Saying It Social

Your Social Media Marketing Resource

HOW TO: Convert Your Facebook Personal Profile To A Business Page

**Please read this post all the way through to the last update before you take any action.**

If you’ve ever heard me talk about social media do’s and don’ts, particularly the don’ts, you’ll know my number one piece of advice is not to set up your business on the Facebook Personal Profile platform.

The most important reason to avoid doing this is quite simply because it is against Facebook’s Terms of Service and you risk having your Profile completely shut down without being able to save any of your information or let your “Friends” know what’s going on. Imagine having 1,000 “Friends” and then having to start from scratch without any way of letting those 1,000 people know how to find your new Business Page. Yikes!

Another reason to not put your business on a Facebook Personal Profile is because you lose the search engine optimization benefits afforded to Facebook Business Pages. Pages and posts from Pages are being indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing which helps increase the likelihood of your business appearing in search engine results. Facebook Personal Profile posts are not indexed by the search engines, for obvious privacy reasons.

By having your business on a Facebook Personal Profile you may also be discouraging people from receiving your updates. When you “Like” a Business Page, you are not opening up your personal information to the Page Admins. However, in order to receive updates from a business on a Personal Profile, you must become their “Friend” and are therefore allowing them to see all of the information in your Personal Profile. This fact alone, may be keeping many people from wanting to connect with your business.

I could go on and on but this post is meant to deliver good news. If you have mistakenly set up your business on the Personal Profile platform (if your business has “Friends” you have a Personal Profile, if people “Like” your business, you have a Business Page) you can convert your Profile to a Business Page. Sound too good to be true? Well it is and it isn’t. You can convert your Profile to a Page and retain your “Friends” as “Likers” but, and it’s a big fat ugly but, no other information or content other than the Profile picture from the Personal Profile will transfer over.

So that you do not lose all of the content from the Profile, you should download your Profile content to your computer. YOU MUST DO THIS BEFORE YOU PERFORM THE CONVERSION. Once you convert your Personal Profile to a Business Page you cannot switch it back.

To download your Profile content to your computer follow these steps:

1. Open your Account Settings.

Accesing Facebook Account Settings

2. Click on “Learn More” next to Download Your Information.

Downloading Information from Facebook

3. Click Download.

Downloading Information from Facebook

Now that you’ve backed up your Personal Profile content, you are ready to convert your Personal Profile to a Facebook Business Page. Once you have completed the conversion, you will use the same login credentials to access your Page, however your account will be limited to Business Account status.

To convert your Personal Profile to a Business Page follow these steps:

1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate.

Converting Facebook Personal Profile to Business Page

2. Select a Page Category by clicking on one of the six Category squares. You can then further select your Category Type and edit the Page Name.

Converting Facebook Personal Profile to Business Page

That’s it, you are done! You now have a Facebook Business Page. When I tried this, at first the Page showed “0” Likes – but don’t panic, after I logged out and then logged back in, those who had been “Friends” of the Personal Profile did in fact show up as “Likers” of the new Business Page.

Suggestion

As mentioned above, once you convert your Profile to a Page you will have only a Facebook Business Account with very limited functionality. If you already have a Personal Profile on Facebook that you use to keep up with friends and family – I suggest making yourself an Admin of the newly created Business Page that way you can still use Facebook as normal while being able to manage the Page. You can use the feature of “Use Facebook as Page” while logged into your personal profile should you choose to do so.

If you don’t already have a Personal Profile but are feeling restricted by the Business Account, you can still create a Personal Profile and make that profile an Admin of the page to regain functionality.

Update 4/04/11

I am hearing that previous “Friends” are still not showing up as “Likers” on some newly converted business pages. I believe this to be a glitch that will be fixed by Facebook. I will keep you updated here.

Update 4/05/11

Sounds like the above issue has been resolved. The transfer of “friends” to “likers” is not immediate and can take more than 24 hours.

New issue: Profiles that converted to pages, now have a “Page not found” error. You can see the page in a search and you can access the settings and admin functions but there is not a way to view the page itself. This isn’t happening to everyone but I’ve received many reports. I’ve reached out to a contact I have at Facebook to see if I can find out anything.

Update 4/07/11

When this tool was released last week, some users didn’t fully understand the consequences of conversion while others had their profile deleted but no new Page created due to a technical issue. To help repair the damages from these issues, Facebook has created a Profile to Business Page Migration Appeal that users can fill out to apply to have the conversion reversed and their profile restored until Facebook announces that there are no more flaws in the conversion process.

profile to business page migration appeal

Though this says the appeals process is for accidental conversions, users whose conversions were interrupted and never finished, possibly due a severe strain on the Facebook API at the time, may also be eligible for a conversion reversal.

Update 04/12/11

Even though Facebook claimed last week that their API glitch was fixed and that new Profile to Page conversions should complete without an issue – I am hearing that there are still problems of pages being “not found” after conversion.

I have also not heard about anyone having success with filling out the appeal form to try to get these issues corrected.

It is my recommendation at this time, to not convert until further notice.

Update 4/21/2011

It sounds like  as of yesterday the “Page Not Found” issue has finally been resolved and the converted Pages can now be seen. I’m still hesitant to advocate the process because I haven’t heard of anyone who has tried recently, but it is at least promising that this problem seems fixed for the afflicted and may give you some hope if you absolutely must convert now.

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March 30, 2011 Posted by | Facebook | , , , | 63 Comments

Small Businesses Turn to Social Before Search

Remember how much you hated when your mom would ask, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you jump off, too?” in an attempt to dissuade you from following the crowd? Well, when it comes to participating in Social Media for your Business, the answer is yes, you would, because you must.

Findings from a recently conducted “Small Business Search and Marketing Survey” by American Express OPEN and Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), show that second only to websites, Social Media is the top online marketing tool for small businesses. The most important take away from this finding is if you haven’t yet jumped off the Social Media bridge, you better believe your competition has, so you must also; otherwise your competition has a much better chance of getting found online while you’re still peering over the edge.

It is important however, not to jump in without knowing how to swim, so to speak. Too often I see companies that, while I must applaud the leap, are so obviously floundering, they are doing more harm than good with their social media presence.

Could you be making the same costly mistakes that they are? Find out by joining me for a FREE webinar, this Wednesday evening, March 30, 2011 at 7pm ET.  During this webinar you will have the opportunity to learn from examples of real companies whose use of Social Media may be a hindrance to their efforts.

Register: Webinar: Social Media: You’re Doing It All Wrong

If after the webinar, you find you may be doing the same types of things that the example companies are doing, I invite you to join me for my upcoming Social Media Boot Camp.

Social Media Boot Camp is an 8 session on-line course that will give you the tools to make the best use of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for your business.  Sessions will be held every Monday and Wednesday evening in April. Find out more information at http://getsocialbootcamp.eventbrite.com.

Because I love and value my blog readers so much – please use coupon code SISB2011 during registration, to receive a $100 discount!

If you’re ready to make the leap, I hope to “see” you on Wednesday!

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Poke The Box | Social Geek Radio

Seth Godin‘s Domino Project created a worldwide street team and I am proud to be one of the members of the Domino Street Team.

The team consists of individuals who are on a mission to spread ideas to people who care. We are digital natives who blog, tweet, take risks, and care about reinventing outdated systems.

We are part of the digital revolution in publishing and want to share our thoughts on Seth Godin‘s latest book “Poke The Box“. Join Deb Evans, me, and possibly a guest or two from the Domino Street Team as we discuss what it really means to “poke the box” and why Godin says, “The person who fails the most wins.”

Listen to Social Geek Radio on Blog Talk RadioYou can start the conversation by sharing your thoughts on the Social Geek Radio Facebook Page. Then, join us live by calling into the show tonight, Thursday, March 17th at 8pm CT/9pm ET or via the chat feature. Come “Poke the Box” with us!


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March 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Create A Foursquare Special

Foursquare SpecialsLate last week, foursquare launched an entirely revamped platform for businesses. It opens up lots of new options for creating specials and makes the process of creating specials easier to manage, especially for companies with multiple locations. It also brings new tools for analyzing the performance of different specials when compared to each other.

Adding all these new options has necessarily added a layer of complexity to the process that may make it less obvious to novices. This guide has been created to walk you through creating and launching your first special. For most small businesses, especially in the US, the process can be completed from start to finish in about 10 minutes — and it’s entirely free.


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March 16, 2011 Posted by | Foursquare, location based marketing, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

RT/Share to Win Wednesday | A $500 Value

Today we are running a contest and giving away a FREE PASS for Social Media Boot Camp!

For each RT, Share, or Forward, you will receive one entry – the amount of entries you can earn is LIMITLESS!

There are 3 ways to enter!

1. Post to Twitter! Copy and paste the following tweet:

RT @akstout18 For ea. RT of this post u will receive 1 entry for a free ticket to Social Media Boot Camp, a $500 value. http://bit.ly/fyzcV6

2. Go to the Saying It Social Facebook Page, “Like” it, and then Share the post that is there about the contest with your friends – don’t forget to tag the page so that we know you shared it! (Don’t know how to tag a page? Then you need Social Media Boot Camp!)

3. Forward this email! You will receive one entry for each forward!

That’s it! Contest ends at 11:59pm ET tonight!

Don’t wait to sign up for Boot Camp, if you win, we will refund your money! The winner may also gift the free pass to a friend or colleague!

For more info and to register go to: http://getsocialbootcamp.eventbrite.com.

Good luck:-)

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amazon.com: AK Stout’s Review of Seth Godin’s “Poke the Box”

I rarely read “this type” of book. I’m skeptical of motivational hype with all the pom-pom waving, “What are you waiting for?” type sentiments, but Poke the Box is different.

First of all, it’s only 85 pages – so skeptic or not, I highly doubted it would be the worst hour of my life. After reading just two pages, I knew I hadn’t made a bad decision. In fact, I was fairly certain that when I was done, I was going to be more than glad that I had started… and finished; a theme that runs deep through this manifesto.

Since reading the book, I’ve “poked” more than I had in a long time. I always have ideas, things I want to do, things I know I could do, if only I would just do them. It’s that “just doing” part that seems to get thrown by the wayside. In Poke the Box, Seth Godin tells us that now is the time, no more waiting, no more, “I’d like to do that,” or, “I’m going to do that.”

Right now is the time to DO.

I’ve been struggling with articulating the true power of this book and I think that is partly because it’s going to reverberate a little bit different with everyone. So, instead of telling you how it’s going to make you feel, my best advice is to read it and find out for yourself.

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Register for Social Media Boot Camp: Excuses Stop Here! on Eventbrite

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment