Orange-based Vyki Alleman, former marketing and new media director for start-up Network Centric Solutions, is the owner of Rockit Multimedia . The company specializes in social media marketing, Web design, video production, and search engine optimization. This article is derived from a blog post on the Rockit Multimedia  Web site that contains valuable business information we want to share with our readers about the rapidly changing world of social media.
Social media marketing is no doubt an effective way to get the word out about your business as well as stay in touch with your audience. It is no longer considered a marketing fad and is quickly becoming a necessary element of the marketing strategy for many small businesses.
Knowing this, you’ve gone and started a Facebook presence for your business. But are you doing it right?
One of the most common mistakes I see business owners and representatives make is creating a Facebook Profile for their business instead of a Business Page.
When a business creates a Facebook Profile instead of a Facebook Business Page, they are directly violating Facebook’s rules. Facebook considers a business using a personal profile a form of spam and they can and will take down your profile without any notice whatsoever.
From Facebook’s official policy:
“Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.
I cannot stress enough how seriously Facebook takes this offense. I’ve approached many business owners with this information, but still they are reluctant to do anything about it, even though there is a way to convert your profile into a page.
As a business owner, I understand the value of being able to add “friends” (invite them to be friends with your business) and correspond with them on Facebook via Private Messages, as a profile allows you to do. Also, with the new “subscribe” feature, Facebook Profiles are no longer limited to 5,000 “friends.”
But is it really worth the risk? I’m sure you are thinking, “With over a billion Facebook users and pages, that won’t happen to me!”
A business owner that didn’t properly research how to set up a Facebook page had her profile taken down without any notice whatsoever, and she was distraught.
She told me, “I had over 500 friends and woke up one day and it was all gone! It was actually my fault because I was supposed to have the ‘Business’ page but was fairly new to FB and just didn’t realize it. A warning first would have been nice but they just removed it without notice. I had people’s contact info, messages about orders and in some the only way I had to contact them. I did contact (Facebook) and they didn’t reply.”
Facebook Pages for business were built specifically for businesses, offering many great features such as:
• Analytics or “Insights” to measure your audience, influence, and engagement.
• “Like” buttons and other widgets to add to your Web site, blog, etc.
• Unlimited fans without having to “approve” them or add them yourself.
• The ability to add custom tabs and landing pages.
• You can tag other businesses and they can tag you.
• Facebook Pages are more likely to be indexed by search engines so that your customers can easily find you.
• Allows users to easily “Recommend” your business to their friends and/or share your business page to their entire friend’s list.
So if you have created a Facebook Profile for your business, I suggest migrating to a fan page as soon as possible to avoid the consequences that you may face if you don’t. This action will allow you to keep your “friends” and turn them into “fans” as well as keep most of your content. For more information on how to do this or if you have any trouble with migration or would like Rockit Multimedia to do it for yoxu (for free, might I add) please contact us. n
Orange, Texas, (409) 550-4000,
ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN GREATER ORANGE BUSINESS JOURNAL