**THIS JUST IN. According to my spies, Facebook will be cracking down on businesses using personal profiles this year. Better to take some action now than to log in one day and find out you’ve been shut down! **
Yesterday we talked about the fact that businesses should have PAGES not PROFILES. Read it here if you missed it.
If you have created a personal profile on behalf of your company and you now realize that perhaps that wasn’t the route you wanted to take, the first thing to do is pat yourself on the back and say “The only way to learn is to try.” Hey, you don’t know what you don’t know. So now you know, and it might be frustrating, or embarrassing, or annoying, but oh well. Frankly, I can be leap-before-you-look person. I want to get my hands in it and just get started. More than once this means I have had to step back and say, well now what? You’re not alone! Ok. So how do we deal with it?
Download your Facebook information – This is a new feature from Facebook.
- Go to the Account link at the top right corner of FB.
- Go down to Account Settings.
- Near the bottom of all of those options is “Download Your Information”.
- Click on the link next to it. (On mine it says ‘Learn More’.) It will walk you through downloading all the info you’ve shared. (This will take some time – mine took about 6 hours and they send an email when it is ready.)
- Once you have downloaded the zip file, use things like photos, videos and links to back fill your new business page and keep the brand you’ve built.
Back up your contacts – This might take some time, depending on how many friends you have made. However, it is the critical step.
- Make a simple spreadsheet in Excel.
- Go to each friend’s profile and get his or her contact information, whether it is publicly shared or you have to ask for it.
- If the contact is someone you really don’t know, explain that since you do not own Facebook, you need to have a way to contact them in case something happens to Facebook. (In my opinion, there is no need to tell them you’re doing this because you’re in violation of the Terms of Service!)
- Then import the spreadsheet into your CRM tool. This is probably a good step for your business anyway because these customers should be in your contact database.
Create a business page – It doesn’t take very long to get the basics up and running.
- If you need help, you can find tutorials online pretty easily.
- If you really want to make it sparkle, find someone who can create a killer page for you.
- Once it is up, start asking the friends from your business profile to like it.
- For those who you trust, you can even explain your dilemma. Use this explanation: you are educating yourself about the amazing and quickly changing world of social media and are taking steps to do it the right way. (It will reflect well on you, trust me.)
- Start telling your ‘friends’ that you will be shutting down the profile and only using the business page. You may not get 100% conversion of your friends to fans, but that is okay.
- Make yourself an admin for the page from your regular Facebook Account. No one will know you are the moderator or see your personal information. (Designate a savvy staff member if necessary.)
Start publicizing your business page – When you have 25 fans, you can claim your personalized url: fb.com/mypage or facebook.com/mypage. Now pimp the heck out it!
- Put it on your website.
- Create a contest to get referrals.
- Put a poster up in your store.
- Add it to your email signature.
- Tell everyone you know.
- Use Facebook Ads to gain fans.
- Ask your friends on your ‘real’ profile to like it and to help you spread the word.
- Connect with other businesses and ask to trade wall posts – you can both link to your own pages and then their fans will find you and your fans will find them. (Just make sure it’s not a competitor!)
With consistently good content, soon you won’t miss your old profile at all. And then you will not look like the confused monkey at the top of this post, but like this guy.
Still got questions? Leave them in the comments and let’s see what we can do. We’re all in this together!