One of my greatest pet peeves is brands establishing a Facebook Profile rather than a Page.

In many cases, Facebook Profiles were established some time ago before the existence of Pages were well-known and in many cases brands are reluctant to make the shift for fear of losing followers.

In theory, Facebook could shut down your Profile as it violates the terms of service. Facebook states clearly:

“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…. Maintaining a profile for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you don’t convert your profile to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the profile  and all of your content.”

Facebook is currently using the carrot, not the stick – focussing on helping brands shift from Profiles to Pages – but there is always the risk of losing your presence.

Why convert to a Page?

Converting your Profile to a Page is easy, you simply put in a request with Facebook. Click here to start the process.

The key benefit of converting your Profile to a Page is that you keep your Friends and Subscribers (converted to followers) as well as your profile pictures. The downside is that no other content will be carried over to your new Page.

To avoid losing important content, you can download a file that contains all of your sent and received messages, photos and videos.

Not convinced yet? As Pages are designed specifically for brands, there are numerous benefits in converting your Profile to a Page:

User analysis

Facebook Pages provide one of the most helpful tools available for brands: Facebook Insights. Insights provide invaluable data about your followers and how they use your Page.

One of the tools I find helpful is statistics related to gender, age and location – this helps determine if you’re engaging your target audience. Other measure including How People Are Talking About Your Page, Total Tab Views and Page Posts overview which outline the success of your content. Who is viewing it and more importantly, who is sharing it with their friends?

It’s really important to check these each month to see how your page is going and give you an overview of what has been most successful or most effective in engaging with your users.

More information about Facebook Insights

Profiles only allow a maximum of 5,000 friends

If you manage your brand on a Facebook Profile, once you hit 5,000 friends, that’s it, you can’t add any more. Why place a limit on your social media ambitions?

Pages allow multiple admins to moderate an account

Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages allow for multiple admins to be added, which means that more than one person can access the Page at any time.

This spreads the load when monitoring and maintaining accounts and protects individual’s private login details as passwords don’t need to be shared, should a moderator go on holiday.

Pages have great tools to help protect your community

Facebook Pages have a multitude of tips and tools to help you make your Page as effective as possible.

Not only can you place restrictions on who sees your Page (based on age or location), it allows you to decide who posts on your Page and how. You can place restrictions on whether followers can write on your wall, or upload photos and videos or if people can tag you.

Furthermore, Pages allow you to set both a Profanity blocklist and Moderation blocklist. The profanity blocklist will automatically mark posts with profanity as spam and hide them from your wall. The Moderation blocklist allows you to identify specific words that will be be marked as spam and also hidden from the wall.

This is particularly helpful when dealing with youth audiences or at-risk communities.