Facebook Rant #1 – Facebook Profiles aren’t for Businesses

Epic Fail

Facebook profiles are for people and pages are for businesses, organizations etc. Does that mean someone can’t say what they do on their profile. Of course not, but what it does mean is that you shouldn’t have several profiles for different businesses or different aspects of your business you need to have business pages set up.  I’ll address dos and don’ts of using your profile to build your online presence without being spammy or breaking Facebook’s Terms of Service in another post.

I see people making the profile mistake all of the time. It’s an amateur mistake and I can understand a person who’s learning Facebook and just trying to get something started making that it. BUT when I see people who are touting themselves as marketing or social media experts building profiles for people it frankly just pisses me off.  This is 101 stuff that no one who’s been doing business on Facebook should be doing.

Why is it a bad idea? Because it’s against Facebook’s Terms of Service. Right, I know, they let you build the profile with a business name. Yes, you managed to slip it through. Yes, you’ve built up a couple of hundred or maybe even a couple of thousand friends.  But that still doesn’t make it a good idea. It’s kind of like speeding or driving without insurance or cheating on your taxes. Yes you haven’t been caught, but sooner or later…you will.

Here’s the info from FB:

Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.

http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904

If you don’t want to have a personal profile you can set up a business account. I don’t recommend them because you can’t add any applications to the page.

Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.

Here are the terms and the pieces that you are violating if you have a bus

http://www.facebook.com/terms.php#!/terms.php?ref=pf

Section 3
1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.

Section 4
2. You will not create more than one personal profile.

All in all, you can do what you want, but I think it’s foolish to violate the terms of service because sooner or later Facebook will notice and they will delete the accounts that are violating their terms.

Doug

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