If you’ve ever gone to what you thought was a business page on Facebook only to see a button that says “Add as Friend,” then you’ve just witnessed a violation of Facebook’s terms. It doesn’t really mean anything to you, but this business or organization is in danger of being shut down by Facebook. We’ve noticed lots of local organizations who have unwittingly violated the rules.
Here is what Facebook says about businesses using a profile instead of a page. Click to see a larger view.
If you are one of those who accidentally went the route of creating a personal profile rather than a business page, there are only two options. Well, three actually, but the third is a really bad idea.
First, you can start up an actual page on Facebook and then tell all of your current friends to “Like” the new page. After a certain amount of time, you would shut down the “illegal” personal profile. This works, but takes time and not everyone will hop over.
Second, you can simply migrate your current profile to a business page. This is automatic, and permanent, and means that all of your current friends will still be on your new page. Again, this is a permanent change so DO NOT test the migration with your own personal Facebook page. Only do this with the profile you use for your business or organization.
Third, you can just keep doing what you’re doing and “hope” that Facebook won’t catch you. This is a bad idea. If you are shut down, you won’t get a warning. It will just happen. Then all of the work you’ve put into building your community will be lost.
So, we recommend the second option. As we said, it’s quick, saves (most) of your information and all of your fans.
The reason we say most is that your photo albums will not be moved, just those in the Profile Photos section, so you will have to save those manually. You can find details on saving your photos by clicking here. You may also lose previous wall posts. At least one person has also reported losing an event they had created when they were still a profile.
The important thing is that you maintain your audience and avoid having to rebuild that valuable resource for your organization.
To migrate your Profile to a Page, click here.
You’ll notice you have several options. The vast majority of users will be happy choosing “Local Business or Location” or “Company, Organization, or Institution.”
Once you’ve migrated, make sure to go through all the options available by clicking on the “Edit Page” button.
If you have any questions or need pointed in the right direction, just let us know. You can also find lots of information on Facebook by going here.