Facebook added the ability to convert your Personal Profile Page to a business page. The business pages use to be called "Fan Pages." Although Facebook has officially changed the name, many of us still refer to them as Fan Pages.
This is great news for people who incorrectly setup a personal page as a business page. Setting up and maintaining a profile for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights & Responsibilities. If you don't convert your profile to a page you will run the risk of permanently losing access to the profile and all of the associated content.
Below are details you need to know about converting your personal page to a business page. I have included direct links to the Facebook help section and instructions for converting the profile. I highly encourage you to review all of the associated material BEFORE converting your page. It is a permanent action. Do NOT expect help from Facebook if you inadvertently convert a page.
1. You were new to Facebook and didn't understand the terms and conditions. You setup a Personal Profile as a business page.
2. The second possibility is that you did understand the Facebook terms and conditions but chose to setup a Personal Profile as your business profile anyway. You assumed the risk and knew at some point you would have to deal with the situation. Well, that time is now friends.
How to Know if You Have a Business Page or a Personal Profile?
The number #1 way you can tell if your page is a personal profile and not an official business page is if you can send and accept friend requests. Only personal profiles are enabled to send and receive friend requests. Business pages can only have "likes".
How to Convert Your Personal Profile to a Business Page:
1. Review the Facebook Help Section on this Topic here
2. Notify the friends of your personal profile page that you will be converting the page to a business page as required by Facebook terms and conditions.
3. Make a back-up of your personal profile information prior to the conversion. All of your personal profile information will not be transferred to the new business page nor saved by default. It is your responsibility to save and back-up this information if you want to keep a copy. You can learn how to back-up and copy the information here.
4. Complete the conversion process paying close attention to every detail. The conversion is permanent and you will lose data during conversion if you do not perform a back-up.
5. Develop and execute a marketing, engagement and post-like plan on your new business page that supports your business goals and objectives. Remember, it's what happens after the like that matters. You may need to work to keep some of your prior "friends" as "likers." Communication is key in providing value for them to continue to "like" your new business page.
6. Don't forget to change any redirect urls and domains you had pointing to your personal page. Make note also of any business cards, email signatures, social networks which included the old url path.
Why Convert the Personal Profile Page You Have Been Using as a Business Page to an Official Facebook Business Page?
1. Maintaining the business page as a personal profile is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights & Responsibilities.
2. If you don't convert your page to a business page you increase your risk of permanently losing all of your content and access to the page all together.
What Happens Upon Conversion?
1. All of your profile pictures will be transferred to the new business page.
2. All of your content will NOT be transferred to the new business page. Information such as photo albums, profile information will not be transferred.
3. All of your friends on the personal page will automatically become "likers" on the new business page.
4. The account associated with your old personal profile will be converted to a business account.
5. The business account will be the sole admin of your new page until you add another admin.
What Personal Information is Downloaded During the Back-Up Process?
- Personal profile information (groups, information, interests, contacts etc.)
- Photos & videos
- Wall posts
- Status updates
- Content that your friends have uploaded
- Friend lists
- Messages sent and received
- Events that you have RSVPd for
- Comments you have received and made on walls, photos etc.
Success Tips & Important Reminders:
1. The conversion is permanent.
2. You can NOT transfer your personal profile page to an existing business page (fan page).
3. If you are using a personal page as a business page, I highly encourage you to complete the conversion to a business page. I have seen many people lose their pages due to breaking the terms of personal vs. business pages. Don't risk it! It is better to do it when you are in control than if Facebook decides to do it for you!
3. Do a back-up of your Facebook personal profile information here. Your personal profile photos, videos and other information will be gone forever unless you download a back-up copy!
4. Communicate the change to your business "friends" prior to making the change. They will become automatic "likers" of your business page once you convert. I encourage you to let them know they will automatically "like" your page upon the conversion.
5. Do a check of your photos and other information to confirm if you want it to appear as part of your business page.
6. None of your personal engagement as a personal profile page will be saved. Your comments, wall posts will be gone forever.
7. Know that you may lose some "friends/likers" on the new page once they find out about the conversion. I for one know that I may have accepted a friend request when I was new to Facebook. It could be the person has moved jobs, started a new business. It is not guaranteed that I genuinely want to "like" the page. Do not take offense if you lose people. Value and support their decisions regardless.
8. Note, this feature is not intended for those with a personal page to decide it's now their business page. Just because I am your friend on your personal page doesn't mean you should decide you are now going to take advantage of that fact and make your "liker." I highly encourage you to really think about this decision. It may seem like a little decision now but it does involve ethics. People have trusted you with being their friend. Do not take advantage of that trust. If you have thought about creating a business page to promote your business then that might be the best option. This feature is perfect for those who have broken Facebook terms and have two personal profiles, one of which they are using for business.