Social media is the primary means that business owners in the food truck industry are using, (Twitter and Facebook) to market their locations and expand their reach into their local foodie communities. One problem that some are starting to face, is getting their profiles banned from Facebook, unfortunately, this trend is not showing signs of slowing down.
Imagine this scenario; you and your staff have sunk two to three hours a week for the last year building up a strong presence on Facebook. You have nearly two thousand friends whom you interact with on a daily basis. Your analytics team shares that nearly twenty five percent of your websites traffic comes from Facebook, and the catering side of the business collects at least 2 new leads per week from Facebook as well. So far, so good, right?
Here’s when the problem surfaces. You log in to your account to find out it has been banned? Why? No, it’s not because someone on your staff has posted some inappropriate content or similar reason. The issue is that at the time you created the account to market your food truck business, you created it on a personal profile Facebook page.
Facebook is very clear in their rules if use for personal profiles and Facebook for Business.
4. Registration and Account Security
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
What these rules state is that by creating a personal profile using your business name you are in breach of the user agreement you agreed to when you first created the account, and risk having it permanently banned if Facebook finds out. The problem with this result is all of the time that someone spends building up friends and creating networks can all be gone without the ability to retain any of them if the account is banned since Facebook does not provide any notice to either the profile creator, or their friends.
Facebook Personal Profile
A personal profile within Facebook is all about you not your business. This profile provides your real name, your likes and dislikes, your location and other various informational items about YOU. It is this personal profile that you are able to connect with family, friends, classmates and co-workers. It is this group of people that become your “friends”.
You may find my personal profile as an example at: http://www.facebook.com/rick.myrick
There are various terms used to describe a “Facebook Page.” “Facebook Fan Page” as they were known at the beginning of the site and “Facebook Business Page” is another term that is more recently in use. A “Facebook Page” is the proper way to promote your mobile food business within Facebook. The Facebook Page does look similar to a personal profile, however, it is not, and this is the problem that some businesses are finding.
If you would need a clear way to distinguish between the two types of pages, look for the “Like” button at the top of the page. This will be a clear sign that the page is a Facebook Page and not a personal profile page.
Click here to view the Mobile Cuisine Magazine Facebook Page. (please “like” us while you are visiting)
If you happen to be one of those business owners who has already created a personal profile page for your food truck business, there is still time for you to correct this error. Go to this page and begin the process of creating a page for your business, this process should only take a few minutes. Once you have you have completed this step, go to your original business page (the personal profile version) and begin sending out regular messages to your friends with a link to the new page. Hopefully before Facebook catches on, you will be able to have all of your friends converted into “likes” on your new page. You should also modify the old page to be specifically about you as soon as possible. By following this step in conjunction to creating your new business page, you may be able to avoid a banning altogether.
This may not be what you want to spend your time doing, but as opposed to having your Facebook profile closed and permanently banned without warning, as a business owner, this is something you should do before you lose all of the previous networking you have accomplished. If you have any additional suggestions on how to prevent this type of social media disaster, please share your comments below or send us a message via our contact page.
We will update this article in hopes to help those who may be in this situation.