Larry BraunerIn my 7 Issues to Consider About Doing Business on Facebook and ONE Facebook Business Page, No More, No Fewer, I strongly advised not to use your Facebook personal profile for your business, advice that was echoed in Top 5 Things Not to Do on Facebook on HubSpot.

Feedback from some very concerned small business marketers using their Facebook profiles for their businesses led to this follow-up article to address their concerns.

FacebookSome have a Facebook personal profile for personal use and one or more Facebook personal profiles for business use, in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service, which state that “you will not create more than one personal profile.”

I shall discuss this situation next week in You Say I Can’t Have More than One Facebook Personal Profile.

Tips for Businesses Using Facebook Personal Profiles

If you’re employing one Facebook profile page for both personal and business use (or for business use only), I offer you these eight tips:

  1. Don’t panic. For most users, the choice of how to market yourself and your business on Facebook isn’t really a life or death matter. (For the small minority of Facebook business users for whom this choice is a life or death matter, your panic is understandable. Seek professional or law enforcement assistance without further delay.)
  2. If you’re comfortable enough with the many limitations I set forth in ONE Facebook Business Page, No More, No Fewer, stop reading these tips right here and continue to do as you’ve been doing up until now. If and when you see the light, return here and keep reading.
  3. Create a Facebook business page. Either How to Create a Facebook Fan Page or How To Set Up a Facebook Fan Page can help you to get started.
  4. If you have no more than a few hundred business friends on your Facebook personal profile, send each a private message explaining the situation and inviting them to “like” your new Facebook page. If you have too many business friends for this to be feasible, limit the procedure to your most important business friends.
  5. To avoid raising red flags with Facebook, don’t send more than about 20 messages per day, don’t fire off messages rapidly and don’t merely cut and paste an identical script.
  6. Don’t say or imply that you’ll be deleting friends or threaten to remove them if they don’t comply. Such an approach is likely to backfire.
  7. Read Why Should I Like Your Facebook Page? and Top 10 Ways to Get Facebook Page Fans for ideas to market and grow your new Facebook page.
  8. Don’t remove business friends from your Facebook personal profile unless you have a security or privacy issue that compels you to do so, since removing friends can not be undone.

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12 Responses to “OMG! I Can’t Use My Facebook Personal Profile for Business”

  1. Debby Bruck on February 6th, 2011 10:40 pm

    “Listen to Larry.” He’s the man who knows social networking. That’s my new tag line for Larry on Facebook and around the Net.

    I still haven’t figured out how to keep “personal” separate from “business” on Facebook. I think they got you coming and going. Plus, they keep changing the rules.


  2. Shari Weiss on February 6th, 2011 11:02 pm

    Larry, the WORST offenders in my experience are Web Developers who charge clients to set their businesses up on Facebook Profiles. Too many of them don’t know Facebook’s Terms of Use — and the clients suffer. Meanwhile, the web designers pocket easy bucks.

  3. Larry Brauner on February 6th, 2011 11:12 pm

    Why can we “pocket easy bucks” and set them up the right way, Shari? :-)

  4. Randy Brickhouse Sr. on February 7th, 2011 2:03 am

    Thank you Larry for taking the time to give me some personal advice on the Facebook situation. Since I’m not in a position to be in trouble with them; I’ll just leave things as they are.

    In the very near future I’m going to build another website in a different niche. I’ll do a Facebook business page for that site when the time is right.

    Thanks and God bless.

  5. Ryan on February 7th, 2011 2:27 am

    Shari I agree 100%, people shouldn’t assume that Web Developers know anything beyond constructing a website.

    That doesn’t just include social media, but anything regarding SEO, conversion optimization, copy/content writing, and business in general.

    The last one always gets me because they have a trade that results in a business asset, but often times things aren’t seen eye-to-eye.

  6. Immobilien Wiesbaden on February 7th, 2011 3:18 am

    Thanks for your recommendations.

  7. Anthony Kirlew on February 7th, 2011 3:35 pm

    This is good advice for the countless business owners that are getting this wrong. I suspect that a lot of this has to do with who these business owners are hiring or allowing to do their social media. Li Evans makes a great point in her book, “Social Media Marketing; Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media” in which she has a Chapter titled “Interns Make Coffee, Not Social Media Strategies.”

    I saw this first hand with a prospect who kept trying to beat me up on price (while driving a $150,000 car). He eventually had his new secretary start to implement social media for him. How did I know? I got a “friend request” from the company using a personal profile. I could not resist but to send him an email to let him know the difference between paying for professional services and finding someone who knows how to type and login to Facebook.

    ~ Anthony

  8. Larry Brauner on February 7th, 2011 3:49 pm

    I’ve had those. I just say “next” and move on. I try not to look back.

    In their minds they’re probably asking themselves something like, “What can be so hard about logging into Facebook or sending a tweet?”

    I now approach the problem from the web presence point of view:

    “Would you value a web presence that attracts ten, twenty or fifty thousand visitors per month?”

    “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Can you budget $400 to $1,000 per month — or more — for me to help you achieve that kind of traffic over time?”

  9. Facebook for Business Marketing: This Week’s Posts and Good Links — Web 2.0 Marketing For Small Business on February 22nd, 2011 3:20 pm

    […] and light-weight engagement.  Do  read page two of this post, which explains what works and why. OMG! I Can’t Use My Facebook Personal Profile for Business? Larry Brauner responds to feedback from concerned small business marketers using their Facebook […]

  10. Jobon on December 8th, 2011 5:10 pm

    Larry, these are wise words. I’ve tried to set up separate business pages but then everything I do seems to get pushed to my personal page. And you need a personal page to set up a business page- so it seems like a catch 22! How can anyone keep it separate?

  11. Larry Brauner on December 12th, 2011 7:10 pm

    Separate isn’t nearly as desirable as complimentary!

  12. Iesha Dennis on March 20th, 2012 10:14 am

    Base from experience, I highly recommend using a FB fan page when managing a profile that caters certain products and services. It’s very unusual for a regular FB user to actually add and comment on a personal account which has company name.

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