"Fan" Page or "Person Page": That is the question.

This might be an old issue for many Facebook verterans and pros but more than half of the local businesses that I know are still using a "person" page.

The repeatedly ignore my warnings, depite the fact that I have personally seen Facebook give the boot to several businesses using a person account to promote themselves.

i happen to have written this as part of a manual for one of my clients. Hopefully it will help to clarify the issue for those who are neither verterans nor pros.

Why focus on building a Facebook Page vs. “a person?”

Facebook profile pages (person pages) are intended for people, not businesses. It is actually a violation of the Facebook terms to use a profile for a business. If the Facebook “powers that be” come across a business posing as a person on Facebook, they have the ability to and will delete the page—all of your hard work and fan base will be lost in an instant. I have personally seen this happen at least twice.

Also important is that Fan pages (but not person pages) are indexed by search engines. When people search for your brand in Google or other search engines, they will likely come across your fan page on Facebook, leading them to your products, phone number and address and likely into your store.

Though most many have already built up a sizable “person” page, it should be a goal to build up a fan base on the fan page and end the use of the person page altogether. Maintaining two separate presences is time consuming, confusing to customers and unprofessional.

One thing to make sure of is that your “person page” is not the only administrator for your “fan page.”  In the event that Facebook kicks off your “person” page, all fan pages that it administers will also be removed from the site.  To eliminate this possibility, make sure that a staff member or manager is also added as an administrator of the site.