Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but lately I’ve been finding a lot of organizations that have set up their Facebook presence by simply creating a new account for the business (or church, school, etc). The process must be awkward…
First Name: MetroAtlanta
Last Name: ChurchOfTheRedeemed
Gender: Uh.. female?
I feel bad for these organizations. They’re trying really hard to figure out social media, but they’ve made a very big mistake. On Facebook, user profiles are for individual people only. Period. You have a profile, your mom has a profile and your friends all have profiles. Businesses do not have profiles.
When Facebook finds these fake profiles, they delete them without warning. The problem is that it can take months for Facebook to notice them, after which they’ve developed a pretty good following. Once it’s been deleted, it’s back to square one.
Fortunately, Facebook offers two good options for any kind of business: Groups and Pages. The differences between the two are slowly fading, but as a general rule:
Groups: Great for big events (“Winter Jam 2010”) or rally around a cause (“Heathcare plan is awesome/horrible”).
Pages: Great for organizations, businesses, churches, bands, etc.
In most of the cases of these unintentionally “fake” profiles, a Page is a far better solution. If you’ve made that mistake, you need to fix it now. Since you still have your profile intact (until Facebook finds it), you can use it to point your “friends” to your new Page. Once that profile has been deleted, you’ll have no way to contact all of those people at once.
Your plan of action
It’s pretty simple.
- Go set up your new page. Start here and get it going. Add your logo, fill in the details and start posting content.
- Change any links that are pointing to your old profile to the new Page. These are often links on your website, but could be link on other platforms, or even printed links on newsletters or flyers.
- Log into your organization’s fake profile one last time and contact all of it’s friends to let them know of the new address. Don’t bother them repeatedly, but send a message inviting them to become a Fan of your new Page.
Once you have your Page established, the amount of things you can do to promote your organization online is nearly limitless; Twitter, blogs, etc. If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.