Early February I wrote a post on how you can manually transfer your Facebook friends from your Personal Profile to your Business Page. A little bit later Facebook made it possible to move (convert, transfer or migrate) your friends to ‘Likes’ automatically.

After that post I was flooded with questions from people who all seemed to be experiencing difficulties and bugs while completing this conversion process.

The risks

The biggest problem most people seemed to have was with the so called ‘vanity url’. When your personal Profile already has a custom made (vanity) url, it doesn’t automatically get transferred over to the new Page. After making the switch, your previous vanity url becomes a ‘page not found’.

People then had trouble creating the vanity url through the normal procedure. They actually needed to contact Facebook to do the change manually for them. If you have that same problem, try contacting Facebook through the username infringement form. Facebook has actually made this happen for some people.

But the problem with Facebook is still that they have more customers then they can handle. There’s no 24 hour reponse promise or anything like that. And the ‘Profile to Page’ help center, hardly contains any useful info either.

And that can be quite risky, especially because I have also heard from people who had their convertion to a Page fail. Yikes! Their friends were not converted to a Page and they then had to go through Facebook customer support to try and get it sorted.

Look before you leap

Other things you need to take into consideration before you migrate your Personal Profile to Business Page are e.g.:

  • You can’t go back, the migration from Profile to Page can’t be undone
  • You loose access to some personal data from your friends (e.g. birthdays)
  • You loose access to their wall
  • Outstanding friend requests don’t get converted
  • You loose your Profile wall content, and can’t migrate it to your Page wall post content (to back up your Facebook content first go to Account Settings > Download your information > Download)
  • You can’t contact (or chat with) your friends anymore
  • You can’t convert your friends to an existing Page.

Weighing the pros and cons

Eventually you are gonna have to bite the bullit: you need a Page for your business rather than a Profile. The main reason is that a personal Profile used for business is simply against Facebook Terms & Conditions. You run the risk of Facebook pulling the plug on your Profile.

But it ain’t all bad, A Facebook Page actually does have benefits compared to a Profile for instance: access to Insights (analytical data), no limitations in the number of fans you build (Profiles are max 5.000 friends), use of apps and ads, interaction with other Pages, etc.

The Facebook tool that let’s you migrate your friends automatically is most beneficial for people who have loads of friends. If you have 2.000, 3.000 or even 5.000 friends it is hard to resist not converting them automatically.

But when you have less than say 1.000 friends, it might be worth considering doing your move manually. You can then use your existing Personal Profile functionality to drive your friends to action and get them to ‘Like’ your new Page.

A plea for going manual

Wether you choose to convert your Profile to Page manually or automatically, your new fans are only useful to you when they are engaged. So, you’re gonna need to develop a plan. Get great content flowing. Give people free stuff. Offer sneak previews, etc. Or try different ideas such as the ones mentioned in any of these 106 blog posts on “How To Build Fans On Facebook”.

When you decide to do your move manually, you can follow the steps in this blog post. In this scenario, you first create your new Page and then start up your communications towards your friends and get them to ‘Like’ your new Page.

The benefits are that your friends have then chosen themselves to ‘Like’ your new Page. Also, they are coming into a live Page that already has some great content in it. You have the chance to straight away position your Page in people’s heads properly and drive people them to action as well.

When you decide to convert automatically, your friends might never know that they have been converted to a ‘Like’. They might never see your Page postings because people might not notice them in their already large newsstreams with updates from friends, groups, causes and other Pages.

Also, when you convert manually, you will still have your old Profile. This allows you to keep communication open with your friends and think of things to get them to ‘Like’ your new Page.

One last tip

If you decide to use any competitions or give-aways to trigger your friends to ‘Like’ your Page, note that this is against Facebook Terms & Conditions. So, I would advice you to only do this as a last resort. And when you do, make sure you put in your Profile that you are currently converting friends from Profile to Page. Also mention a date for your Profile to shut down. Facebook might cut you some slack when they read that message.

Good luck with manually or automatically transferring your friends from Profile to Page!

Related Articles

  1. How to easily and automatically convert your Facebook friends from a Personal Profile to a Business Page.
  2. Facebook for business: Personal Profile or Fan Page?
  3. How to convert your friends from a Personal Facebook Profile to a Facebook Fan Page
  4. What is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group? And which one to choose?
  5. How to claim your own branded URL of your Facebook page (before someone else does!)
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  • http://www.blogshopsantafe.com Blogshop Santa Fe

    Michael: Thanks for all this info. I have had to move 2 different, large profiles to pages and have done it manually. Slow and painstaking. Am looking forward to reading your post on steps to follow.

    • Guest

      We have just migrated from a personal profile to a page with over 800 friends and despite following instructions we lost all our friends. They were not converted into fans. Has anyone else had this trouble? We have appealed against it but hold out little hope of a fast response. Is there any other facebook customer service contact details anyone can give me? Any help would be much appreciated.

      • Jennifer

        Have you tried sending a bug report?  Search for that in the help section.  I waited over 30 hours for 500 fans to come through.  Good luck…I know how difficult it is!

        • Guest

          I have sent a bug report with a screen shot. No sign of 800 fans after three days.

  • carlos

     i downloaded all my info from facebook. it downloaded all my albums as a file and as a web link. then i changed my account to a page. everything worked well. now my problem is that all my albums have disappeared, now do i have to reload all those albums again? reason why i ask is because when i did the download facebook  gave me a web link for all the albums. where is those pics when i click the link. when i did the download facebook  gave me a web link for all the albums. where is those pics when i click the link.i downloaded all my info from facebook. it downloaded all my albums as a file and as a web link. then i changed my account to a page. everything worked well. now my problem is that all my albums have disappeared, now do i have to reload all those albums again? reason why i ask is because when i did the download facebook  gave me a web link for all the albums. where is those pics when i click the link. when i did the download facebook  gave me a web link for all the albums. where is those pics when i click the link.

  • Anonymous

    People seemed to be very concerned about going ahead with the switch-over BASED ON LOOSING THE VANITY URL ON THEIR PROFILE ACCOUNT.  facebook. com/ [my business name]

    People have invested money in that url and can’t afford to loose it.

  • Guest

    who do we contact if the friends wernt converted to likes?

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      Not sure what you mean :-/ 
      Can you please clarify?

      • Guest

        No worries.
        I converted my clients friend page to a business page. They had 3500 friends. When I did the conversion the page was on 0 likes for 4 hours.
        It’s fair to say I was Sh*tting myself.
        After 4 hours the page magically showed up with 3580 likes.
        I had done this conversion many times before but never had to wait this long.

        • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

          Haha. Yeah. I know what you mean, Scary moments indeed! Glad the conversion went well.

          • Jennifer

            I have the same issue of friends not coverting to fans…I’m still waiting after almost 24 hours!  I contacted facebook, but as they say,  they may not respond.  I’m still sh*tting myself and had one hell of a day yesterday.  Should I start a manual transfer?  Also, what about all the wall posts they had?  How do I upload all of the info. from the files I downloaded from facebook?

          • Leoniesmith

            Im still waiting for mine to transfer over also, been longer than 24 hours did yours come thru Jennifer? Ive also left a bug report for Facebook

          • Jennifer

            Yes, they did transfer over!  I was so happy…maybe the bug report with a screen shot helped, who knows!  Now I’m slowly putting wall posts back on, so it doesn’t look like I’m spamming all the fans.  This was an idea from another professional.  I uploaded all the pictures o.k. and pasted comments on those manually.  The client now wants me to merge the fan and place pages. I’m not sure I want to!  I hope yours works out!

  • Jeff Depalma

    michael,
    i have a profile page and a fan page . i want to automatically convert my friends to my existing fan page but it looks like you cannot do that. Can i “delete” my fan page then recreate it so i can do this migration????

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      Hi Jeff, correct. You can’t convert to an existing fan page.
      You also cannot temporarily delete and recreate your fanpage.
      Depending on how many friends you have, I could consider doing it manually.
      Here’s a posts about the risks of doing automatically: http://bit.ly/pJiXZi

  • Jeff Depalma

    Thank you for all your help Michiel! Jeff

  • Jeff Depalma

    Hello Michiel, you advised (below) I converted my friends manually from my profile page to my fan page but I want but do you recommend I do to entice them. I heard that running a contest or giving them something on your personal page in order to get them them to “like’ you on your fan page is frowned upon by facebook and can cause you to be shutdown.. is that true? if so, what do you reccommend?

  • http://www.honeymoonislands.com Honeymoon Islands

    This was the most helpful explaination on converting profile to pages I’ve found on the net.  Thank you!

  • Heciamp

    Michiel, facebook is offering the chance to switch back your page to a profile but it is controlled by them. I accidentally switched my profile to a page and I was asked to fill out a form to have it converted back. I have filled out this form more than ten times and nothing has changed. Should I hold out and wait to see if they will ever change it back or should I simply just open a new account>

  • Estreazulay

    Is it a way to transfer my friends to an excisting fan page?

  • Cecilia St. King

    Thanks SO MUCH! For the information. It’s amazing that YOU are serving the general public way better than FACEBOOK is with this change. Really appreciate your blog!! :)  

  • Cornelia Amiri

    When I transferred my personal page to a fan page and my friends became likes i had serrious issues – no search bar, no home bar, no way to like other pages – no like button on any pages I bring up, and no way to look at other people’s posts. I don’t know aht to do to fix it. If anyone knows, please help me. 

    • Joshua

      You need to attach a personal profile to become admin of the page

      • Carly Mesnick

        can you further explain the process of this.. I am having the same problem! PLease help!

  • Samantha

    I have
    a similar problem as well. At my company we had a standard profile but thought
    it better to convert over to a business profile. We had a vanity URL associated
    with this account.

    On
    Tuesday when we initiated the change that morning using the business page
    migration tool we did not get very far in the process.

    When
    getting onto the page listing the URL, the vanity URL hadn’t been transferred
    across when facebook clearly states that the URL is automatically transferred
    over with moving from a profile to a fan page. Facebook says our web address is
    already taken.

    I
    was wondering if you had any ideas why this is happening to us? I have
    personally looked at through all of the questions and answers on facebook but nothing
    seems to work. Any help will be useful!
    Great explanation btw! Thanks!

     

  • http://twitter.com/kristibarrow kristibarrow

    Great post. A quick question – can you merge your profile to an existing page? thanks

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      Noop :-(

  • Desienna

    Does anyone know how long it will take to migrate?
    I did the migration, but it seems that I lost quiet a lot of frineds, approx 4950 !

    please help, am panicking

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      I’ve heard this from other people as well Desienna. Your friends should pop back up in a few hours, sometimes even days. If nothing in a few days mail FB customer service.

      • Desienna

         ah ok, will cross my fingers then ;)

        • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

          Good luck :p

          • Desienna

             Hi Michiel just to let you know it went all fine, ;)

          • Carly Mesnick

            Michiel, this happened to me as well.. when i sign in all i have is a settings and log out on right side and then if i hit the facebook icon on left it takes me to this campaigns url. I have to click pages to see my page that i converted from profile to page. I can’t assign admins.. i cant really do anything. I also have no search bar at the top either. When I go to edit page tab the bottom it asks me if i want to use it as my “old profile name” and then directs me to the campaign url. Its like the format didn’t take. What am I to do?

          • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

            Not much you can do but to report a bug:

            http://www.facebook.com/help/326603310765065/

            Good luck :-

            Best,
            Michiel

      • Desienna

         HI Michiel, however when we log in we can only get to the ‘campaigns’ page and nothing else – :( is that normal ? …just take time to migrate you reckon?

        • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

          Yes, that’s normal. Your old profile doesn’t exist anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/btrammell85 Brad Joseph Trammell

    the conversion made me lose all my friends (likes) i had 281. 0 carried over.

  • Snuffy

    Tried to convert from personal profile to business page . Did not go well. Left without personal profile page and corrupt business page. NUnableto obtain any help from Facebook…(also of note, the wonderful e-mail the Facebook Team sends you contains links that cannot connect/be found… CONGRATULATIONS!!!)

  • Shahina Musthafa

    Thank you so much! I was facing the problem of getting the same vanity URL after migrating. Appreciate your blog!

  • deanasfreddie

    So I converted from profile to page and none of the friends have transferred over, is there a waiting process for this to happen, does it not happen as soon as you click ‘go’ :) any help would be appreciated thanks. Also I can’t see any customer support email address should the friends (now likes) not reappear, cheers

  • Jessica

    Hi michael I am confused because I converted my facebook personal profile to a professional page. Right after I did that my friends showed up as likes but then ever since then my likes have been going down and it sometimes doesn’t even show new likes. I feel like there is some problem and I wish I knew what was going on? Are my likes going to keep going down?

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      Hi Jessica,

      Especially in the first few days after you have converted a profile to a page, your former FB friends could unlike your new page. Maybe because they don’t recognise it as your new page (is it obvious that it’s YOUR new page?).

      How do you know it ‘sometimes’ doesn’t show new likes? Maybe you’re not getting new likes. Try running a test with someone you know. Or create a new profile for yourself, befriend your old friends, and ask the ones that are not included in your page likes if they have unliked the page.

      Should there be a problem, there is unfortunately not much you can do but to contact FB. Not easy, but I’ve heard from people who have been helped out by people from the FB sales departement.

      Good luck!

      Best,
      Michiel

  • Orit

    Once I convert my personal page to a fan page, how do I transfer back all the wall posts, comments, and likes that appeared on pictures or posts, etc.???

  • Kristin

    Hi Michael,
    This was super helpful. thx! For the past month, I’ve been trying to convert my pet’s profile page to a fan page as he’s now a children’s book series. Actually facebook is forcing me to do this. I logged in with his ID and chose entertainment as the category with his name (the name of the profile) and selected book series. It won’t let me move forward because it keeps saying “this name is not allowed”. When I enter a completely different name or add book series next to his profile name, it says “this name is too similar to the profile name. Please enter that name and try again.” It clearly doesn’t want me to have this page but he had a ton of friends and I’d hate to lose that history. Any thoughts on how I can move him into a fan page? Thanks so much for your help!!!!

    • http://www.michielgaasterland.com/ MichielGaas

      Hi Kristin,
      I’m really sorry, but I can’t help you :-(
      I don’t know if there is a solution.
      I do know that many others like you have the same problems.
      Sorry!
      Best,
      Michiel

    • Robin Weill

      How did this work out for you? I am also being forced to convert a profile to a page, and am looking for people’s experiences. D

      • Kristin

        Hi Robin. Actually it worked great once I realized I needed to change around my capital letters in my username to move forward. I love having a fan page for this as it’s my book. Hope this helps.

  • Harisharan

    You can Migrate your profile to fan page, if you do this you must loose your personal information and wall post as well as photos but you will get all friends list and unaccepted friend request in to page likers