The 9 biggest reasons to change your personal Facebook “business” page to a real Facebook business page today!

This is a common marketing problem that’s easily solved (I like the easy ones!). I’m never sure if this mistake persists due to misinformation, cluelessness, or laziness – that is, simply never changed from a personal page to a business page when Facebook made them available.

Facebook Business Page SampleSo what’s the difference?

Very simply, a personal page is just that: it represents a person with a name and personal social connections. A business or fan page – Facebook simply refers to them as a “Page” – represents a business that can see public information about people but cannot interact with them as “Friends”. Kinda sounds like real life, doesn’t it?

It’s nothing personal, it’s just business

So in real life, most of us have a business persona and a personal life with friends and family. Just like it’s not a good idea to friend your boss or share all the messy details of your life at work (you know that, right?), the same goes for Facebook.

Aside from the obvious as stated above, there’s always someone who says, “Oh yea, well we have friends and we can see what they do and who their friends are and it works very well for us.”

Holocentrus bullisi!* Here’s 9 BIG reasons why you need to switch TODAY!

1. You can do more with “Fans” than “Friends”
Those who “Like” your business can interact with you in ways they cannot as a Friend. For example, you can have tabs on your page to host forms or apps. What’s that mean? Contests, signup forms, special content pages…you know, the things you saw on other Facebook Pages and wondered, “Hey, how’d they do that?” You can also take advantage of Facebook’s new Offers feature. Go ahead and try that with your personal page!

2. You gain “Insights”
Almost like Madame Marie at the Jersey Shore, you get a nearly voyeuristic look at who’s been liking what on your page, who shares what you’ve posted, in charts and downloadable data…Yes, data! It’s the stuff that successful marketers look at, analyze, digest, and make actionable decisions with. Even if you’re not a data monkey, knowing what posts get the greatest traction and when people are liking and sharing can absolutely help you post more efficiently, and reach more of your fans.

3. Have you tried making Friends lately?
How many friend requests have you sent that have gone ignored? No need to answer, I understand, looking at that “Pending Requests” data is difficult. (Ugh, haven’t downloaded an archive lately? Click here…) On the other hand, getting Likes can be done by your fans liking things on your page, and people seeing that, etc. Which leads us to…

4. Promoted posts and advertising
Yes, there I said it…Facebook is advertising and it may cost you to increase your reach. Can you do it without ever dropping a dime? Sure, if you’re really good and this is your marketing focus, because remember you are building relationships, and that requires an investment of something, be it time or money or both! Promoting posts and increasing Likes and reach is why you’re here, isn’t it?

5. Your friends are smart and have private lives
“What happened to my friends? They were in my feed…” Not any more! Your friends have learned more about Facebook Privacy settings and are using them! So they aren’t showing up in your feed anymore because they’re limiting their posts. Hmmm…and because you have a personal page you can’t even promote posts you know they might like! Frustrating, isn’t it?

6. Real friends are authentic
So we mentioned in #5 that your friends are getting smarter and they are starting to smell something fishy, like, “Why doesn’t my friend have a real name? Who’s that in the profile picture? How come this other business offers me coupons and they do not?” Authenticity, while always important, has become even more so in the social marketing age. Certainly you can do a great campaign as an individual and develop personal relationships, however if you are representing a business with a business name then be the business! And consider the power of your personal page to promote that business page…

7. Personal profiles are limited to 5,000 Friends
So if you’re expectations are low, I guess that’s fine.

8. You can describe your business, provide a map to your location, and more!
Plus you can still have photos and Likes…so you’re gaining features, not missing out!
And if all that wasn’t enough for the few stubborn steadfast individual posers out there, how about this one:

9. Because Facebook says you need to!
According to their terms of service, if you are using something like  “Acme Marketing” as your first and last name, or portraying your business as an individual you will eventually be caught, and shut down. Don’t believe it? Then stop reading so I can save some bandwidth and share with others how to convert the Facebook personal profile to a business page.

How to convert your Facebook personal profile to a business page…and why

If you have a lot of friends and a user name that you’d like to retain, you can convert your current personal profile to a Facebook Page. You’ll retain your profile picture, user name, and friends and followers will be converted to Likes. You will not retain photos or posts, so be sure to download anything you might not have.

To download you data:

  1. Click the gear at the top right of any Facebook page and select Account Settings
  2. Click General in the left-hand column
  3. Click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data”
  4. Click Start My Archive

Once you have the downloaded file, you simply follow Facebook’s conversion process. Click here to convert your personal profile to a page…

For more information…

How to convert my Personal Profile to a Facebook page

That’s it! Nine reason, and there’s plenty more, but I think you get the idea. Bottom line: Now you can take advantage of the business tools that Facebook has made available. Let the marketing begin!

PS: While you’re at it, stop by the Think Plan C Facebook page and give it a LIKE for more tips!

*While Holocentrus bullisi actually is the scientific name for a Deepwater listed it as a word similar to bullshit. Although it’s meaningless in this sense, I liked the sound of it; very high-brow, and allowed me to avoid the use of the word bullshit, yet still get my point across.