Straight from my email Inbox
A. Looking just at the Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) Section 3, Point 1:
3. We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help in order to do that, which includes the following commitments:
- You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications to users (such as spam).
“Mike, that’s easy! I NEVER send out Spam! NEVER!”
Hold on there Buttercup… Do you ever
- Update your FB status or post listings on your Wall?
- Have your Twitter Stream show up on your Wall. Do you tweet links to listings?
- FriendFeed blog posts to your Wall or Notes?
My guess is you answered Yes to at least one of them (I even did). Is your stream as clean of Commercial Communications as the pure driven snow? (not sure what driven snow has to do with it). Yeah, mine isn’t either. In fact this very blog post which is commercial in nature will soon be tweeted, which will be FriendFeeded to my very own Facebook Wall. Some grumpy old guy in across the country who haphazardly added me as a “friend” might just very well interpret that as spam. I’m Guilty as Charged!
Technically speaking that’s a violation to Facebook TOS and your profile could be wiped away in a heart beat with no prior notice. All your “Friends” gone! Could it happen? Would it happen? Maybe, maybe not – but then again, why risk it?
Facebook Site Governance: Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (updated 8/11/09)
Section 4, Point 2 states “You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain.“
“But Mike, I see everyone else is doing it. Facebook wouldn’t start deleting profiles”.
While Facebook isn’t Flickr and isn’t Vimeo (both are actively deleting accounts that have commercial content)
Ask Matt Stigliano about his Flickr Account.
Ask Tim Ayers about his Vimeo Account.
There’s nothing stopping Facebook from doing the same thing in the future.
Consider the alternative. The Facebook Business Page. It’s easy to start, free to setup. And on Facebook’s site (http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?pages) they even encourage page owners to
STEP 4: MAKE IT RICH AND ENGAGING
The more rich content you add, the more ways users can interact with it and spread that connection to their friends. Post photos of products, employees, and customers. Add video clips of your bar or restaurant in action. ‘Behind the scenes’ content often works well. List an event for your grand opening or in-store sale. Write a note about upcoming promotions. The choices are yours and all these features are free and unlimited.
STEP 6: UPDATE REGULARLY
Updating your Page regularly with fresh photos, upcoming events, and the latest promotions means your Page won’t just look like a profile, it will feel like one, and that will keep users coming back. Facebook users are used to getting information sorted by what happened most recently. If you keep your Page active, which you can do through mobile integrations and applications, you’ll find that your fans are more engaged and more interactive.
You can also send some or all of them messages by clicking “Send an Update to Fans” in the upper-left of your Page (under the profile picture). Updates are useful for sending out announcements like promotions, sales or events.
What’s the difference?
A Fan Page (Facebook Business Page) has Fans. Those “Fans” have “authorized” you to send them commercial communications – a “Friend” has not. There’s somuch more reason to have a Page than just this single legal technicality. However it’s vital as Facebook and doing business on Facebook grows that marketers understand what is legal and what is not. So the real answer is that you need to start with a Profile. That profile should be for you, your true friends, and your family. That Profile then can create a Business Page to promote you the “Professional” side of you.