Changing a Facebook Personal Page to a Business Page and Keeping Your Friends
by Jo Shaer, on February 7, 2013
17 May 2013, I followed Facebook's current official instructions on how to change a Facebook Personal Profile to a Business Page without losing your friends/fans.
- What became apparent from my first failure was that you need to be using a computer on which the profile you are changing to a page has previously operated Facebook.
- Then make sure that you friend the personal profile that is going to become your business page AS the personal profile that you want to keep = that way you can make yourself an admin more easily later because you will already be on the list.
- Next log back in as the personal profile that you want to migrate and accept the friend request.
- Do a download of your information on that page
- Click on the cog at the top right of any Facebook page and select Account Settings
- Click General in the left-hand column
- Click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data"
- Click Start My Archive
Start Changing Your Facebook Personal Profile to a Business Page
Whilst logged into the account that you want to migrate, copy and paste https://www.facebook.com/help/175644189234902/ into a new tab.
Then click on the link that says 'How do I convert my personal account into a Facebook page'. Down at the bottom, you will see a link that you can click to start converting your personal account to a Facebook Page.
You will be offered the usual choice of local business, company or organisation, brand, public figure, entertainment, community page
Complete the one that applies to you
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.
If it's a local business, make sure that the address exactly matches your actual business address - accept the town option offered by Facebook
Click Get Started
Enter your password
Choose Categories for your page
You will then redirect to a dashboard which gives you the chance to choose categories for your page - you will have to start typing in letters of the alphabet to see which categories Facebook has on offer.
You can only have the categories which have been selected by Facebook and these will appear in a drop down menu for you to click. Some - like Education - will the offer you a choice of sub-categories too. In many cases, you may have to just choose Other as none of the options actually matches what you do.
You also get a chance to fill in a short description of what your Page is about and then to add one or more website addresses.
(I am reporting some of these screens from memory so they may not be exactly correct - I will rectify when I do my next conversion and take better notes)
If you have selected a Local business, this takes you through to a dashboard which will also ask you to confirm whether your business is a physical business - yes or no - and also whether you are the official representative of the business who will be acting on its behalf - yes or no.
You get the chance to change your profile image - the one they are currently showing is the one that you had assigned to the original personal profile.
You should now be on the main timeline for the personal profile which has become a business page. You can tell because you now have Like and Message buttons under the cover image.
Make Admins for your new business page
If you click the Edit Page section at the top of the dashboard and select Manage Admin Roles, you will see that your existing profile is the only admin. Because you still have two logins to Facebook and this is against Facebook's terms and conditions, this needs to be rectified.
You need to make the login that operates your personal profile an Admin - this is easy if you made sure that your personal profile became friends with the personal profile that was being converted to a business page.
Just as with making someone an Admin on any business page, go to the section of the dashboard that shows people who have liked your page and click - See All.
Now scroll through all the likes - they have come over in no particular order so just because you were the last person to friend the personal profile, it does not mean that name will appear at the top or bottom of the list.
Find your other personal profile and click the Make Admin button which is next to it. It will then show you the screen in Manage Admin Roles with the name of your personal profile as a Manager. Click Save. Add your password. You are now an Admin of the new page with your personal profile. (Don't do this yet but when you do log out of this account and log in with your main personal profile, you will be able to see the new page and access it through that personal profile if you click on the cog at the top right.)
Now repeat this process with another trusted friend. It is always a good idea to have more than one Admin for a business page in case Facebook does close down a personal profile for some reason. Here are the instructions if, for any reason, you want to remove someone as an admin of a Facebook page.
Now you can log out and you will never need to log in to Facebook with this rule-breaking account again. You can access your business page through your personal profile.
Facebook Personal Profile Migrated to a Business Page and Friends turned into Likes - SORTED!!!!
An Error Has Occurred While Merging Pages
Several people have been able to make the transition getting the error message "An error has occurred while merging pages. This may be caused by your attempt to merge too many pages."
Experience has shown that, if at first you don't succeed, keep on trying - we have several examples where persistence has eventually triumphed. Try making the merge attempt at times when Facebook will be less busy in your region. Late at night or first thing in the morning.
I am leaving up the very first instructions from 2011 as - near the bottom - it tells you how to find a help page to contact Facebook which may still be possible.
Changing A Facebook Personal Profile to a Business Page and Keeping Your Friends - Trial and Error in 2011
I don't think there are many of us who have not noticed people who have set up Facebook Personal pages for their business.
Sometimes this is a deliberate attempt to try to misuse social media for business because it is easier to access people with a personal profile but, in most cases, it is due to a misunderstanding about how Facebook works.
My experience has shown that many people believe that they need a separate email log-in for their business page and then don't get beyond the personal profile.
Since profiles are for meant individual people, they aren't suited to meet your business needs. Pages offer more robust features for organizations, businesses, brands, and public figures, which you can learn more about here.
Further, maintaining a profile for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you don’t convert your profile to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the profile and all of your content.
So, creating a Personal Page when you are a Business directly contravenes Facebook's rules and those people will eventually get caught and their accounts suspended. It may not be tomorrow, but it will happen.
Once your account has been suspended, it becomes a complicated process to get it back, so far better to sort out the issue yourself by changing it to a Business Page before it becomes a problem.
First go into the personal account that you want to change, click Account Settings and then select the final option to 'Download a copy' of your Facebook data.
This will go into an archive so that you do not lose all your photos and status updates completely. The process of migration will only take your profile picture and your friends but, if you have all the other information in an archive, it will be far easier to re-upload the other data that is not taken across to the new account. The important part is not to lose those people who have 'friended' your page.
Once the process is complete, you will receive an email confirmation and be able to download to your computer. Well, that's the theory anyway but two of us have tried this recently and, despite repeated requests to download the archive, no email containing it has been received. So, make sure you save any photos that are stored on the Personal Profile if you want to re-upload them to the new Business Page.
I was advised by those who have done this before that, in Internet Explorer, you should open the personal page that you want to change and then click the Facebook migration link.
You will be asked if you are sure you want to do this and given the usual 'Create a Page' choices of Local Business, Brand/Product, Public Figure, etc. Fill out your details as usual and then click 'Get Started'.
A warning box will ask you if you're sure you want to do this and advise you to download your data to archive.
Once the confirmation email has come through, you can then go back to the migration process.
Unfortunately, we had a problem. As has been the case with another business page I tried to create where the owner lived in a very small town in Essex, Facebook seemed unable to recognise the address and kept giving me its own alternatives. Eventually, on the fifth attempt, I agreed to use the town closest to the actual village where my business was located.
And when the new page appeared...? You've guessed it! Because the address I had put in did not match the address on the original personal profile, they had just created a brand new page with no friends or likers and no photographs either.
So I went searching for Facebook help and, eventually, found a page with Known Facebook Page bugs and it gave the answer to my original question about how to convert a personal profile to a page.
How do I convert my profile to a Page?
If you would like to convert your profile to a Page, click begin here.
When you convert your profile to a Facebook Page, we'll transfer your profile pictures and add all of your friends as people who like your page.
No other content will be carried over to your new page, so be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration.
To avoid losing important content, we recommend taking these steps before you convert your profile:
Download your profile 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 or a new Facebook Page admin to any groups or pages that you manage. The account you’re converting will lose these admin rights during the conversion process.
I had followed all the instructions but it had not worked. I said 'No' to their question as to whether this had helped and they thanked me for my input but it was apparent that there would be no further communication on the subject.
Then, right at the bottom of the page, I noticed the heading 'My Bug is not listed above'. Clicking this allowed me to open a contact form so that I could report my bug issue.
A few minutes later, I had a response.
Thank you for submitting this bug report and taking time to help us improve the site. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to every bug report individually, but we are reading them.
Screen shots often help our team diagnose problems that users are seeing. If you did not send a screen shot with your report, please follow the directions listed here:
Once you have saved the screen shot, attach it in a response to this email. If your issue is unfamiliar to our team, we may contact you for more details. If we have identified and are troubleshooting your issue, we will not need to contact you for more details.
For more information about issues currently affecting the site, please visit the Facebook Known Issues Page at http://www.facebook.com/KnownIssues. We appreciate your patience and feedback as we work to improve your Facebook experience.
The Facebook Team
Hmmm... I'm not sure what they want a screen shot of? A Facebook page with no likes?
TAKE HOME ADVICE: Make sure that the address on your personal profile matches the address that Facebook allows you to input as you create the new Business Page. Given my time again, I would have gone into the personal profile and changed the town to whatever Facebook was offering on the Business Page creation form - even if it is wrong. Because, once created, you should then be able to rectify the issue.
And, lo, two days later, my friends had returned but as likes. Thank you Facebook!
But there's more :(
When the client logged in to the new page to try to make me an admin, it transpired that Facebook had changed the account to just a business account with only Business Account functionality. On reflection, not surprising really because to them he no longer had a personal profile.
We have now made his personal profile an admin of the business account page - he had to physically like the business account page and then we went into the list of friends to find his name and 'make admin' from there. The option from the 'manage admins' panel does not work.
However, it is not possible to link his personal profile to the new business account in the Account Settings > Add An Email dashboard because Facebook just tells you that the account you are adding is already linked with a facebook profile.
Now that he is an admin for the business account from his personal page, ideally, it would be best to delete or at least deactivate the business account log-in but I don't want to do that manually for fear of losing the new page entirely.
I have used the 'report a bug' form mentioned above to explain the situation to Facebook and asked them to link the business account to the personal profile and delete the superfluous account.