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Marketing Java

Promoting Your Business on Facebook: Dos and Don’ts

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Every so often, I come across a really great brand on Facebook, only to be disappointed by the fact that they’ve set themselves up using a personal or Profile page, versus a Fan Page. Granted, Facebook changes the game nearly daily, so it’s no surprise there has been confusion over how businesses can represent themselves in this medium. A few years ago, it was not uncommon to find yourself friended by businesses, organizations or brands, but present-day Facebook has a strict protocol for non-personal pages. If you are using Facebook to promote your business, it is imperative you are familiar with these regulations so you can keep yourself out of hot water or worse, without a face on Facebook.

“Profiles” represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while “Pages” allow an organization, business, or brand to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You can manage your Page as an admin through your personal Facebook profile, or you may create a Page by setting up a business account, if you are new to Facebook. Business accounts are not able to view the profile information of any other users on the site, are not visible in searches and are unable to be added as a friend. In effect, the owner of the business account does not exist as a Facebook entity, only as the hidden administrator of the business or brand Page.

To avoid complication, set up your Fan Page within your existing account, if you have one, as Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities makes it clear that one is not permitted create multiple profiles for any reason. Rest assured, fans of your business Page will not be able to access to your personal profile, and the name used on your personal account will not appear when you are acting as the administrator on your business Page.

A Profile and a Page are designed to meet different Facebook needs. Facebook Pages have been optimized for a business’ need to share information, interact with their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fans’ recommendations to their friends. They are designed with media capabilities to allow the sharing of photos, videos and events to aid in these endeavors.

Most importantly, Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities states that “Facebook profiles must represent an individual”. Users who are found to be maintaining a personal account under the name of their organization, or using a personal user profile to advertise their business, will find their accounts terminated.

To summarize:

  • DO use a Facebook Page to promote your business
  • DO create your business’ Page through your existing login
  • DO create a business account to create your Page IF you don’t already have a personal login
  • DON’T use a Facebook Profile to represent your business
  • DON’T create a business account IF you already have a personal login
  • DON’T be afraid to ask for help!

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about creating or managing your business’ Facebook presence. We’re happy to answer your questions and assist in the creation of Pages.

12 thoughts on “Promoting Your Business on Facebook: Dos and Don’ts

  • Julian Collins

    Excellent…I’ve been trying to tell people this before, but you made it a bit more clear. I’ll just point them here so they don’t look at me like I’m crazy! Thx

    Reply
  • Derrick Cruz

    Thanks so much for this. I’m a little late, as I already started using a personal profile for my business..whoops. Any way, I’m setting up the fan page today.

    Reply
  • Deb Kolaras

    Better late than never, right? 🙂 Let me know the fan page when you have it up.

    Reply
  • Deb Kolaras

    Happy to help and thanks for stopping by to read 🙂

    Reply
  • Marianne

    I was pointed to your blog today by one of my online peers. I’had posted that I’d found nothing recent that clarifies what you so clearly explain in your article. Thank you, I needed that information.

    Reply
    • Deb Kolaras

      I’m glad you found it useful, Marianne and hope you’ll stop by again. 🙂

      Reply
  • Adam Smith

    The problem with creating a business page through a personal page is that it’s tied to a person. What if that person sells the company? It sounds like if one is a member of a corporation, the only person who can set up the business page is someone who doesn’t have a Facebook account to avoid duplication. I have to be reading this wrong.

    Reply
    • Deb Kolaras

      Hi Adam and thanks for the question. Businesses should (and can) have multiple Admins, that way when a person leaves, they’re removed as an Admin. If a company is sold, the transfer of Admin is easy: first assign it to the people that will be maintaining the site, then remove the previous Admins. Companies should have a legend and that lists all the people set as Admin, that way you always know who is running things. Think of it as the sharing of a security card for a building: once you’re no longer working there, the card is deactivated, but the person in your old position was given a new card that grants them access to the building just the same.

      Reply
  • Paligula

    Hi

    I am looking at getting setup on facebook but after googling the subject I am really confused.

    I have multiple different businesses that cater to radically different groups. My webhosting business, an IT Company website and a first person shooter web site, a site dedicated to nature wallpaper.

    I have read that you can only have one facebook account – personal or business.

    Since I have some – lets say – not mainstream friends – I have never joined facebook. It’s my understanding that companies have made it a matter of practice to check personal facebook accounts. I don’t do crazy stuff but do not want to be guilty by association. :o)

    Ok – so for me I do not really see setting up a personal profile on facebook as an option. I would have to deny friend requests and that’s not cool.

    I have read that the way to represent multiple businesses is to set up a personal account and then create separate facebook pages for each business. And that if you do that these pages will be searchable by Google. What I don’t understand is will a user that goes to my page setup for my IT business be able to tell I also have a First Person Shooter website?

    As far as setting up a business facebook account it would seem that this can only promote one business? Can you promote 5 different businesses with only one business account? This is totally unclear to me? Its my understanding I cannot have five facebook accounts – one for each business according to the TOS which I see as silly since they are separate entities.

    Also – its my understanding that business accounts are useless because they are not searchable in Google? I have read that in many places but I don’t see how that would be true?

    Can you create a personal account and have that account viewable by nobody? That is so you can then create separate business pages that are searchable by Google?

    Help would be appreciated!

    Reply
    • Deb Kolaras

      This section might be of use to you:

      How are Pages different from personal profiles?
      Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

      In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.

      This is from: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904

      Essentially, you have one personal account (and you set some really strict privacy settings there) and then you maintain the multiple Business Pages from there; each one you set up, you’re automatically the Admin. Facebook just needs to make sure it’s a real person setting and maintaining things. Setting multiple personal pages is what would get you in trouble 🙂

      Reply
  • Paligula

    Ahh – so if I setup a personal account with “some really strict privacy settings there” as you say my personal account would not be searchable or viewable by anyone but me? That would work.

    Are the business pages I create under that personal account linked in any way? I want to keep them separate.

    This might work. . .

    Thanks for your quick response!

    Reply
    • Deb Kolaras

      Like they said:

      Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account. 🙂

      Good luck!

      Reply

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