*This was originally posted as an editorial piece at PureRockNews.com.
The DIY Band’s Quick Guide to the Facebook “Personal Profile” exit strategy.
Does your band keep a “personal profile” in addition to the official band page? If you’re like any enterprising, self-promoting, see a free opportunity band out there, we know you do! But now FB is cracking down on personal profiles being used for business/promotion purposes, and converting them to Pages with little or no notice to the account. Regardless of how shitty this is, there’s nothing we can do to stop the flood of street team and fan profiles that are being converted without notice to this rather useless “Page” format.
Now as I’ve noticed with our Motortrain page and Motortrain BadGirl street team profile, only about a third of the friends on the profile actually “like” the band page. This means
if when FB dumps the profile, we lose the ability to reach the other two thirds without having to now manage TWO pages. Not to mention how posts from those pages only reach a tiny fraction of your likers anyway! What’s a band on a budget to do? Well… earn more money of course so you can sponsor your page posts is what FB wants. But until you do that here are a few steps you can take to get all your fans on one page, but you HAVE TO START TODAY! Before they take your profile away! This will take an hour or so to do, but trust me… it’s worth it!
Log into your Facebook profile
Go to Settings
On the General Account Settings, click “Download a copy of your Facebook data”
You will need to enter your password again.
This kicks off an archive of your facebook profile information that will be compiled into a .zip file and sent to the email address you log in with. When you get that .zip file, extract all, then open the Friends.html using Microsoft Excel. This will give you a list of names that you can clean up manually for the next step. ( I found that just copying the list of current friends into a separate sheet and sorting them alphabetically helped a LOT)
From that profile, create an event. Set the event for a specific date a couple weeks out. You never know when they’re going to convert your profile, so let’s just hope you have a week or more. Name the event whatever you like as long as you get the point across that fans will no longer be able to receive updates from this profile after XXXX date. Make it official and like the official band page today! Yadda yadda you know how to sell it to your fans, after all, you got them this far. Now invite everyone from that list you made. Post at least once a day to that event, which will cause anyone who hasn’t responded yet to get a new notification from it.
Get funky with your graphics. Create some graphics to be posted to your band page, encouraging people to like the page and a brief note about how the fascist Facebook Illuminati is out to get us all or how you like tacos. Whatever. Then, while logged in with the personal profile, tag the people from your list in the graphics so they know what’s up, since a majority of people don’t pay attention to their event invites. Share the graphics from your profile to help get the word out too. Make sure to mark off people on your list as you tag them so you don’t end up tagging the same people over and over again like those Ray-Ban bots do.
When the day DOES come that Facebook converts your profile to a second page, there IS an option to merge this new semi-useless page into your existing band page, carrying over all the likes, which begs the question “Why did you make me do those other steps then?“. Because when I’m not writing for PureRockNews and CountryMusicNewsBlog, I’m busy being Ma Motortrain and I told you so.
No, really, it’s for a few reasons:
A). The increase in activity from your original band page raises what FB calls your “edgerank”, opening up that page’s posts to reach more existing likers.
B). The gradual migration of new likes does the same thing.
C). That first step also gave you more than just your friends’ names. It gave you an archive of every little thing you carried on your personal profile, starting with a wealth of pictures, event details you forgot about, and all kinds of other goodies that can inspire a LOT more activity on your official page going forward, as well as an archive of all direct/private messages which usually includes a lot of booking and promotion contact info you never think of until it’s gone.
Like I said, there’s no reversing the forceful hand of Facebook, and no real way to export your fan lists (which is why FB can NOT be your only contact gathering tool), but you can at least minimize your losses.