When Facebook first began it was purely a social venture for many. It was a way to connect with family and friends, get to know others from all around the world, and just enjoy a way to get in touch with people from the past who were long gone. This is still a big part of having a social networking profile, and it has probably worked for you for a long time.
It wasn’t long, however, before a new use became apparent. It was (and is) a useful marketing tool and way of promoting yourself or your business online. Some have been able to incorporate it into a full image seller that can make up an entire profit-earning project on its own. But to do it, you have to take what was once a personal profile and convert it into a place representing your business interests.
Whether it is for promotion alone or you are looking to make important connections through online networking, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Save Your Profile Information
When you set out to move toward a professional profile, you will still want to take your profile content along with you. While it might change to fit the needs of its new context, the basic principle will remain the same. So your first step is to download all content you currently have there. This option can be found under Account Settings. This will include photos, “likes,” written bios, wall posts and all prior Wall activity.
Not all of this will be necessary when you rebuild, of course. But if you have had your profile for a while, you might want to keep the posts from friends and family. It is like having a yearbook–you don’t need it, but it is a nice memory.
The rest of it will make it easier to repopulate your page. Since you will be branding your profile on behalf of your business, those little personal touches are going to be good to keep around.
Step 2: Change Your Attitude About Your Page
You have been using your profile to say anything you like, joke with personal contacts and share YouTube videos of cats doing funny things. That is just fine for a personal profile. It isn’t fine for a professional profile, though, and so what you will be posting will have to change. That is both in tone and content, which means the way you look at Facebook will have to change.
No longer will you be able to access profiles of friends because they will be converted to “fans.” You won’t be able to add people to your list, but instead invite them or encourage your other fans to share the page. This isn’t as impersonal as it sounds, but instead, it’s rather personal in a new and exciting way. You will be approaching people as a brand, one that has infinite potential to reach consumers all over the world.
You will have the chance to stretch your creativity in finding ways to promote yourself and get more likes. Facebook Ads is a great way to do this, as are the marketplace and deal sections. You can even send screen caps of humorous incidents on your wall to sites like Lamebook or Failbook, which will then help provide links to tens of thousands of people a day.
Step 3: Tell Current Friends the Change Is Coming
If you have been speaking to people on a one-on-one level since your profile was created, it is a good idea to let them know that you will be converting soon to a business page. Make sure they understand what that means and when it will happen, as well as how it will change their access to you via that page. You can also ask for their support in sharing the page and in keeping things active.
I would personally suggest writing the first announcement in a note and tagging them all if that is feasible. If you have too many people on your list to do that, then drop a status update that directs them to the note. From there, you can make occasional reminders through status messages about the coming conversion. Invite them to ask you any questions until that point, so there is no confusion.
Step 4: Start Migrating Your Page
There is an option (found at the bottom of your current page and labeled “create a page”) on Facebook where you can start the migration. Facebook makes it nice and simple, starting with the selection of a category and subcategory for your business. Try to be as specific as possible, and it will do the rest. It only takes a few minutes to make the change.
Step 5: Customize Your Content
Once your business page has been set up, you can start to configure the page itself, as well as the information you place on it. The first thing you want to do is create a custom username, which can be done by selecting Edit Page > Basic Information > Create a Username. Keep in mind that this name is permanent, so it should be easy to remember and relevant to your business.
From that point you can pull up your downloaded information and start using whatever you like to rebuild. You can also put all new content wherever you like. Creating a business page is even more simple than a personal profile.
What Do You Think?
It is a simple process to create a business page from a personal profile. With so many opportunities for branding, it is a must for anyone who wants to expand their visibility, whether for a company, an image seller or a cause. Try it today for yourself.
What do you think? Will you be creating a business page?
Top image by Furryscaly