In the last few days I have encountered a few blogging friends and businesses who are having issues with Facebook. For most of us, our relationship with Facebook is often a Love/Hate kind of relationship. These bloggers and business owners I’ve been talking to and helping are definitely on the hate end of things at the moment.
In light of the struggles I have seen, I’ve put together some Facebook tips for Bloggers and Businesses.
Tip #1: If you are a Blogger or a Business and you do NOT have a proper Facebook Page set-up specifically for your Blog or Business, DO IT TODAY!
Blogs or businesses set-up on Facebook as personal Facebook profiles can be disabled and LOST! Facebook officially only allows PEOPLE to have Profiles – everything else is meant to be a Page. There are limited access business accounts (see Facebook Business Accounts), but they must be set up as business profiles, not as a regular personal profile.
The bloggers that I have been dealing with were completely locked out of their accounts. They did not have proper pages set up (and yes, they are just “pages”, though many will still call them “Fan Pages”). They have lost all their ‘fans’ or ‘friends’ as is the case with a profile page, and all their investment into that profile is gone.
Basic Pages can be created on the “Create a Page” link found on the bottom of your Facebook profile.
Tip #2: Be aware of Facebook terms and guidelines for setting up personal Facebook profiles and Facebook pages.
One of the bloggers I was talking to said, “I wish they would have given me warning.” Unfortunately, they don’t have to give warning because it’s in their Terms of Service, the terms we all click “Agree” on without even reading them.
A blogger or business using a personal profile violates (at the very least) the section that states: “You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain”. Conversely, “Pages are special profiles that may only be used to promote a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor (including non-profit organizations, political campaigns, bands, and celebrities).” (Terms for Pages)
One of the pages that addresses why accounts might be disabled (http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=1132) states clearly that accounts must be registered with First and Last Names of a real person. Fake names are not allowed, and it also says that businesses need to create pages. Not complying with these terms can definitely result in having the account disabled.
It’s important to note that an individual can manage an unlimited number of pages (How many pages can I manage? FAQ). If you have 3 blogs and a business you can have pages for each of those ‘entities’, rather than having accounts for each one, and being in clear violation of Facebook terms by having multiple accounts.
SO, make a Facebook Page for your blog or your business, and that you are adhering to Facebook guidelines BEFORE you lose all of your connections and all of your hard work.
Tip #3: Be aware of Facebook guidelines and terms when posting content on your Facebook profiles and Facebook pages so you do not get disabled or have your page taken offline.
A bit more advice with regards to bloggers on Facebook, though this will apply to some businesses as well. Even a properly set-up Facebook page or personal profile can be taken offline if it is deemed to be in violation of Facebook terms. There are several reasons for bloggers’ or business pages being pulled or blocked.
I’ve heard reports of pages being taken down when reported for violation of copyrights, for posting inappropriate photos, and for hosting giveaways on their pages, or for requiring interaction on Facebook pages as entries for giveaways (even if the giveaway itself is hosted on their blog).
Do not post images, logos, or materials on your blog or your Facebook page that are copyrighted or that you don’t have permission to share. If the owner of the image or materials comes and sees their stuff on your Facebook page they can report that copyright violation and the Facebook page will be pulled almost immediately, perhaps even without investigation.
As far as inappropriate photos go – a photo that you consider to be fine may be considered offensive to others. Be mindful of this when posting pictures on your Facebook page. There are some obvious standards that can get a page pulled or an account disabled: “Posted content that violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (this includes any obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit photos, as well as any photos that depict graphic violence. We also remove content, photo or written, that threatens, intimidates, harasses, or brings unwanted attention or embarrassment to an individual or group of people) [Facebook FAQ re: disabled accounts]”
According to Facebook Promotional Guidelines, there are only very specific ways to host a giveaway on Facebook, though it’s easier to promote your giveaways on Facebook. The guidelines state:
You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
If you’re doing ANY of those things as a Blogger on your Facebook page, your page can be taken completely offline and your account disabled.
Tip #4: Do your research – These are not the only reasons for issues between Facebook and bloggers/businesses!
There are likely MANY other reasons why Bloggers and Businesses are having their Facebook accounts disabled or their pages taken down (including invalid or unfounded, possibly even malicious, reports). Keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground, so to speak, and find out what other kinds of issues people are having with Facebook. Learn from their experiences.
If you keep these things in mind, and have a look at the Facebook Terms (various links above), you should be able to operate your Facebook personal account and your Facebook Fan pages with no problems.
Tip #5: Do not hesitate to get things started for your Facebook page or to make changes in how you operate on Facebook based on these tips.
It may just be the circle that I am involved with online, but it seems to me that Facebook is accelerating action on improperly set-up accounts. Do something before it’s too late and you’re having to start from scratch.
If you need help with setting up your Facebook personal account or a Facebook page for your blog or business, let me know. I can advise, free of charge, as well as set up basic and complete Facebook pages for a reasonable fee. You DON’T want to lose access to your Facebook page or to your fans/friends on your Facebook personal profile. It’s too costly! I have too many blogger friends finding this out the hard way!
Facebook is both our friend and our foe in the social media world, and employing these tips for your blog or business can hopefully keep you on the friendly side!
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Raylene and Jeff Wall