Although I like Facebook and think it’s really useful for businesses to use, I don’t think it explains itself very well which is probably the reason a lot of businesses don’t set it up correctly. I often get people asking to add me as a friend on Facebook (on my personal account) and they’re using their business name e.g. ‘Mobile Phone wants to be your friend’! (Now I’m certain that no-one is called Mobile Phone).
So here’s a brief explanation of what’s what on Facebook:
Facebook Personal Account: This is for individuals to use Facebook for personal reasons, to connect with friends, family and business acquaintances if they want to. It should be set up with your own name e.g. Karen James. It’s not supposed to be used to sell your products or services although you can talk about what you’re doing in your business, give it the human touch.
Facebook recently added a ‘Subscribe’ button to personal accounts which means that you’re no longer limited to 5000 friends. People can subscribe to your updates and you don’t have to accept them as a friend. This is a popular option for public figures and people who are the ‘face’ of their company.
Facebook Business Page via your Personal Account: These used to be called ‘Fan Pages’. If you already have a Personal Account on Facebook and want to create a business page for YOUR business, you must do this via your Personal Account. The personal account and the business page aren’t linked together and nothing you post on your personal account will get posted to your business page. No-0ne except you has to know that you’re the owner of the page.
Facebook Page via a Business Account: If you don’t already have a personal account on Facebook, and don’t want one, or you need to set up a page for a business that you don’t own, but you’ll be the person administering it then you can set up a Business Account (as opposed to a Personal Account) to create the page. This doesn’t give you as much functionality as setting the page up through a personal account does. You won’t be able to ‘like’ other pages which means you miss out on the opportunity to comment on other pages where your target market may be, so you’ll have less visibility.
Facebook also says that these type of pages don’t show up in a Facebook search … I’ve tried this and the two pages clients have created in this way recently did show up in the search. This could be a glitch in their system and could disappear as Facebook tinkers with the site.
I’m assuming that very large companies who are successful on Facebook set their pages up in this Business Account way – they just work hard on getting their target market to come over to their page and interact with them on there.
So to answer the original question: Do you need a Facebook personal account to set up a business page? The answer is no.