A friend recently launched a community page to kick-start his project. Along the way he hit a bit of a snag. Anyway, I though I’d publish a guide on how to successfully migrate from a personal Facebook profile to a robust fan page.
Why should I convert my profile to a Page?
Since profiles are meant for individual people, they aren’t suited to meet business needs. Pages offer more robust features for organizations, businesses, brands, and public figures.
Maintaining a profile for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Facebook regularly trawls through the profiles and may shut down yours if it violates the terms of agreement. So, if you don’t convert your profile to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the profile and all of your content.
How do I convert my profile to a Page?
When you convert a profile to a Page, only profile pictures will be transferred, and all of your friends will be automatically added as people who “like” your Page. No other content will be carried over to your new Page. The account associated with the profile you previously maintained would be converted to a business account, which will be the only admin of your new Page, unless you add additional ones.
What’s the difference between a business account and a profile?
Business accounts are designed for people who only want to use Facebook to administer Pages and run advertising campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same features as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on Facebook.
When you use a business account, you can view all the Pages and Social Ads you own, but you will not be able to view profiles or content owned by other people. Business accounts cannot be found in a search, and the owner of the account will not be able to send or receive friend requests.
How can I download my profile information before converting my profile to a Page?
To begin this process, go to Account Settings page, then click the “learn more” link beside “Download Your Information.” From there, click the “Download” button.
When I download my information from Facebook, what is included in the file?
Your file will include the following information:
- Your profile information (e.g., your contact information, interests, groups)
- Wall posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile
- Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account
- Your friend list
- Notes you have created
- Events to which you have RSVP’d
- Sent and received messages
- Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall posts, photos, and other profile content
I’ve converted my profile to a Page. What should I do next?
You might add additional admins to the Page. For example, you can add your personal profile or other people as admins.
Can I convert my newly created Page back to a profile?
If you have accidentally converted your profile to a business Page, you can submit a request for a reversal. Please keep in mind that it is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to maintain a profile for anything other than an individual person. If you wish to submit an appeal, you can do so.
BENEFITS OF A PAGE:
- No 5,000 friend limit
- No more managing Friend Requests
- No more Facebook messages
- People who Like the page still see updates. They can now tag my page in their photos.
- Facebook Insights
COSTS OF MIGRATION
Third party apps disappear completely
None of the third-party functionality (Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, RSS, and so on) has migrated from the user page to the fan page, and there is no information explaining how to reconnect these apps.
The original profile will become a Business Account
The resultant account following the migration can only be used to create and manage pages and cannot engage in personal contact. No more access to:
- Personal data from your friends (e.g. birthdays)
- Friends’ walls
- Outstanding friend requests
- Existing Pages (access will be retained by existing admisitrators)
- You lose your Profile wall content, and can’t migrate it to your Page wall post content
- You can’t contact (or chat with) friends
- You can’t convert your friends to an existing Page (Facebook prevents this as it thinks that you are spamming people you don’t know)
Duplicate Fan Pages
There is no way to merge two fan pages unless they are named exactly the same thing. Facebook has introduced a new option to “Merge duplicate pages” under the “Resources” tab. This is only possible if you are an administrator for both pages. Otherwise, the only option is to report duplicate pages to Facebook.