How do you know the difference? The quickest way to tell is whether people have to click on ‘add friend’ to be connected to you, or whether they can just click on ‘like’ to follow your page. If the latter, then you’re ok, but if the former, you’re not. What happens if you’ve built up a large friend base and suddenly Facebook shuts your profile down because you haven’t paid attention to their Terms & Conditions? You lose all that valuable networking and possible business and sales. Don’t let this happen to you.
I belong to a Facebook business group called “I am a small business owner in Victoria”. There’s a great group of people there, with varied businesses. Some are new, some very experienced and many in between. I love the resources and knowledge that is shared there and the common bonds we all share as small business owners.
Today, one of these people, Linda Reed-Enever of ThoughtSpot PR posted some information that all business owners on Facebook should be aware of. Linda said: Did you know that you need to use your personal name for your Facebook account and not your business one? Facebook can and will close accounts in business names and they have just started cracking down on it again. So if your profile is under your business name create a business page and change your profile to your name so your account stays safe.
There was discussion on this by many at the group and several of us felt that it is important anyone in business should make themselves aware of the Terms & Conditions, item 4 applies.
This is something I tell my own clients and I have blogged about it before at “Profile or Page“. And, of course, it makes sense to add information about your business on the About page of your Personal Profile as I have also written about at “Do you have a Facebook profile?” earlier this year.
I know of a local council that I’d suggested earlier this year they should change their profile to a page. They haven’t done it yet but I hope they do soon otherwise they may just find they lose what they’ve created at Facebook. That would be such a shame.
Basically Personal Accounts are for people, Pages are for businesses, brands, etc. When you set up an account in Facebook it should be in your own name, and from there you can create as many pages as you want for your business, hobbies and other activities. I own several relating to things I do for a living (Virtual Assistant support, Web Design, Nature Photography) and things I’m interested in (Butterfly Gardens, and Puffing Billy Fans), or create a group for discussion like I have at The Chook Club.
And then Michael Oldroyd of Roar piped up in the discussion at the Facebook Group saying: Linda is 100% correct. I have a client. A hospitality/club who had a FB profile with 5,000 friends rather than a page with ‘likes’. I warned them that this was dangerous and offered to create a proper FB business page and a) bring their friends over to it, and b) create an incentive to capture those friends email and contact details in a proper and safe database one which the club could control and own the data and not Facebook. 2 weeks ago Facebook shut down and deleted their profile as they were in breach of FB T&C’s. They lost everything – all 5,000 friends gone and their entire database wiped out. Needless to say their once busy weekend nights are now a ghost town and they’re losing money hand over fist. Linda’s kind post is a heads-up. It’s a warning. This is happening so please take notice and take action now if you need to or wake up tomorrow only to find all you hard work gone forever.
Ouch! Can you afford to lose that type of business? I doubt it. Do the right thing! Make sure you have a personal account in your own name, and then set up a page in your business name.