I had an interesting question come up from a prospective client the other day. For the first time in a long time, I was stumped! An hour later, with lots of research and exploration behind me, I thought I’d share an interesting feature that Facebook added in March 2011. It was new to me!
Say you have a Facebook profile. You’ve got lots of “friends,” but you don’t know most of them. They’ve simply connected with you because you’re a public persona and they want to get to know you better. I know this happens all the time with public figures.
You joined Facebook for the same reason as everyone else; to keep in touch with family and friends. But then these friend requests started pouring in. Like a deer caught in the headlights, you didn’t know what to do. So you accepted the request or ignored it hoping that it would go away. But then in a moment of weakness, you gave in and accepted the backlog of requests just so that you wouldn’t feel guilty anymore. Right?
Now, your newsfeed is flooded with information that you really aren’t interested in, and it’s making it harder to see those gems from your friends and family that you really do care about. You could filter it, as I demonstrate in one of my YouTube videos, but who has the time to go through so many friends and put them in lists?
Did you know that you can convert your Facebook profile into a Facebook page? What? You didn’t? Neither did I!
Here’s the deal. When you migrate a profile to a page:
- You do lose the old profile. You have to create a new profile for your personal use using a different e-mail address than your old profile. But if the idea is to clean up the profile, starting with a clean slate isn’t a bad thing!
- Only your profile pictures and friends/subscribers are transferred over to the page. So, backup your content if you have any interest in saving it. It won’t be accessible later. Note: Depending on the number of friends you have, it can take a few hours for all the friends and subscribers to appear as “likes” on the new page. So, don’t worry if they’re not all there right away.
- Other than the new likes and a profile picture, your new page is blank. Once again, not a bad issue. Just start creating content. At least you’ll be off to a great start with the following.
- If your profile is the admin for any groups or apps, assign new admins before you migrate. The page will remain an admin for any pages you’re an admin for, but better safe than sorry; I’d add other admins for pages as well.
- If you have a username specified for your profile (otherwise known as a “vanity URL”), it will be applied to the new page instead. The username for my page is “AlewebSocial.” That gives me a vanity URL of http://www.facebook.com/AlewebSocial. Facebook doesn’t allow you to change the username of a page with more than 200 “likes,” so depending on how many people are friends, you may not be able to update the username of the page.
- From what I can piece together, the name of the new page (the page title) is based on the profile name. Therefore, Joe Schmoe’s profile will be displayed as “Joe Schmoe” for the page title. At least that’s my guess. So, if you want a different title, change your profile name before you update the account. The first name could be “Joe Schmoe’s” and the last name “Awesome New Facebook Page.” You get the idea. I have to admit, I have not tried this out yet, but my guess is that it would work. Otherwise, to change a page title, you have to put in a special request with Facebook, and they don’t make it easy.
- The newsfeed of your new page will be blank because you haven’t “liked” any other pages yet.
- Some people may be put off by becoming a fan when they thought they were your friend (think old high school classmates, family members, etc.). So, anticipate a drop-off in “likes” soon after the conversion.
Making a page is definitely the right answer, even for personal brands. You need to be in conformance with Facebook’s terms of agreement, otherwise, you risk them shutting your account down.
But there are other reasons for it too. For instance, Google indexes pages, but not profiles. In addition, pages allow much more functionality than profiles do, including adding apps for a mailing list, creating events, etc.
I hope this helps! Since I haven’t had anyone volunteer yet for me to convert their profile, I’ll share someone else’s video of the process for you to see what it looks like.
If you decide that you want to go ahead and try it yourself, just sign into your Facebook profile and go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate to get started.
So, what do you think? Is it time to convert your Facebook profile to a page? Let us know below if you’re daring enough to do it! 😀