Facebook Personal and Fan Pages

Tips on Facebook personal list building and how this relates to Facebook FAN pages.

Putting the pieces together
Putting the pieces together

I quite often get this question as people are interested in trying out social networking for their business, but are not sure how to go about it or if they are comfortable with the idea and possible lack of privacy.

There are a few pointers that may help in clarifying this issue and seeing how the personal and business fit together – and how to keep them separate.

Your PERSONAL page

  • When you post something on your personal page – it only shows up to your “friends” that are on your personal page
  • When people sign up on your personal page they are called your “friends”.  Now in actual fact once your personal page grows people will ask to become your friend, your friends will suggest other friends to you and you will be requesting others to become your friend.
  • I personally think that once you decide that you will be using Facebook for business – that even your “personal” page and profile should try and stick to a business focus.  So personally I stick to postings about things related to business with only an occasional social thing like a movie or some activity. 
  • When a person requests to be your friend:
    • Click on their name and look at their INFO tab.  What groups and pages do they subscribe to, do you have friends in common.  If you can see their WALL tab then look at the type of postings they do.  Does the person look like they have similar interest to you?  If YES – then click on the “RESPOND TO FRIEND REQUEST” and if you are using the facebook “List” function – add the person to the appropriate list(s).  For example I have lists of people by the type of interest we share – e.g. web, film, photography etc. More on lists in another posting.  You could send the person a message if you want also.
    • If NO – you can ignore the person.  They don’t receive any notification about that so you don’t have to feel bad.   Note that at any time you want to REMOVE a person as your friend you can do so.
  • Also in your personal page – click on SETTINGS – PRIVACY – and you have control over who can see what information.
  • Look on your Facebook area and click on PROFILE tab.  See if this how your profile looks is going to help you to grow your “friends”  (business friends).  Plan in future how your postings and comments and groups / pages you join show your business focus.

Your BUSINESS  page  (your “Fan” page)

  • This is your business “Fan” page.  It is not connected to your personal page. If you post something on here it does not show up on your personal page. 
  • You might decide to have more than one Fan page if your business has different audiences and products / services
  • You can do some cool things on your FAN PAGE. Most of these are accessible through the “Edit page” function when you are the administator.   You can get someone to help you get your page setup and then take over admin if you find it confusing.
    • Integrate your blog using Networked Blogs
    • Setup discussion forums
    • Create photo albums and upload videos about your business
    • Setup events
    • Message your fans
    • Allow people to comment on items
    • Setup “Widgets” to feed back to your website and build your fan traffic 

Growing your Fan Base

So how do you get people to “Become a fan”?

  • Of course the first thing is to have something on your page that people would find interesting.  Before you invite people to join your fan page – add some postings.  If you have an event coming up add one.  Add a few photos. Make the page look inviting.  Add some “Discussion Forum” topics that people can respond to.
  • click on the “SUGGEST TO FRIENDS” – your friends (on your PERSONAL page) will get an invitation to look at and if they want to join the page.  If you have used the Facebook “LIST” function – you can select a specific list to invite.  NOTE – when you send out invitations and people join, you will see that the next time you do this that the names are greyed out or don’t appear for the people who already joined.   Do this “Suggest to Friends” once a week so that new friends you have on your personal page will get an invitation.
  • What I do is build my “friends” on my personal page – that are related to my business interests. once a week I invite people to my PAGE by doing the “Suggest to friends” – only new people would get the invite. So you aren’t annoying people sending it out multiple times.
  • So even though your PERSONAL and FAN page are separate – building your PERSONAL page will help you in building your FANS for your business.

I work with individual business owners and nonprofits to make effective use of the Internet.  Contact me for details if you require assistance.  davies@alephinc.com

  • Thank you for sharing that illuminating primer on Facebook fan pages.

    Like many other folks, I find it a struggle to effectively monitor the continual changes. This sort of practical, clear guidance provides a practical roadmap.

    Please keep it up!

  • Denise,

    Thank you for taking time to outline and spell out this practical guide to setting up an effective fan page on Facebook. I’ve spent some time trying to make the most setting up a fan page on Facebook. What kinds of events have you found people respond to on Facebook. Do you have any tips on how to schedule events, what kinds of events/invitations work (perhaps spell out a successful invitation), and…

    As you can see, I’ve seen the potential of the Fan page and have yet to set one or two in motion for my present situation. Getting excited 😉

    • For a successful Event – it is good to have a plan to build your fan list. Then depending on the interest of the FANS – and the objective of your Page – have the event related to that specific interest. I don’t know that there is any stats on which types of events might be most successful – you want to talk about the event through your postings and get the invitees also to invite their friends. If you send me the link to your fan page i will take a look and see if I have any suggestions. Thanks for your comments.


  • I understand the facebook personal page and facebook business fan page, I have created both of these. When I visit someones facebook business page and it says to become a fan, of which I click, how can I get our facebook business fan page to show up and not the facebook personal page?

    • Hi Ruth – thanks for your interesting question. Facebook does isolate your business fan page from your PERSONAL page. But I do see the value in what you are asking for. You want a method that you as a “business” can join a fan page – rather than you as a person. I will have to do some research on this – but if any other readers have an answer we would be interested to hear it.

      One thing that you could do also would be to contact FB Pages that you think there is a good fit with your business – and request them to add your page on their page links. You could reciprocate.

      Facebook just today changed the wording on the “Become a Fan” to “Like” on the Fan page.

      If you send me the link to your Fan Page I would be happy to take a look.
      All the best
      Denise Davies

      • Denise – Thanks for the reply back. I did do a lot of research on the internet including reading FB’s help section to see how to make this happen but have not come across the solution.

        Yes I did notice the change that you mentioned of Become a Fan to Like. It’s unfortunate that you can’t “Like” someones page with your Business Fan Page. It’s annoying that the Personal Page shows up when you now”Like” someone’s page because if someone clicks you from within the fan box it takes them to your Personal Page. On the Personal Page I have put a link to our Business Fan Page in hopes of directing them to that page which is the page I wanted them to go to in the first place.

        Seems like FB needs to think this strategy through and consider this important scenario. If anyone has the solution I hope you will share it, because I can’t imagine I am the only one trying to do this.
        Best Regards,
        Ruth N.

  • I set up a wordpress.com blog site a month or so ago and have figured out how to export the content to Twitter and to my Personal Facebook profile but I only want it to go to my Fan Page. I clicked on the Import option in the Fan Page section and it does indeed grab the content but how do I get it so that it’ll do it automatically without me having to click the Import option in the Fan Page menu each time?

    • In FaceBook – have you setup the APP for “Networked Blogs”? This gives you an option in SETTINGS to publish your post automatically to your FB Fan Page.

      Let me know if you need any additional help on this. And if you send me the link to your Facebook Fan page I would be interested to see it. All the best

  • I have been trying to do the same thing as Ruth N I would like to link Fan Pages to my Fan Page as well, so we can show people the type of business we work with and like Ruth said direct people back to us, not my personal page.

    And when I try to post to my page from my BlackBerry to goes to my personal page not my Fan Page – does anyone have an idea how to link the Fan Page with your BB?


    • Hi Anna

      You can try this on your FAN PAGE – let me know if it works. This is from the MOBILE HELP in the Fan Page Edit area / Denise

      How do I use Facebook Mobile Texts to update fans?
      To activate updating via text message, click “Edit Page” below the pro…
      To activate updating via text message, click “Edit Page” below the profile picture on the Page. Beneath “Mobile,” click “Edit,” and follow the link to sign up for Facebook Text Messages in order to post status updates to your Page.

      Please note that if your carrier is not listed in the drop-down menu, they are not currently supported for Facebook Mobile Texts. Please contact your mobile operator for more information.

      You can associate multiple phone numbers for a single Page. However, you can only associate one Page or profile to each mobile number. If you associate a mobile number to your Page, that number cannot be associated to your profile or another Page.

      Click here to view instructions and a guide on this feature.

    • Hi Anna,
      I knew I couldn’t be the only one struggling with this concept. I still have not been able to find the answer since I first posted my question on April 19, 2010. If you manage to find the solution I hope you will post it here.

      Best Regards,
      Ruth N.