Yes, you read right! Facebook has finally set up a way for people to convert their personal profiles to business pages.
First, why convert a profile to a page?
Because it’s against the Facebook terms. If you have your business on a personal profile, you run the risk of having it deleted. (and yes, I do know of people who have had this happen) Profiles are for people and pages are for businesses. For more info, see my earlier blog post, Facebook Fan Pages vs. Personal Profile.
Things you need to know before converting your personal profile to a page:
- All your confirmed friends will be converted to people who like your new Page.
- Your profile pictures will be migrated to your new Page.
- Photo albums, profile information, etc. will not be transferred. Be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration. (see step one, below)
- Once you convert your personal profile to a business page, that profile will no longer exist.
- You will not be able to convert your page back to a personal profile.
- You will continue to login with the email/password that you used before you converted the page.
Now, here’s how to convert your Facebook profile to a business page:
Backup your Facebook profile. Login to Facebook and click the down arrow next to Account in the upper right corner of your screen, then select Account Settings. Toward the bottom of that page, you’ll see Download Your Information. Click the learn more link to the right and follow the instructions.
Go to this page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate and select the type of page you want to create. If you’ve never set up a Facebook page, you’ll see that you have a number of categories to select from. Pick the one that’s right for you, and follow the instructions.
Now, if you want to, you can set up a personal profile in your name, and make yourself an admin of the new page. You can also assign admin rights to someone else if you’d like.
I could be wrong, but my guess is, that since Facebook is making this option available they may be gearing up to crack down a bit more on businesses that are set up on personal profiles. So, I think it would be wise for anyone with a business presence on Facebook to be sure it’s set up properly – on a page.
Apparently, although Facebook has made converting a profile to a page, all of the bugs haven’t been worked out yet. Earlier this evening, one of the Mashable bloggers wrote about some of the problems she had when she converted her personal profile to a business page. See her post here: Facebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale.
UPDATE #2 (April 2, 2011)
Facebook has disabled this feature. Hopefully they’ll fix it and make it available again.