As many businesses are now trying out Facebook as a new communication and marketing channel few realize that being banned from Facebook is not that hard.
One clear way of getting banned from Facebook is using a personal profile to promote your business. Facebook’s rules are very clear when it comes to personal profiles.
What the below rule means is that creating a personal profile and using your business name or anything else that is not your real name will get you permanently banned.
I have seen many businesses create Facebook personal profiles using their business name, investing long hours building up friends and content only to be permanently banned because they breached Section 4 – Point 1 of the rulebook.
The biggest confusion we have found when helping our clients setup a Facebook business presence is the difference between a Facebook “Personal Profile” and a “Facebook Page”.
Facebook Personal Profile
A personal profile within Facebook is all about you the person. The profile provides your real name, your likes/dislikes, your favorite movies etc…
Through your personal profile you connect with your friends and workmates and they become your “friends”. The image below shows a typical personal profile.
You can check out my personal profile here: http://www.facebook.com/marc.krisjanous
A “Facebook Page” has many names “Facebook Fan Page” as they were known in the beginning and “Facebook Business Page” is another term I have heard used.
A “Facebook Page” is the official way to promote your business within Facebook.
To the annoyance of most sane people a Facebook Page looks in some respects like a personal profile! The image below shows a Facebook Page for PropertyTalk.com which is a global discussion forum for property investors. Click here to view the Page.
As you can see there is not much difference in the look and feel between a personal profile and a page! I think this is the key reason why businesses mistakenly create their business profile using a personal profile.
Tip: One way I tell people how to tell the difference is look for the “Like” button at the top of the page (see red arrow) – this normally means it’s a Facebook Page.
Important Tip for all Businesses
Imagine this… you and your staff have invested 2 hours each week for the last 6 months building up a good presence of Facebook but unfortunately you created a personal Facebook profile to represent your business NOT a Facebook Page.
You have over 1000 “friends” and have lots of interaction with them including promoting your special deals and updates. Your web techie has told you that over 20% of your business web site traffic comes from Facebook and your sales team get at least 2 leads per week via Facebook.
Then Facebook without any warning bans your personal profile because it breached the rules.
Damage Report Mr Sulu!!!
Well not much to be said really – Facebook has banned you so you have lost your entire presence on Facebook including your “friends” and all content.
Oh – you could appeal the judgment but good luck on getting the ban overturned.
So the next question would be “what is our backup plan for when we get banned on Facebook?”
In our experience 0 out of every business would not have one.
Fortunately for our clients we have one for them.
Using our CampaignHub software Facebook fans are encouraged to sign up to our client’s email newsletter by offering competitions, give-aways and even providing a simple newsletter signup form on the Facebook business page.
This means a good percentage of the fans have been added to the clients email marketing database which is important because:
- The client owns the database NOT Facebook.
- If you get banned from Facebook you still have a good percentage of your Facebook prospects to stay in contact with.
- Email marketing is still far more effective at prospect conversion than any social network including Facebook.
The image below visually shows you one of the key functions within CampaignHub which is to get your fans/followers from the social networks filtered and into a database that you own.
If you are not using anything sophisticated as CampaignHub at least direct your Facebook fans back to your website and entice them to signup to a newsletter there.
It is vital that you do not create a personal profile for your business on Facebook. If you do there is an extremely high chance that Facebook will ban you and take down the profile. And typically Facebook always seems to ban people once they have a nice number of friends and a well-established profile.
This results in lost of all your “friends” and the content within the profile.
To have an official business profile on Facebook you need to create a Facebook page which is very simple (click here to read the simple steps).
Business Guide to Facebook eBook
At the end of June 2010 BusinessBlogs.co.nz will release our comprehensive Business Guide to Facebook eBook which will contain hints, tips, best practices and “Dummy Guides” for everything your business needs to know about Facebook using our 3+ years of experience helping our clients successfully use Facebook as a business tool.