It’s true-you can NOT use your personal page on Facebook as your author page. It violates the Terms of Service you agree to by using the platform (remember, Facebook makes the rules, not you)
Before I show you specifically what the TOS say, there’s another reason you should NOT be using a personal page as your author page: you can ONLY have 5,000 friends on a personal page. After that, you are cut off. You can gain no new followers. So if you ever want to be popular enough to be followed by 5,001 people, do not use a personal page. You will have to start all over with a business page, and let’s face it, not all 5,000 people will follow you over.
Now furthermore, it’s against Facebook’s rules. If you are reported or they catch you, you will likely be banned.
Let’s take a look:
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:
You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
You will not create more than one personal account.
If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.
You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
You will not share your password (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
You will not transfer your account (including any Page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
If you select a username or similar identifier for your account or Page, we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe it is appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).
See #4? You can not use it to promote your business/brand.
Not satisfied? Let’s take a look at this Help Center question answered by Facebook:
Direct from Facebook: “You could permanently lose access to your account if you don’t convert it to a Page.”
This is not worth it.
By being a member of Facebook, you agree to their terms. You can not make up your own rules, you must follow their Terms. If you don’t, you can get banned from Facebook all together. You’ll lose all access to the fanbase you had through this social media platform. You likely won’t recover many of them.
I’ve had many people argue that using a personal page is more personal, gives more organic reach, etc but that doesn’t change the facet that it is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service and is prohibited.
You are a public figure as an author. It is your responsibility to do things the legal way and show a good example to others.
So what are the benefits to having a Business Page?
*You are not limited to 5,000 followers.
*You have the ability to run targeted Facebook ads (they give you the ability to boost posts too, but social media strategists strongly urge you not to use that option-it is not nearly as effective, despite what some people who do not in-depth study this will tell you)
*You have the ability to use tags to get your group in front of new followers who might like your content.
*You can integrate bots into Messenger to deliver valuable content to your fans.
*You can run offers and events in a strategic way.
I personally keep seeing so many authors violating the TOS on Facebook and the other social media platforms simply because they never read the TOS. You do not want your author page to be shut down because you didn’t know you were in the wrong. Trust me, it’s not pretty when that happens.
Please note, these terms are constantly updated, so checking in from time to time is very important.
We’ll also be releasing an article soon on the Terms for running Promotions through Facebook (chances are, you know someone violating them)
Ready to convert your Personal Page to a Business Page to avoid being shut down? Here is Facebook’s tutorial on fixing it.
As an author, it’s best to work with Facebook’s conditions and create a Page for your author work instead of using a Personal Account.
Have a horror story about how you got shut down on Facebook? Share in the comments so we can help other people avoid the pitfalls of social media.
PS, I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t give you legal advice, but Facebook has lawyers–good ones–and you need to look into the legalities of working with them before you work with them. Take the time to read their terms and if you have questions, talk to a lawyer.