Larry BraunerAt times, Facebook users create multiple personal profiles for business purposes in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service that clearly state:

“You will not create more than one personal profile.”

These Facebook users usually create one personal profile for family, friends and acquaintances, and another personal profile for business associates and prospects.

The word personal in “personal profile” is easily misunderstood and deserves clarification.

Personal Profile vs. Business Page

FacebookWith a Facebook “personal profile” you network and acquire friends. It doesn’t matter whether these friends are personal friends or business contacts.

A Facebook personal profile is a friend page, and Facebook prohibits creating more than one friend page for yourself.

With a Facebook business page you brand your business and attract people who “like” your page.

A Facebook business page is a fan page, and Facebook permits creating more than one fan page for your business, although that might not be practical.

If You Have More Than One Facebook Personal Profile

If you find yourself in the predicament of having more than one Facebook personal profile, my recommendation here in six steps is very similar to my advice in last week’s OMG! I Can’t Use My Facebook Personal Profile for Business:

  1. Create a Facebook business page as soon as possible. Either How to Create a Facebook Fan Page or How To Set Up a Facebook Fan Page can help you to get started. Let me know if you need my help.
  2. If you have no more than a few hundred business friends on the Facebook personal profile you’re using for business, send each of them a private message explaining your 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.
  3. To avoid raising red flags with Facebook, don’t send more than 20 to 30 messages per day, don’t fire off messages rapidly and don’t merely cut and paste an identical script.
  4. 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. Be courteous and professional.
  5. 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.
  6. When most of your business friends have migrated to your new fan page, delete the extra Facebook personal profile you were using for business and breathe a sigh of relief.

6/14/11 Update: Facebook now provides a tool to convert a Facebook profile to a Facebook business page.

Before you hurry off, please subscribe to my blog, “like” my Facebook page and leave me a comment.

Best of luck with your Facebook business page! :-)

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15 Responses to “You Say I Can’t Have More than One Facebook Personal Profile”

  1. Robin on February 14th, 2011 1:45 am

    Thanks so much for this Larry.

    I don’t have 2 profile pages but I soon will create a fan page.

    Keep well,
    Robin

  2. Jef Menguin on February 14th, 2011 2:08 am

    Please tell me why we must avoid having more than one business page?

    I have four business pages, all for the various programs that I offer.

    Thank you.

    Jef Menguin

  3. John on February 14th, 2011 3:03 pm

    Hey Larry,

    Great advice as always. I too have noticed that when you don’t quickly send off 20 or more messages that it will [not] raise red flags with Facebook.

    Creating more than one fan page for your business is definitely the best way to be in good favor with Facebook. Thanks for sharing your insights Larry. I learned a lot.

  4. Larry Brauner on February 14th, 2011 3:34 pm

    @Robin Good luck with it!

    @Jef For you, each corresponds to s separate business. However, in any case, it’s much harder to reach a critical mass with multiple pages than with one.

    @John See my response to Jef.

  5. Brian Sundquist on February 14th, 2011 7:17 pm

    I was wondering why people don’t want to do a business page in the first place. Then they will have to transfer all that data and business contacts when it becomes critical mass.

    Your article was very informative and I will keep it in mind when I go that route.

    Thanks again for the piece!!! Brian

  6. Cherry Rahtu on February 16th, 2011 10:17 am

    To answer Brian’s question, there are many reasons that why people don’t create a fan page at first page. One reason is because they don’t know there are business pages at all. They created a Facebook group. Something that a Facebook page cannot do but a profile can do is adding friends. Another reason might be they don’t know how to create a page. I agree with Larry that for business, we need to create a Facebook page. What I want is the ability to change a Facebook page’s name. :)

  7. Larry Brauner on February 16th, 2011 11:09 am

    You can change a Facebook page’s name up until it has 100 people who like it. You cannot change the vanity URL.

  8. Stan Creech on March 1st, 2011 10:09 am

    Excellent article. To share a little, take advantage of creating a custom image for your business and include your address, phone number, and even URL. Then, adjust your thumbnail to the most appropriate area of that custom picture to reflect your logo and/or your business name.

    Thanks for the great article.

  9. Dowell Taggart on March 13th, 2011 8:22 pm

    Great informative post. I’m surprised that more businesses don’t take advantage of business pages. They’re easy to create and if the right keywords are chosen, people will find your page instantly.

  10. Natch on March 21st, 2011 11:03 pm

    1) Is it correct that in order to get the desired facebook vanity url for your business AND that will direct visitors to your business and not your personal profile/ page you must:
    a) first create a personal facebook account, making sure to not choose the desired url you want to use for your business as part of your personal profile and
    b) then a create a business fan page at www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?campaign_id=372931622610&placement=pghm&extra_1=0.
    making sure to choose the desired business url here as part of this fan page profile.?
    Albeit you might not be able to choose the desired business vanity url because either that vanity url is taken by someone else, incl yourself as part of your personal profile, if you failed to follow b) above, or you do not yet have at least 25 fans.

    2) What is the proper method to insure that visitors who type in your business vanity url after set up and such visitors either do not have a facebook account or are not logged to their facebook account can still fully see your business fan page without logging in or registering?

    3) Is it correct that you can create multiple business fan pages from this single original personal account that was set up per 1) above and that each business fan page could have a separate vanity url, if you meet the requirements that nobody else already has that vanity url and you have at least 25 fans?

    4) Is there an important difference as it relates to business and/ or personal pages of “friend”, “like”, “fan”, etc?

    5) Furthermore, is it also correct that the email address that you use when setting up your original personal account should not be the email address you will want to use for your business fan page. Because your personal account and your business fan page must each have a different email address to be able to get a vanity url for your personal account and a different vanity url that directs to your business fan page. Moreover, thereafter for each other business fan page that you set up, each such business fan when being set up must have its own unique and separate email address in order to get a separate vanity url for that page?

    LASTLY…

    Elsewhere someone commented that there is a solution if you ACCIDENTALLY linked your personal page instead of your business page to a set UserName.

    Is it true that if, for example, someone created a business fan page, then accidentally linked the business vanity url to their personal profile they could fix this problem by going into the “account” settings of the personal profile, and “change” the username, because changing user name will automatically change the vanity url associated with that profile, but this fix is only possible once.

    What is unclear if this is even possible, is what happens to the availability of the vanity url that is no longer associated with the personal profile when you change your personal profile username. If you wanted that vanity url to be associated with the business profile and you remove it from your personal profile does not the vanity url then go into an ‘unavailable for anyone’ status of some sort?

    Thanks!!!
    Natch

  11. Mandy on November 21st, 2011 6:57 am

    I dont see the harm in multiple profiles, either if the person isn’t spamming or having ulterior motives. No one would know it was the same person. Many use one for public use and another for private use where they can speak more freely or play games without any real life awkwardness from people they know. All you need is an email address which you can get for free from msn or yahoo, among others.

  12. AD on December 12th, 2011 2:51 am

    A ‘page’ cannot be an alternative of ‘profile”. There are several facilities which are available on ‘profile’ but not on ‘page’.

  13. Sunny on April 13th, 2012 12:12 am

    Hi Larry, what if I have more than one personal Facebook account, but not sure the sake of marketing my business? One is research-driven and the other one is for personal use. Do you think that will raise red flags with Facebook?

    Sunny

  14. Larry Brauner on April 22nd, 2012 10:14 am

    It might Sunny, but if you’re not abusing Facebook, they probably won’t bother you.

  15. Henry Friggins on June 28th, 2012 6:40 pm

    Look, facebook is one of the most unsecure social networks ever to be created. It has had breaches of security in the past and will continue to have issues in the future.

    These are not to be taken lightly, as many people provide untold amounts of personal information in their profiles.

    This is precisely the reason why I adamantly refuse to create a facebook profile. Never have, never will.

    To add insult to injury, many websites require you login with a facebook profile. Excuse me? Do I really want a 3rd party website finding out everything about me? Absolutely none of their business who I am.

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