As a small business owner did you mistakenly create a personal Facebook profile for your company when you meant to create a Brand page? Or maybe you created a personal profile before Brand pages even existed and now you’re missing out on the new functionality? Fear not, Facebook wants to help you switch over and they’ve released the Business Page Migration Tool to help you do it.
It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a totally altruistic gesture on Facebook’s part. Using a personal profile as a brand is actually a violation of Facebook’s terms of service (TOS), and they’d like to remind you they can hijack your page for doing it and remove your whole identity.
First, why should you care?
Well, other than the fact that Facebook can remove your page for violating its TOS, as a small business owner you want to get yourself set up with an official Brand page. Brand pages are better suited for local marketing because they allow anyone to “like” you (no approving friends), there’s no maximum on how popular you can get, and they offer SMBs more robust media and promotion offerings. The fact is, Brand pages are simply the better option. By not using them and sticking to a personal profile, you limit your brand’s ability to really reach out and engage customers.
So, how do you make the switch?
With Facebook’s new Profile Migration Tool. To start the process, click the link and follow the instructions that appear on screen to begin the process. Do be careful, though, because it doesn’t appear there’s any way to undo whatever you changes you make. So proceed with caution.
In the migration, all of your current friends will be switched over to fans, and your profile pics will be added to the new Brand page. Everything, else, however will not make the journey with you. That’s right, all of your other photos, wall content, profile information, applications and everything else you’ve created on Facebook with the account will not be moved over. To prevent the information from being lost, Facebook recommends users download their information before kicking off the process. Otherwise, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
So, should I do this right now?
Well, maybe not. There have been reports from Jeffrey Zeldman, Mashable, and others about some major migration hiccups occurring as part of the process. For example, users have complained about losing custom URLs (which they then can’t get back because they’re “taken” by the old account), disappearing apps, not being able to access Facebook help and other great annoyances.
My advice? Give it a week or two before you attempt the migration process, and do so only after you’ve made sure to back up all of your content.
Though a little wonky right now, this migration is really important for small business owners not yet moved over to Facebook Brand pages. Creating a Brand page will offer you much more functionality and will help you better promote your business to customers. Hopefully Facebook will quickly get the kinks worked out and small business owners can be on their way to engaging with customers better than ever.
I did this a couple days ago, as I had set up a facebook account as a person instead of my company, even though my intent was to use that account for my business. The tools and instructions were very straightforward, and all my “friends” turned into likes for my new page. Also, since I had less than 100 friends, I was able to change the name from my name to my business name.
Has anyone had any trouble with this?
I agree, give Facebook a little time to work out the bugs. The last thing you want is to lose your old profile account and then not get your new business profile set up, leaving you with nothing.
However, I’m glad Facebook is helping users out with this tool. I commend their customer service.
Thank you for posting this Facebook update! As the owner of a social media marketing firm I rely on information in blogs like this to keep me updated about social media marketing trends. I agree with Robert that Facebook is trying to provide their customers with what they are asking for. Facebook is not perfect buy they are trying.
This would be great for people who had a hard time in getting their contacts to like their page. I am sure a lot of business owners will make this migration to promote their business even better. However, loosing important information is a huge drawback and Facebook should come up with some way to preserve it. Thanks for sharing!
What happens if your page was initially a profile, and you tried to turn it into a fan page already???? We are very close to 2K friends, who we don’t want to loose, can we migrate into the fan page already created?????
Lisa, your article was well-done and very helpful. Thank you! Just to clarify, though, it sounds like once you migrate, your person profile is eliminated. Isn’t there a way to have both personal and business so you can post content that is appropriate for each account?
Hi Lisa Barone,
Have you any idea about migration from old facebook group to page? I need it. Also i have some groups here admin account account disable. How can i get admin again my old groups.Now groups showing “No admin”. Please suggest me.
Is there anything for a small business that created a profile and eventually a business page to merge these two pages?
Not at all what I am trying to accomplish. I want to separate the page I created away from my personal page so that I can autonomously control the page and link it to my blog, Pinterest, and so on. However it is asking to wipe out my entire personal page, I don’t want that. How can I either move the page or? It will not let me make another and it is becoming more frustrating as the days go by and boating season is HERE!! Any words of advice? Help? I am all ears