Convert a Facebook Profile to a Business Page without Losing Friends

Please Note: If you look at all the comments below, you will notice that this conversion does not always go smoothly.  We’ve done it twice without issues, but the number of  comments indicates a persistent problem.  If you lost friends during your conversion, please report the issue to Facebook. You can also ask them to reverse the conversion.

Why Should I Convert my Profile to a Business Page?

From Facebook’s Help Pages:

“Since profiles are for meant individual people, they aren’t suited to meet your business needs. Pages offer more robust features for organizations, businesses, brands, and public figures, which you can learn more about here.

Further, 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.”

Convert Facebook Profile to a Page Convert your Facebook Profile to a Page in a few steps to improve functionality and reporting.

Granted, I have yet to hear of anyone losing their profile, but, as Google+ did to businesses that ignored their warnings, Facebook could do at any time.

Facebook pages can use apps, like iFrame welcome pages, that are not available to personal profiles.  They can also have an unlimited number of fans, whereas friends are limited to 5,000.  Another benefit is that you can allow others to administer the page without giving out your personal log in information. In exchange, you will lose access to your friend’s profiles, chat and the ability to post to personal profile walls.

That said, we’ve all seen it – businesses using personal Facebook profiles.  Often they have an extensive post history, many photos and hundreds of friends.  So, even though we know Facebook doesn’t want businesses using profiles, who can blame them for not converting?  I wouldn’t want to lose all that work, either! Fortunately, along with option one (hope Facebook doesn’t crack down) and two (start from scratch) there is a third option: Facebook’s Migration Tool.

How to Convert Your Profile into a Page – Four Easy Steps

Facebook has developed a tool to convert profiles to business pages. The converter works by converting all your friends to fans and moving your profile photos over. Alas, additional images, videos, posts and comments are not moved.

Step One

Though you won’t be able to easily upload everything, you might still want to download all your information, some of which (photos) you may be able to add back manually.  To take advantage of this, use Facebook’s Personal Data Downloader to save all your profile information (this may take hours).  Access this feature by going to Account>Account Settings>Download Your Information.

Step Two

Another item to care for BEFORE converting is to make sure that any pages you administer with the profile that will soon become a page has an alternate administrator.  Once your profile becomes a page, you lose access to pages you used to administer with that profile.  You should have a personal profile anyway (if you don’t, create one now), so just make sure your personal profile can administer all pages you will need to access.

Step Three

Visit Facebook’s Migration Tool page and choose the correct category for your business.

Once conversion is complete, assign administrators (such as your personal profile) to the new page and let all your new “fans” know you’re official!

Please note that complete migration can take hours.

Step Four

At this point, your new page is without an administrator.  So, open a new browser, create a new personal profile, and then go back to the browser where you are logged in as the page and assign your new personal profile as an administrator.

 Undo?

If you accidentally convert your profile to a page (how?) or you notice consequences that you can’t live with, use Facebook’s appeal form to request that they revert it back to a profile.  If you really ARE a business, however, I wouldn’t count on it!

 

My Experience

In the interests of science, I decided to do a test run.  I created a new personal profile, connected with a couple of friends and followed the steps above. It took a couple of hours to download my information (and this, on a brand new test account – those with extensive history will take longer), but I finally got my Email with the link to get my zip file, which I then extracted.  The resulting folder looked like this:

Facebook Migrate Profile to Page

Browsing to photos>profile photos confirms that my profile photo was indeed downloaded!

On to step three. I chose “Company, Organization, or Institution” with subcategory “Health/Beauty”.  Next, a big warning pops up about this being irreversible (it gives me a link to download my profile info, too) and I’m prompted to enter my password again and enter a security check string.  Next thing I know, it’s done!  My two friends are now “likes” and my profile image is right where it should be.   Next step, enter basic information and start posting!

Have you converted a profile to a page?  Why or why not?

Tired of the Do-It-Yourself approach to social media?  Are your other business interests suffering as you try to make sense of all it takes to make your social media presence a success?  Please contact us - we can help.  We offer an outsource social media management plan that gives you a vibrant online presence and allows you to get back to business.

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About the Author Alisa Meredith ( Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


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