page even before you tell anyone it exists. In fact, Facebook will let you build out your page before you even publish it.
  2. Send a message to the people you want to move to your new page. Explain that you have a new Facebook page that you have designed to meet the needs of your customers. Give them some examples of what types of information you provide there, whether it is coupons, discounts, new or other business promotions. Ask them to like your new page and give them the link to make it easy.
  3. Keep writing welcome messages as your status update on the new page. Thank people for becoming a fan of your new page. Engage them on the new page. Let them see that you are there and ready to talk with them. Reward them by posting really good stuff.
  4. Assess the migration to your new page.  Many people will immediately become a fan of your new page. Others will take longer and require more invitations. After a few weeks, you may want to send out another message to remind people about the transition.
  5. Unfriend the business contacts on your profile. After people migrate to your new page, disconnect them from your personal page. Before you do this, you might consider sending them a note explaining that you appreciate their business and are happy to be connected with them on your business page. You don’t want to offend them, but you want to protect your personal space from business connections.
  6. Engage your community on your new page. Let them know that they are important you. You might also want to offer a special deal for every fan of your new page. This will be the incentive some people need to make the switch.

When Friends Are Customers

Making this Facebook transition can be tough. You want to draw the line between business and personal, but some of the people really fall into a gray area. Only you can decide how to handle the people in this gap. You can allow people to be in both categories (business and personal) if you want. There are no rules, only what you decide you want.

The good news is that you can take your time to sort this out. After you get most of your customers off your profile and on your page, you can decide how to negotiate with the stragglers.

At the same time, it is important that you do not allow any new customers to become Facebook friends. If you receive a friend request on your personal page from a client, send that person a note explaining that you have an official (business) page and encourage them to join you there. After you make the decision to split your world, you must be firm and consistent.

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Your turn: Do you have your business set up on Facebook as a profile or a group? Have you transitioned your business to a Facebook page? Share your questions and lessons learned here.

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About author:

Charlene Kingston is the small business person behind the Social Media DIY Workshop.

5 Responses to “Changing Your Facebook Presence To A Fan Page”

  1. Claire says:

    Hi, I have a question about my Facebook profile and how it relates to my business fan page. Whenever I try to automatically add something to my business page, it goes to my personal profile. I can’t figure out whether I can create a separate profile for my biz page. I’d like to add a poll to my biz page, but when I use a widget to add it automatically, it goes to my personal page. Thanks!

  2. Charlene says:

    Facebook pages are really challenging and because of these kinds of things. First, pages (and all business use of Facebook) was an afterthought! Facebook was designed for personal profiles, and they have build on additions to give business features. Businesses were not part of the original plan or structure. That explains some of the challenges.

    A lot of the applications on Facebook are only designed for profiles, and don’t work for pages. That’s hard for business people because we want those nice apps, too. Then, add to that the confusion about the word “page” on Facebook. Officially, Facebook is very careful to only use “page” when talking about business pages. But many of the app developers use the word “page” when they mean “profile!” And many of them don’t spell out that their app only works on profiles and not on pages, even though that is the case.

    Unfortunately, people have to do exactly what you did: try installing an app and see if it goes to the page or profile. Then delete it from your profile. It’s frustrating, I know.

    Things are getting better with business pages, so hang in there. Not only is Facebook expanding the business page features, but many of the app developers who make apps for profiles are now expanding them to include pages. I’ve seen a lot of changes for the better in the last 6 months.

  3. I think the solution to Claire’s problem is to unlike your business page. Anything that you like shows up on your main Facebook page, so if you like your business page anything you publish there will show on your personal page. It took me a while to figure this out.

  4. Charlene Kingston says:

    Thanks for sharing that tidbit, Barbra! Great catch!!

  5. Carla Dewing says:

    Hi Charlene :) Good info here, we get a lot of small-medium businesses in Cape Town that have this problem. As you said, those ‘grey areas’ can cause all sorts of trouble! I like the welcome message tip, I think a ton of brands don’t realize how you have to walk your fans through the migration step by step. Handy find this!

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