Many businesses I have met through consulting or at social media training courses are using a personal profile on Facebook as a business page, which is against the rules of Facebook and may be deleted.
Facebook allows (irreversible) conversion of a personal profile to a business page, with friends converted into fans.
The Arguments For
Threat of deletion aside, there are many other reasons to set up as a page rather than a profile, including:
- Unlimited number of fans (profile pages limited to 5,000 friends)
- Fans do not need to be individually approved
- You do not see your fans’ content on your home page / feed
- Your fans cannot see if you are online, and cannot ‘chat’ to you
- Access to analytics – how many people viewed your content, when, demographics, feedback, etc
- Page is easier to find on Google and Facebook search
- Looks more professional
- Enhancements can be added via apps (YouTube channel, custom welcome page…)
- No risk of being temporarily blocked from Facebook for inappropriate / excessive friend requests
- Business page can have multiple admins (people who can update and manage the page)
The Arguments Against
If you can live with the downsides and threat of deletion, there are some advantages to using a personal profile instead of a business page, primarily:
- Easier to acquire friends than fans; users are prompted to click the familiar ‘confirm’ button and they look more popular
- Ability to send direct messages to friends and invite them to events
- Converted profiles have business rather than personal accounts, resulting in some loss of functionality
A shorter list, but compelling reasons to continue using a personal profile to promote your business on Facebook.
At any rate, if you reach the 5,000 friend limit, you will be instructed by Facebook to convert the profile to avoid deletion.
If you are considering converting a personal profile, or have already done so, please share you thoughts in comments below.