Last week I introduced you to the growing number of small businesses that set up a Facebook page as a personal profile in order to promote their business and why you want to avoid running your Facebook profile page as a business page. Today, we’ll take a look at the other reasons I believe running a Facebook business page as a profile page is bad for business.
Now that we know about the great apps and features that business pages have over profile pages in addition to advertising benefits and engaging with likes over fans, let’s take a look at what all those cool tools and promotion opportunities show you.
Collecting the right data
Pretend for a moment that you want to know how many people saw the great offer on dish soap that your store is having. As a profile page, you can only see who has “liked” or shared that status update. While knowing who has liked and shared your update is wonderful, it doesn’t give you a complete picture of your Facebook marketing efforts. (Remember there’s little marketing opportunity for profile pages to begin with).
Profile pages don’t show you the true reach or the engagement that your sale update created. You’re missing out on key analytics that as a business help you decide what kinds of updates are popular, what kinds get shared or commented on and when you should share more (the peak times your customers are on Facebook). Business pages have a helpful admin panel that includes tracking information on your likes and shares but also valuable insights such as who exactly you’re reaching; men, women, their ages, their locations, including where those likes and shares came from (were they shared from a friend of a fan?) plus other analytics to help you make your engagement on Facebook not only more successful but more visible.
Maximum friend amount
A person on Facebook can only have a maximum of 5,000 friends. That seems like a lot of friends doesn’t it and I say only like it’s a drop in the bucket. It’s actually both. For a business page, 5,000 people may be scratching the surface of their potential reach. Business pages don’t have a cap on how many people can like their page. They don’t ever have to delete “likes” in order to make room for new likes or weed out friends. And they never have to worry about Facebook telling them they’ve sent too many friend requests or are banned from sharing too much.
Profile pages are at risk for being put in “Facebook timeouts” with restrictions on sending friend requests, sharing posts and even posting too many times in one day. These timeouts can last a day or a couple of weeks. Often once you’re on Facebook’s radar for oversharing or sending mass requests, you’re on it for a long time to come. Additionally, if you send a request to a people you’ve found in your business’s local area and those people not only deny your request but tell Facebook that they don’t know you, there’s a chance you can be marked as spam. Facebook would then have the rights to remove your account and bypass the timeout altogether.
Connection to your business
Facebook has a cool feature called “Places” (similar to Foursquare). Places allow people to search for your business, “check in” and share with others that they visited your business. Pretty cool huh? The places page also connect easily to your business page. As one of the insight features Facebook will tell you not only who has mentioned your page or talked about it but who also has checked in. All great ways to see how many people you’re reaching. Can your personal profile do that? Which would you want to be seen; who has visited your business or who’s stopped by your house? In addition, this feature works well with your overall Facebook page analytics.
That means all your hard work, all the time you’ve put into building your fan base will be gone.
I wish this last reason was a hoax but it’s not. I gained a client a couple of years ago because while the client hired someone to create and run their Facebook page, he (their contractor) had his own was removed because he had been breaking Facebook’s rules and running his personal profile as a business page (Why you’d hire someone who breaks the rules in the first place is a bit of a head scratcher but to each their own). Either way, he was banned from Facebook and the customer was left hanging.
The good news is that Facebook will allow you to merge pages, change your page’s name (once you’re a business page) and even migrate a personal page over to a business page. All of that takes work. If you’re not sure what to do, find someone who does so that you know you’re on the up and up and keeping in Facebook’s good graces.