Facebook Profile vs. Page: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters

Did you know that it is against Facebook’s Terms of Use to have a business set up as a Personal Profile?  Facebook requires that

“What’s the difference?” you ask.  ”Why does it matter?”

Facebook Personal PageFacebook set Fan Pages up specifically to cater to businesses, organizations, and public figures.  Fan Pages are set up so that an individual can “Like” the page as opposed to becoming Friends.  This protects the individual’s privacy, as a Fan Page can only view certain personal information about their fans, where a Friend can see much more.  This distinction is very important to most people.  After all – who wants some company being able to see and comment on pictures of their kids or something equally as personal?  Also, personal profiles can only have up to 5,000 Friends, while Fan Pages can have an unlimited number of fans!

FB_Admin_PanelOn the technical side of things, Fan Pages are searchable by Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines, while Personal Profiles are not.  Fan Pages have analytics built into them, giving you statistics about what posts are getting the best reactions, who sees them, and how they interact with your page.  Both of these features are very important for a business or organization that wants to expand their reach as far as possible and make informed decisions about what paths to take in future Social Media Marketing campaigns!  Even better, on Fan Pages, you can attach apps which will add functionality to your Fan Page, such as (but certainly not limited to) a custom-designed “landing page” which invites visitors to immediately like your Page, or the ability to sell your products directly from your Fan Page as well as your physical location or website.

“But I already have my business’s profile set up – it’s already got lots of friend/fans attached to it!  Can I comply with Facebook’s Terms of Use without losing all my hard work?”

Yes!  Facebook has provided a process for transitioning a personal profile to a Fan Page; just follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the information on the personal profile you are going to convert to a Fan Page.  This is so you have a backup, just in case something goes wrong, and because Facebook can only convert some of your information directly.
  2. Start the migration process here.  Make sure you’re logged in to the profile you want to convert!  Follow the directions as Facebook presents them.

FB Fan PageOnce the process is complete, your friends will automatically be converted to fans, and your photos will be brought over as well.  Your log-in info remains the same.  You will have some updating to do once your profile has been converted though.  This is a good time to go to the .ZIP file of your profile’s information and start adding any information to your Fan Page that didn’t get moved over from your profile

Karen Leonard
October 8, 2012

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