On Saturday, I made the decision to convert my personal Facebook account into a Business page. It was not a difficult choice to make because, even though I had over 5,000 friends and 200 followers — when your friends queue is full, Facebook forces them into “following” you — I was really only posting Boles Blogs updates to my timeline.
Even though I don’t make any money from Boles Blogs, creating a Facebook business page offers some unification of thought and clarity of purpose on the social network. I would “lose” my friends and their updates, as well as my own timeline since 2006, but I would also gain thousands of “Likes” — “friends” get converted into “Likes” when you convert a page — and my “followers” would also, magically, become “Likes” on the new page, too. I would only have to update one Facebook page instead of two.
Here’s what the new Boles Business page looks like now on Facebook:
Here are the some of the instructions from Facebook on how, and why, to make this conversion:
When you convert your personal account to a Facebook Page, a business account will be created to manage your Page. We’ll transfer your current profile picture and add all your friends and followers as people who like your Page. Your account’s username will become the username for your Page, and the name associated with your personal account will become your Page’s name. If you want your Page to have a different name, consider creating a new one.
No other content will be carried over to your new Page, so be sure to save any important content before beginning the conversion:
- Download your timeline information. You can download a file that contains all of your sent and received messages and all of the photos and videos you’ve uploaded to Facebook.
- Appoint a new group admin to any groups you manage. You’ll be unable to manage groups once the conversion begins.
For full access to Pages features, manage your new Page from a personal account or add admins to your Page.
When you’re ready, start converting your personal account to a Facebook Page.
I found those instructions to be a bit confusing.
When you make the conversion, everything URL-related, stays the same.
The conversion is only on the backend as more “business” features are added to how you interact with Facebook. The new audience metrics are a great help in showing you how and why you are being perceived on the service.
I knew there was a risk of losing some “Likes” in the transition, and we instantly lost about 800.
I’m sure scraping 500 or so of them was a “correction” of the dead Facebook followers that, for some reason, allowed me to have more than 5,000 Facebook friends — and none of our 200 forced “followers” have yet to be converted into “Likes” as promised in the transition.
One thing I’d previously noticed on my own personal Facebook account was a mysterious “Liking” of things I’d never liked! I now understand those phantom likes were created by people who had done what I’d just done: Converted from a personal account to a Business page.
I hated the idea of surprising 5,000 friends with a new “Like” of my page on their timeline, but the risk was worth it because now there’s no limit to how many friends/likes I may have on a page.
The next step was to take the existing business page I’d previously created only for “Boles Blogs” and “merge” it with my new “David W. Boles” business page. We’ll gain around 83 new “Likes” in the merge from two pages into one:
The page merging has yet to happen. The old page is currently still live. I understand the merge can take anywhere from 1-4 Facebook days and I know some people have had to make multiple requests to get the merge to happen. I believe page merge requests are not automatic and are actually vetted by Facebook staff, so our pending merge may or may not happen.
Since I don’t want two pages on Facebook, I will just delete the “Boles Blogs” page in due time if the merge never happens and, unfortunately, lose the 83 “Likes” we already earned.
As ever, we thank you for reading this, and we appreciate your support across the web, and here is our current list of social media accounts you can choose to follow and interact with as you wish!
Facebook — http://facebook.com/boles
Twitter — http://twitter.com/davidboles
Google+ — http://boles.co/tXsOaE
App.net — https://alpha.app.net/boles
About.me — http://about.me/boles
The pages merge is complete! I tried the merge again and received an immediate email rejection from Facebook that the two page names were too dissimilar: “David W. Boles” vs. “Boles Blogs” — so I first tried to rename the blogs page to “David W. Boles” as well and was rejected by the system as being a duplicate. Using “David Boles” did the trick!
Then I changed all my page information on “David Boles” to match “David W. Boles” including avatars and background.
Then I went into the SETTINGS for my “David W. Boles” page and scrolled down to the bottom of the page and found a “Merge” link for pages. I clicked. I followed the on screen instructions to merge the old page with the new and, it’s done in seconds!
https://www.facebook.com/BolesBlogs — is no more — though I do wish it auto-referred you to https://www.facebook.com/Boles instead of just dead-ending.
The old LIKES transferred over to the new page. Joy!