Earlier this year Facebook rolled out the ability to convert a profile page into a fan page. Maybe you started your business out as a profile not realizing you should have created a fan page and now you’re ready to take the plunge and migrate. Since it’s technically against Facebook’s Terms of Service to run a business page as a profile page, this is a good move. There’s also a current 5000 friend limit on personal profiles, but there’s no limit on fan pages. Before you get started, here are some things you need to know.

Once the migration is done, you cannot undo this action. For this reason it is a good idea to download your profile information first before starting the friend to fan page migration. Log into Facebook, go to Account settings, then click on “download a copy of your Facebook data”.

Let your friends know you’re going to convert the profile into a page first and let them know the date when you plan to do the conversion. Announce this several times so they’re sure to see your posts, and use these announcements to create some buzz around the new page you intend to create.

You can’t convert friends onto an existing page, so if you’ve already set one up, using this tool will create two fan pages – a new one and the existing one. You don’t want two pages so only use this tool if you’re setting up a new fan page. If you already have an existing page, set up admin rights to that page from your personal profile (the one you use to talk to your family and friends) and then post to the business friend page (the one you’re shutting down) asking friends to like the fan page. Link to the page to make it easy. Again, pick a date to shut down the friend page and post regularly reminding friends to go over and like the business page. Message them if necessary. Then shut down the friend page on the date you specify. The screenshot below shows you where you can deactivate your profile. You’ll have to go through a bunch of steps to complete this deactivation. Note: if you log into the profile again for any reason, either by clicking on a link in an email notification or by accidentally logging into the wrong account your profile will be reactivated. Facebook doesn’t want to lose you!

Facebook profile deactivate

If necessary you could offer your friends a reward for liking the new fan page as long as it complies with Facebook’s terms of service for promotions.

Some have reported problems getting the vanity URL for your friend page to transfer to your fan page. If you do have trouble with this, Facebook has a Usernames for Facebook Pages help section that offers a little guidance (not much) and the ability to report a page username infringement.

Good luck with your friend to fan migration! If you’ve used this tool with success I’d love your feedback.