Facebook Basics for Charities Part 3: Turning a Profile into a Page

This is an issue a couple of clients have recently brought up, so I thought I’d write a bit of an explainer on it.

Most charities are now using Facebook in one way or another – but it’s never been the most user-friendly platform in terms of explaining its own rules (including privacy – but that’s another story!)

One of the rules that often catches charities out is the rule on when to use a Profile as opposed to a Page.

When people first sign up for Facebook, they create a Profile. The Profile is designed to be just that – a profile of an individual. It is not meant to be used by businesses – including charities.

However, this is not very explicit. The result is, many, many charities have set up their Profile to be the main page for promoting their charity.

Lost information

Some have found out the hard way that this is against Facebook’s rules – seeing their Profiles removed and losing all profile information, including photos, wall posts, messages and friend lists.

For Charities, you should really be setting up a Page – I go into this in Facebook Basics For Charities: Part 1: Page or Group?

To tackle this, Facebook has recently introduced a new tool to allow you convert your Profile into a Page.

You will need to save all your profile info – posts, friend lists etc – before doing it as they will disappear and the process is irreversible.

Time to change

A Page is set up to work differently from a Profile (the most obvious being that Page followers Like you rather than become a friend) so be sure to check out how a Page works before doing this.

But if you are running your charity Facebook presence via a Profile, it’s a very good idea to change rather than risk having your profile removed. The fact Facebook has now published this tool suggests its about to get tougher on “inappropriate” use of Profiles.

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