Need to Create and Manage Facebook Pages for businesses? Ensure Future Ownership!

Posted on October 23, 2009 by jparadis

Facebook LogoMore and more, businesses need a Facebook presence. It’s no wonder when you consider that in the US, Facebook now accounts for 1 in 4 Internet page views.

Kim Vallee just published a post on What to Consider Before Creating a Facebook Business Page. I suggest you read it to follow the right process in creating a Facebook page for your business.

The Rules of Engagement

As Kim mentions, I often receive Facebook friend requests from brands and businesses. Sorry, but for me and many others, friends are real persons. For businesses, Facebook created pages for which people can become fans. It is important to mention that personal accounts on Facebook are subject to Facebook’s terms of use where it is stated:

  • 4.1 You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  • 4.2 You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).

Facebook Pages are also governed by interesting terms:

  • 12.1 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).
  • 12.2 You may only administer a Facebook Page if you are an authorized representative of the subject of the Page.

So clearly, Facebook Pages are meant for businesses. Using personal profiles for commercial purposes could easily get you banned. Additionally, personal accounts are clearly meant for persons.

Protecting Brand Ownership

I know many agencies and friends that help small businesses and larger companies manage their Facebook presence. If you do so, it is important that you protect the ownership of the Facebook Page for the client.

As Kim mentioned, to create a Facebook Page, you need a personal account. You can add administrators to a page, but the Page creator will always keep ownership of the Page. It is not well known that administrators cannot remove the page creator from the list of administrators. It’s an easy mistake to create a Facebook page from your own profile. Don’t do it!

If you need to create a page for a small business owner or founder, it might not be a mistake to register the Facebook Page under his/her personal account. Even then, you never know what might happen. The business might sooner or later be transferred to someone else in the family or be bought in the future. The new owners will lose control of the Facebook Page.

For larger businesses, it’s evident that it’s a problem. The CEO/president is probably not there forever and employees come and go. So, under which personal account should the Page be created to ensure future ownership of the Facebook Page?

I asked my friend Clara Shih who wrote the excellent book: “The Facebook Era” about this Catch-22 problem. She answered:

“Good question. We recommend companies set up a new personal Facebook account for Admin User, and then keep this login/password for whoever at the company is managing the Page(s). Does that make sense?”

I replied to her that it might put us in a grey zone as to Facebook’s terms of use. Her answer:

“Yes, but it is the only way we have figured out to get around this!”

So, here you have it from an expert on the subject!

Based on that, we recommend that you create a personal profile for the company. Also create a specific email from the company domain to log into the account and to ensure future ownership. As a disclaimer, we must note that it probably goes against Facebook terms of use. You are warned: do not knock at our doors if a company profile gets banned! However, since there are no other good workarounds yet and that Facebook hasn’t solved the problem, I suppose it can be considered an acceptable use.

To avoid potential problems, Kim had great suggestions: make sure the profile is totally private and hidden on Facebook through privacy settings. Manage your Facebook Page by adding appropriate administrators (employees for the business or the agency). Since you won’t ever really be using this personal account (give the email and password to appropriate company officers) risks are low it would be banned.

6 Responses to “Need to Create and Manage Facebook Pages for businesses? Ensure Future Ownership!”

  1. Thomas Stubbs
    Jun 01, 2010

    Great article. Question: I am administrator for a this small business Facbook page. I can post and add content on the company page and when I do I add content as the company name. How do I then go to another company page to add content but, as the name of my company and not me individually???????????

    • Jerome Paradis
      Jun 01, 2010

      I am not sure I understand correctly your question.

      By using this approach, you will need to log out your company profile and log back in as an individual if you want to post as an individual and stop managing your page. But, you can also simply edit the company page settings to add your individual account as an administrator. Then, you will be able to manage your page under your individual account.

      What I meant in this article is that the company user profile cannot be removed as the creator of the page however, you still can give and remove administrative rights to the page for other Facebook users.

      I hope it answers the question.

  2. Leikela
    Jul 18, 2010

    That’s great that you can create and manage a page, but how do you stop? I created a page for a corporation I’m no longer with and I can’t figure out how to disassociate myself from it.

    • Kim Vallee
      Aug 30, 2010

      Leikela, each page must have at least one administrator. The first thing is to assign another person as the administrator for the page. Then, this administrator can remove you as an administrator.

  3. Ron
    Aug 06, 2010

    My question is exactly the same as Thomas Stubbs question: How do I go to another company page to post info to their wall but, as the name of my company and not me individually?

    • Kim Vallee
      Aug 30, 2010

      Ron and Thomas Stubbs, it can’t be done on Facebook because you log in as an individual.