Facebook can be a powerful marketing channel for many businesses, particularly small businesses that may not have a large marketing budget. But it’s important to make sure you have the proper type of Facebook profile for your business to make the most of this potential. Below we discuss:
Why businesses need a Facebook Business page
How to convert a personal profile page into a business page
How to merge a personal page with an existing business page
Many small businesses decide to create a Facebook page for their business as a first step in their social media strategy. Often, when setting up their business on Facebook, they do so by creating a “personal profile” for their business instead of creating a dedicated “business page.”
Why businesses choose to do this varies from case to case, but typically boils down to one of two reasons:
- The person creating the profile didn’t realize that there was a difference between “personal” and “business” pages
- The person creating the profile felt overwhelmed and created a “personal” profile because it felt easier
Although they are easier to create, personal Facebook profiles significantly limit your business’s marketing capabilities on the platform.
Why should you create a Facebook page for your business?
Personal Facebook profiles are just that: personal. Pages, on the other hand, cater specifically to businesses and offer an arsenal of useful marketing and analytics tools that personal profiles do not. Further, conducting business from a personal profile also violates Facebook’s Terms of Service.
Creating a personal profile for your business instead of a business page is not only prohibited by Facebook, but it is also a problem for a number of other reasons. The most important of which are:
- Friend Limit: Personal Facebook profiles have a maximum friend limit of 5,000 contacts. This means that if your business was built as a personal profile, then you can only connect to 5,000 people before you either need to start unfriending people or otherwise stop growing your social media presence. By comparison, Facebook Business Pages have no limit for ‘“likes” or “followers,” allowing you to connect with as many people as makes sense for your business.
- Forced Deletions: Facebook has begun cracking down on business pages that are built on personal profiles, sometimes forcing deletion. The reason? Businesses built on personal profiles are essentially businesses masquerading as people, which breaks all kinds of rules in Facebook’s User Agreement (and is also just bad form for social media). They are completely in their right to delete pages that break their rules because it damages the Facebook ecosystem.
- Missing Business Statistics: Business pages on Facebook have access to a number of valuable business stats that help you gauge things like audience engagement, reach, and more.
- No Ability for Ads: If you would like to create Facebook Ads to help promote your business, you can only do so if your business is built on a business page. Personal profiles lack the ability to create ads.
So, if you are a small business just getting ready to join social media, do yourself a favor and do it the right way: Just create a Facebook Page for your business.
Download our free Social Media Pre-Publishing Checklist
But chances are, if you’re reading this article, it’s because you have already built your business’s Facebook presence on a personal profile and you are looking for guidance on fixing things. Luckily, you can convert your existing profile to a business page fairly easily.
The exact steps that you take will depend on one key question: Do you only have a personal page for your business, or do you have both a personal page and a business page already?
If you only have a personal profile for your business…
Then you are in luck, because this is a quick fix! All you need to do is convert the personal profile into a business page, by following the steps below.
This is what you need to do:
- Download Your Facebook Information (Optional)
- Make Sure Any Groups or Pages You Manage Have Other Admins
- Follow Facebook’s Steps to Convert Your Page
- Delete The Old Personal Profile
1. Download Your Facebook Information (Optional)
Unfortunately, when you convert a personal profile into a business page, you are likely to lose some information. Though your friends will carry over (they’ll be converted into “Likes”), as well as your general information and most (if not all) of your photos and videos, your individual posts will not carry over—it will be lost in the process of conversion.
That means that if you ever want to look back and recreate your posts, you’ll need a record to reflect on. You can get this record by following Facebook’s instructions to do so. Once you have requested the information, you’ll receive your file as an email attachment after it has been processed (likely at least a few minutes later, depending on how much information has to be saved).
2. Make Sure Any Groups or Pages You Manage Have Other Admins
If your business’s personal profile currently acts as an administrator (admin) for any other Facebook pages or groups, then it is very important that you make sure there are other (active) admins for those pages.
When you convert your profile into a business page, the profile may cease to exist (although Facebook says that it shouldn’t, they have in the past). If the profile managed other groups or pages and was the only admin, then those pages may end up adminless. Which is definitely not good.
So before going any further, navigate to any pages or groups that you are currently an admin on and add a new admin:
- Click on “Settings” in the upper right hand corner of the page
- Click on “Page Roles” halfway down the left-hand column
- Under “Assign a New Page Role,” select the drop-down and choose “Admin.” Then type the person’s name and click “Add.”
- They will receive a notification alerting them that they have been added and, if necessary, should accept the invitation
3. Follow Facebook’s Steps to Convert Your Page
To begin the process of converting your personal profile into a business page, click here.
According to Facebook, the conversion process will:
- Leave you with both a personal profile and a business page
- Allow you to transfer your profile picture, cover photo, account information, and photos/videos from your personal profile to your business page
- Allow you to choose which friend to carry over from your personal profile to your business profile.
First, you will choose up to three categories for your business page. The first category that you select will appear in your business information, so make sure you choose the correct tag.
Then you will choose which friends should be carried over from the personal profile to your business page. Though you can simply choose “Select All,” now would be a good opportunity to scroll through your current friends and deselect any that you don’t think should be linked to your business page—for example, old acquaintances or competitors.
You will then be able to choose which of your Videos, Photos, and Photo Albums you would like to carry over from your personal page to the business page. (This option is available for up to 14 days after the conversion is complete.)
And then all you need to do is review the information and click “Create Page.”
4. Delete the Old Personal Profile
Once you are sure that your business’s personal profile has been converted into a business page and that your friends have been converted into likes, you will want to assign a new admin to the business page. This admin should be your actual individual personal profile or the personal profile of someone else. The admin should NOT be the personal profile for your business page from which it was just created.
Then, to prevent confusion amongst your current and new followers, you should delete the old personal profile that your business was originally built on. This way, any new followers will go to your true business page, and you will only need to manage a single audience/page.
If you were to keep the personal profile active, then new customers could in theory still connect with it, which would not be good for your customers or your business.
If you have both a personal page and business page for your business…
Sometimes, small business owners will begin their Facebook efforts by creating a personal page for their business. Then, as they grow, they will realize that they should have a business page instead, and they create one. But because they don’t want to lose their existing customers/contacts/followers, they will keep both the personal profile and business page active.
Ultimately, that’s pretty confusing for your customers, who may find themselves wondering which page is the right page for them to follow. And it’s definitely not the easiest for you since you’re now managing two pages for your business. Is there a fix?
Yes! But it’s a little complicated.
Unfortunately, Facebook does not allow you to merge a personal profile with and existing business page. If they did, this would be easy as pie. Instead, what you need to do is: Convert your personal profile into new business page, and then merge the two business pages. To do that, just follow the steps below:
1. Follow Steps 1 Through 4 Above
The first thing that you’ll need to do is convert your business’s personal profile into a new business page. So follow the steps as outlined above:
- Download a copy of your Facebook data (if wanted)
- Make sure any pages or groups you are an admin for have other admins assigned
- Follow Facebook’s steps to convert your personal profile into a business page
But before doing this, make sure that the new business page has a name, physical address, and contact information (email, phone number) that is identical to the existing business page. This is a signal that Facebook uses to ensure that pages should, indeed, be merged, so it is important.
2. Merge the New Business Page with Your Existing Business Page
You can only merge the business page with fewer likes into the business page with more likes. This means that if you would like to keep your current (already existing) Facebook business page as the parent page, you will need to ensure that the new business page that you just created has fewer likes. If you find that the new page somehow has more likes, you should comb through the contacts and delete some until the new page has fewer likes than the existing page.
Then, click here to begin the merge process. You will be redirected to a page that lists all of your Facebook Business pages, alongside the number of likes that each one has.
Once the page loads, simply select the two pages that you would like to merge and click “Request Merge.” Facebook will then tell you which of the two pages will become the parent page—if it is not the page that you want to become the parent page, click “cancel” and try again.
Facebook will then review your request to merge the pages, a process that may take anywhere from three to seven business days. Once the merge is complete, you should receive a notification from Facebook by email and in your notifications tab indicating that the process has been completed.
So what exactly happens when the pages merge? Anyone who has liked either page will be carried over to the updated business page, which should instantly increase the reach of your business page (score!). The page that you keep (the original business page) will remain unchanged minus the addition of new likes; the other page will be deleted and removed from Facebook.
3. Delete the Old Personal Page
Like in Step 4 above, in order to prevent confusion amongst your current and new followers, you should delete the old personal profile that your business was originally built on. This way, any new followers will go to your true business page, and you will only need to manage a single audience/page.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section is a list of FAQs we’ve received for users looking to convert their personal profile into a business page profile.
I’m merging two business pages, will the merge automatically carry over contacts?
Yes, If you have two business pages that you are merging, the merge itself should carry over any contacts
I currently have one personal profile that needs to be turned into a “page”, I just want to make sure that all of my friends will be followers. Once I make the conversion, do all my friends transfer over to be followers?
Essentially, yes—when you work through the process of converting the page, you will be given the opportunity to select which “friends” will become “followers” on the business page. You can choose to carry all of the friends over, or you can manually select just the ones that you want.
I want to delete my personal profile which is associated with the business profile now. If I just make someone else the admin, can I delete my personal profile afterward?
Yes, once the profile is converted, you can make someone else the administrator. Once the administrator is set, you can delete your profile.
I deleted the old profile page, but it has a username I would like to use again: What can I do?
According to Facebook’s online documentation for creating usernames, “new pages may not be able to create a username”. This is done so Facebook can verify that your page is a true page.
How do I view my page as a “business page” and not my personal page?
Under your cover image you should see a few buttons to the left, such as “liked” “following” or “share”. If you click on the three dots, in the drop down you should be able to select “View Page as Visitor”.
How do I get more followers on a Facebook business page?
There are many ways to get more followers to your business page, but one of the best places to start is by creating and promoting quality content. This can mean that you are sharing your own content that you create (i.e. blog, audio, images, or video) or promoting other content that is relative to your business.
In regards to step 2, I would like to add myself as an administrator to convert a personal page I created to a business page. Should I bypass this step?
You only need to follow Step 2 in the list if your business page is an administrator for a second or different Facebook group or page. If that’s not the case, you can skip over this step.
What’s the reason for this?
If your existing profile is the only administrator for a group or page, and you convert your profile into a business page, then those other pages or groups would be left without an administrator. If your business’ profile page IS an administrator of another page or profile, you would need to log into that account and add a second administrator. If it is NOT an administrator of any other page, then you have nothing to worry about.
I am in the process of converting my personal Facebook to a business page, but I don’t understand how to change the admin to be my personal account. I want to delete the existing profile because I’ve outgrown it: Can I do this?
The profile that you are in the process of converting is also the admin for other Facebook pages, so you do not want to delete the existing profile.
What’s the importance of a personal profile?
Ultimately, you will need a personal profile to act as an Admin for the page that you have created, as well as the other pages that you are an admin for. This personal profile is the page that you will use to log into your various accounts.
Ok, so I need to have some kind of personal profile page in order to be an admin on Facebook: What are some steps I can take if I want to create a new profile and not use my existing one?
- Create a new personal profile page using whatever name you wish.
- On both the business page that you just created and the other pages that you manage, set this new personal page as an admin.
- Under that new profile, make sure that you “accept” the invitation to be an administrator.
The Bottom Line
Though it may seem like a bit of a complicated process to convert your business’s personal profile into a business page, it is actually very straightforward and simple. Facebook has done a great job of simplifying the matter for its users, and you can always cancel if you get overwhelmed or confused, and come back to it later.
Ultimately, if your business’s Facebook presence is built on a personal profile, converting it into a business page is in the best interest of both your business and your customers.