One of the most common mistakes made by small business owners when setting up a Facebook page is creating a personal profile for their local business.

This is an easy mistake to make, but it is important to note that the two are actually very different. There are specific benefits to setting up a Facebook Business page that you may not be aware of. At first glance, the two seem to be the same, but there are a few key advantages to setting up a Facebook Business Page vs. a personal page for your small business, that you should take note of:

1. Facebook’s Graph Search helps potential and existing customers find your business based on the keywords that you used in your business page title, about section, and category and subcategory classifications. Since personal Facebook pages do not offer category and subcategory classifications, it is a lot harder for potential customers to find your small business when it is set up as a personal page. To learn more about how this works,read How to Optimize Your Business Facebook Page Categories

2. When 50 or more people like a Facebook business page, Facebook allows the small business owner to use Facebook’s Offers feature Small business owners can use this free feature to offer discounts and promotions that can be redeemed at their store. The best part? When people who have also liked your business page claim your offers, Facebook shares this activity as a story in their friends’ news feeds. Not only does this put your business in front of potential customers, but with a promotion that is compelling enough, can also help increase sales by driving more foot traffic to your store.

3. Personal Facebook accounts are limited to 5,000 followers. A Facebook business page however, can be followed by an unlimited number of users, allowing you to expand your potential reach and awareness as your small business continues to grow.

4. Facebook Insights is a free tool for Business Pages that provides you with information on who your customers are, and how they are communicating with your business. This is valuable information that not only shapes the way that you communicate with your target customers online, but also at your physical business location.

5. When you set up a Local Business Page you can allow customers to ‘check-in’ to your business location. When someone checks-in to your location, that action is then shared with his or her friends who can view and comment on that activity. This is not only a great way to “spread the word” about your business, but also an opportunity to increase customer loyalty by creating a rewards program that incentivizes customers who check-in to your business on a regular basis.

6. Last but not least, the biggest reason not to create a personal page for your local small business is that personal pages are intended for non-commercial use only. By using a personal page to represent your small business on Facebook, you are unknowingly violating Facebook’s terms and conditions, which can result in getting your account terminated permanently.

If you’re a small business owner who has accidentally created a personal Facebook page for your business, don’t worry. You can easily convert your existing personal page to a business page without losing your existing followers, by following these 4 simple steps. If you are setting up a Facebook Business Page for your small business for the first time, this Free eBook on Setting-up Facebook for Your Restaurant is a great step-by-step guide that you can benefit from.

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate who uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.