Facebook has unveiled a tool that will help many people convert Facebook profiles to pages. Until recently, if you had a business, you had to create a Facebook profile to get that business online. You had to make your business seem like a person, and people had to friend it. That was awkward.
My Facebook page is a hodge podge of personal and professional contacts and I’ve long been searching for a way to separate church and state. As Tod Maffin has described, you can sort your followers into lists – but I’ve been looking for a more isolated solution.
I jumped at the chance to change my profile to a page, but you might not want to do it yet. Here’s why:
1. Facebook will treat you like a business. If your profile was the account you used to manage all your pages, that account (and email address) are now linked to a page. You cannot start from scratch and attach a new and fresh profile to that address. It’s in use and locked up.
My workaround was to start a fresh profile with one of my tertiary email addresses, add that new profile as an admin to all my pages and then go back and delete the original account as an admin. Pain in the ass? Yes.
2. Re-establishing your friends list will get you blocked as a spammer. All your friends are transferred to the new page from your profile, however when you want to re-add them to your fresh profile with the new email address, you can get blocked if you get to eager.
I was re-adding friends to my new account and got stopped after about 2 dozen. Facebook didn’t like my rapid and bulk friend requesting (despite ACTUALLY knowing all the people I was requesting contact with) and blocked me from sending messages and adding friends for 2 days. Pain in the ass? Yes.
3. Your friends come with you, your data doesn’t. When you make the change, you will lose all your data, all your wall posts, all your images, all your videos. I find this part of the transfer process particularly confusing. If you have ever tried to delete a Facebook account before, you know it’s an arduous process with Facebook holding on to your data should you change your mind.
Make the switch from profile to page, however, and everything you’ve poured into the site is evaporated instantly. You can (and should) back up and download all your data from your profile before you turn it into a page, but re-establishing the photos and videos will have to be done one at a time. You’ll have an archive of your wall posts, but it won’t appear on your new page. Pain in the ass? Yes.
4. You can’t interact with people in the same way as a page as you did as a profile. Just because someone ‘likes’ you, doesnt mean you can communicate with them. Pages are limited from commenting directly on the walls of people who like them. You need to have a friended profile relationship to do that. The page is more of a broadcast tool, the profile is an interactive experience. Pain in the ass? Yes.
In the end, I do like having a professional page for my brand instantly filled with more than 1000 people, but it will be a long hike back up to re-establish my personal profile with people I actually know.
Should you turn your Facebook profile into a page? That depends. How much spare time do you have to get it all sorted out?