Facebook has recently announced that it is going to be deleting 83 million user accounts that violate their terms of service. Those terms of service are not often read, but are expected to be followed by all users of Facebook. Over half of these accounts are classified as “duplicate” accounts. A small portion of the accounts are created specifically for spamming purposed. The largest and most damaging group are those that are simply not the right type of account. Facebook accounts are intended to be for a person. Facebook also has fan pages that are designed for “non-persons” such as your cat, your band, or your restaurant.
Yes, Facebook does not buy Mitt Romney’s argument that companies are people either*. This means that if you have a Facebook account for your restaurant that is set up as a personal account rather than a fan page, you might wake up tomorrow to see that your account is gone. Don’t ask Facebook to fix it for you because you were violating the terms of service. The hundreds or thousands of friends you had will be gone and you will have lost your best chance to convert them into fans of your restaurant’s fan page.
Now some of you are wondering if you have a fan page or a personal page. Here are two quick ways to tell.
1) When you log in you should see your personal information in the top left corner, not the info for your restaurant.
2) On fan pages, your fans are called “likes” as seen in this picture. On personal pages they are called “friends.”
This change does not mean you should give up on your fan page. It does mean that you need to act fast to get back in the graces of the second largest website in the United States. Follow these simple steps provided by Facebook outlining how to turn your misclassified personal account into a fan page. This also could present you with a great opportunity. Many of the friends of your current page have simply stopped seeing your updates due to changes in the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm. As the friends are turned into fans, your first few status updates are the best chance you have to reach these people with your messages. It is important that you lead off with updates that will get interactions. If you want a more detailed explanation and updates that will get interactions, I recommend you check out my package of reports on Facebook marketing for restaurants.
The most important thing you can do is to act quickly before your page is eliminated. Do not lose all of the fans you have worked hard to reach. There are still tremendous marketing opportunities available on Facebook. The key is knowing what Facebook looks for in posts and how to give it to them. Take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your Facebook strategy before it is too late.
*Relax, it’s a joke, not a statement of political preference.