If you’re using a personal Facebook page to market your business, you might want to consider converting that personal account to a fan page in the near future. Did you know that using a personal account for commercial use was in violation of Facebook’s user agreement? In fact, on Facebook’s Help page, the consequences of this violation are clearly stated: “If you don’t convert your noncompliant account to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the account and all of its content.” By keeping your personal page and continuing to violate Facebook’s terms, you run the risk of having your content deleted at any time. In addition to this danger, there are actually many other reasons you might want to consider converting to a fan page to improve your marketing efforts. Let’s look at a few of the advantages.
One of the biggest benefits for a business using a Facebook fan page is access to Facebook Insights. This built-in tool gives you lots of meaningful data about your customers. You can find out the gender, location and demographics of your fan base. You can also find out who’s talking about and sharing your content, and even the peak times of day when people are interacting with your page. This data can help you tailor your posts to your target audience, and can even indicate the best times to post content. By choosing not to use a fan page, you’re missing out on some free market research that can influence your business strategy.
Another great way to build exposure with a Facebook fan page is to use Facebook Offers. This functionality lets use Facebook to promote a deal on your website. Sure, you could just put a link to your website on your personal page and try to drive traffic there, but it’s a much less effective method. When someone claims your deal using Facebook offers, their friends see this activity, which does wonders for creating buzz and building your fan base.
Link to Facebook Places
If you’re converting a personal page to a business page, it’s important to link it to Facebook Places. This creates all sorts of promotional and exposure-building opportunities. For example, it will automatically add your hours of operation to your profile, right under the cover photo. Even better, it lets users “check in”, which notifies their friends of their activity and naturally creates more exposure and awareness of your brand.
When you’re establishing a small business, lack of resources often means you have to do without all the slick bells and whistles that larger companies enjoy. But even on the leanest of budgets, you can still maintain a professional, competent image on Facebook. Using your personal profile to market your business looks unprofessional, especially since it violates the terms of Facebook’s user agreement. It looks like someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, and doesn’t inspire an image of competence and trust. It’s so easy to migrate your page from a personal account to a fan page, and it costs nothing to do. Why not present your best image on Facebook and make the switch?
Even though the process is simple and straightforward, there are rare cases where it might not be in your best interest to convert your personal Facebook account to a fan page. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation where a user has a fan page with 5,000 fans. They also have a personal page with 1,000 friends. The problem is, you can’t convert a personal account into an existing fan page; you can only do the conversion when you’re creating a new fan page as a result. In this case, you’d wind up losing your 5,000 existing fans and only getting your 1,000 friends converted to fans in the end! The better solution here would be to make an announcement on your personal page that this account will soon be shut down, and that all friends are urged to “like” your fan page instead.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to convert your personal Facebook to a fan page:access to promotional tools and social media analytic data are just a couple of the advantages. However, we also saw there were occasional situations where it’s better to start from scratch and create a new fan page. Assess your current Facebook presence and your goals for your business, and choose the route that’s right for you.
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