Friday, September 28, 2012

Facebook for Business: Fan Page Rules You Don't Want to Break

Setting up a Facebook page for your business seems easy enough, right? Wrong. While you can easily hit the "create a page" button to make your own fan page, there are tons of rules associated with business fan pages that many users don't seem to be aware of. Whether you're caught and your page is deleted is a matter of chance (or a matter of a watchful eye reporting you). Here are some things you need to know as you work to create your business fan page.

Do Not Create a Profile
As a business owner, you should not create a personal profile page in your business name. Business fan pages were created for just that purpose - to promote a business - while personal profiles are intended for personal networking. Facebook is, at the end of the day, a social networking site and you should use it properly. Create a properly branded fan page and promote the page to earn new likes. Besides, in order to do this you'd need to have multiple accounts, which is also prohibited.

Fan Pages Must Promote Real Businesses
There are pages that you can create in support of things you like, but if you are running a business fan page you must use your legal business name to create the page. Let's say you own a local pizza joint. You can't use an SEO keywords to name your page, like "Philadelphia Pizza" (unless that's the name of your business, of course). You must also use proper grammar and capitalization when creating your page as well.

Contact Information on Your Fan Page
The contact information on your fan page needs to be limited to the proper "About" section. Fan page users are prohibited from putting contact information or any other "call to action" wording or graphic (even an arrow pointing to the like button), in their fan page timeline cover photos. Make sure your business information is completed and add as much detail as possible.

Business Promotion Violations
There are very specific rules regarding the types of promotions you can run on a Facebook fan page. This is because Facebook is adamant about not endorsing businesses who use their platform. As such, you can run promotions, but only if you use a third party application to do so. You're better off running a promotion on your website or blog and merely promoting it on your fan page.

Examples of promotions we're positive you've seen include telling people that the first ones to comment will win something; asking people to upload images to your wall in order to win prizes; linking comments or posts; being the x# person to like the page; and asking people to tag themselves in images. These are just a few examples. Basically, if it involves actually using Facebook, the promotino is a violation of the terms of service.

Facebook fan pages can be huge in terms of marketing, but one mistake can get your page deleted for good - no questions asked. Facebook would rather delete your page than find themselves in the midst of a battle regarding inappropriate promotions or copyright violations and, as many businesses have learned the hard way, they'll act before asking questions. Keep your page clean and follow the rules and you'll enjoy the benefits of this free marketing platform for a very long time.

About the Author: Son Mazzara loves using Facebook business pages to promote his full and part-time projects. Follow the simple rules carefully and you'll never have a problem.

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