Using your Facebook profile as a fan page

This is a guest post by Anne Chaconas

This is the third in a four-part series discussing the recent updates with Facebook pages and how you can make the most of these changes and continue to make Facebook an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Facebook has recently launched some changes and additions to brand and fan pages that have made many page admins a little jaded and more than a little angry. Although knowing how many people are seeing your posts is useful, the fact that so few of them do (and the fact that Facebook is suggesting that you pay in order to increase your posts’ visibility) is making page owners question the usefulness of their pages. Many of them are considering using their own profile instead of a fan page.

However, a huge concern when using your personal Facebook profile as a fan page is privacy. Do you want your fans—who are, for all practical intents and purposes, complete strangers—to see your every Facebook move? Every picture? Every comment? For most, the answer to this would be a resounding NO.

Thankfully, Facebook has a comprehensive system of privacy settings that you can use to make sure that each person you friend on your profile only sees what you want them to see.

Let’s start by explaining the different levels of privacy Facebook makes available for personal profiles:

“Public” and “Friends” are pretty self-explanatory. “Custom” is where we’re going to spend the bulk of our time, since that’s where you can make specific posts invisible to specific people (or groups of people).

Something important to note: You are going to have to set the visibility of each individual post. You do this by clicking the visibility settings tab at the bottom right of each post, and selecting “Custom”:

This will open up a dialogue box where you can choose exactly who can and can’t see the post.

There are two ways in which you can limit the visibility of posts. You can select individual people as being unable to see certain posts (you do this by typing in their name in the “Hide this from” box, and Facebook will populate options that you can then select):

You can also make your post invisible to entire groups of people or “lists” (which you can designate by creating friend lists—a tutorial of how to do this is available from Facebook here):

You can do this with multiple people, multiple lists, or combinations of people and lists.

That covers post visibility, but what about pictures? Well, you can adjust the privacy settings of pictures in the same way that you can post visibility (click the edit button on the individual picture to do so):

And you can do it for whole albums, too:

But what about all your old posts? Do you have to go back and adjust the visibility for each individual post? Well, yes. That’s the bad news. The good news, though, is that Facebook does give you the option of changing all past posts to being visible only to friends, even if you had it set to “Friends of Friends” or “Public” before. You can find this option by going to your privacy settings:

Then select the “Manage Past Post Visibility” option under “Limit the Audience for Past Posts”:

If you want to make certain posts invisible to fans, though, you’ll have to go through all your posts and adjust the privacy settings on each one individually as a “custom” setting.

Facebook profile privacy settings can be complex, but they are incredibly powerful. Take some time to play around with the different settings and become familiar with what you can do, and you’ll be easily able to control what your friends, fans, and general public can and can’t see on your profile.

In the next (and last) installment of this series, we’ll talk about some strategies you can implement to encourage your fans to move from your fan page to your profile page (if that’s the route you want to go).

Previous posts:

  • Help! No one is seeing my Facebook page updates!
  • Increasing your Facebook page reach—without spending a dime

Upcoming posts:

  • Moving from page to profile? Strategies to get your fans to make the change.

 

About this post’s author:

Anne Chaconas was born in Central America and educated in the U.S. Northeast. She moved to the Deep South for love and currently lives on the East Coast (and misses winter terribly.) Her snarky husband, adorable daughter, three rambunctious cats, and two very adoring dogs keep her busy. Salve Regina, her debut novel, will be available this fall. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, GoodReads and Tumblr.