Facebook Business Profiles: Are They A Ticking Time Bomb?
I’ve decided to write about this issue because it’s coming up, time and again and small businesses in particular are refusing to cop on.
Facebook’s terms of service are pretty clear!
“Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organisation, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook.”
There are a number of advantages to having a page including:
- Analytics (called insights on FB)
- Like Widgets
- Unlimited Fans
So why then have some businesses set up and persevered with a profile?
# The what we don’t know won’t hurt us syndrome
Ignorance is bliss! Many remain unaware of the difference, or even that there is a difference.
# The we’ve got too many friends syndrome
Friending on profiles offers an easy way to build up large numbers. This can be done over a relatively short space of time by just sending out lots of invites.
Because people are oppressed with appearing popular on Facebook, these friend requests will more often be accepted – even though they may not know the business or the people behind the business.
# The starting over is just too painful syndrome
For some that are aware, they have now built up large numbers of friends, and the thoughts of starting from scratch are just too much!
This is confounded by the fact that these friend connections were made primarily because of the popularity rule (see above).
These friends never really cared about the business in the first instance, resulting in the business now equated thousands of friends to a pretty lightweight marketing tool.
So the thoughts of putting more work in, and now where they can’t directly target people to friend the business – appears like a whole lot of work for not a lot of return. However, this is not the case and the fact that a Facebook page is especially designed as a marketing tool for business is lost in the translation.
# The I’m always right even when I’m wrong syndrome
Some people are aware of all of the above but if starting over means having to admit a mistake, well let’s just say we all know the sort, right?
This is no big deal, right?
Ok, you’re profile could get shut down, but do you really care, probably not! Ok, Let me give you something more interesting to chew on then.
A what if!
What if an employee who has access or gets access to the business profile you’ve set up, in violation of Facebook’s terms of service finds something out about an individual – and then does something bad with that information.
So who is responsible?
- Facebook will say that you, the business shouldn’t have had a profile in the first place (see terms of service again)
- The employee might say that they wouldn’t have come across the information if you, the business had stuck to rules (see terms of service again)
- The individual could also say that the something bad wouldn’t have happened if you, the business followed the rules (see terms of service again)
You may think I am trying to scaremonger here, but in fact I’m not!
Because of the sheer numbers of people involved, this has probably already happened on Facebook.
Facebook pages are for businesses and Facebook profiles are for people.
There are very good reasons why this is so.
People need to stop accepting friend requests from businesses, so that businesses learn how to properly behave and market themselves on Facebook.
As for the rest, don’t say you haven’t been warned!
So what do you think? Am I being OTT here or could this become a more serious issue for businesses on Facebook?
Thanks for reading,