Why You Should Never Use a Fake Facebook Profile to Administer a Business Page

October 24, 2020
By   Jen McDonnell
Category   Social Media

Many business owners or marketers are reluctant to use their real Facebook profile to manage a business page. Some are concerned that they might accidentally post something meant for their personal page on their company page, or they don’t want business notifications mixed with their personal ones. Their solution is often to set up a fake profile which they only use to administer their business page. Our advice: don’t do this.

Some business owners set up a fake personal profile using a name similar to their business name (i.e. – if their company is called Jim’s Grocery Store, they create a new Facebook profile named “Jim Store” and use that profile to admin their business page), instead of using their regular Facebook profile. Using a fake profile goes against Facebook’s policies, and we’re noticing that Facebook is increasingly shutting them down. If Facebook flags your profile as fake, you may start noticing that Facebook is no longer allowing you to perform some basic admin functions, such as adding other admins to your page or boosting posts.

In some cases, you may lose access to that account immediately and be forced to convert that profile to a business page. You will also lose access to your Ads Manager account, and any current campaigns will be suspended. It’s not possible to transfer the administration of an ad account over to another person after you’ve converted your page because ad accounts can only be connected to personal accounts.

All personal profiles must represent an individual’s true self and you are not allowed to have multiple accounts. Facebook wants everyone to use real profiles to improve the social network’s transparency and targeting.

Facebook clarifies the difference between a page and a personal profile here, saying “Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name …In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.”

We always suggest that you add a least one other real profile as an admin of your business page so that if your personal Facebook account is somehow compromised, someone else in your organization will be able to manage your page and you won’t lose access completely.

If you’re managing multiple pages or are still wary of using your personal Facebook profile to administer your business page, we suggest using Facebook’s Business Manager.   This tool, which we discuss further in another blog post, allows you to manage all of your Facebook business assets like pages, ad accounts and apps, and let other people or agencies work on them without having to share login details.

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convert business pages Facebook

WRITTEN BY

Jen McDonnell

Jen is Reshift Media's VP of Content and Social Media. She worked in online journalism for a decade before transitioning to content and social media strategy.

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Comments (54)

  1. my page was created by a profile using my business name and email. I was locked out of the account and can’t claim the page to be an admin. i’ve tried reporting the page many times but Facebook determines its not violating anything. I tried to convert my facebook business name profile but it tells me there’s no violations and i cant convert the page. also, by converting the page will i now have 2 facebooks?

  2. Hi, please help me. I was try to convert my profile to page. But I got a message that I can not do it. So, my try is failed. And I dont understand why I can not to convert.Can I learn the reason of decline? Let me say that I have a page on same name. Could it be for this reason? And other question, if I delete my facebook page with the same name as my profile – will it solved?

  3. Thanks a lot for this article. It’s what I’ve been searching for I believe. I recently started as a designer/social media manager for a company with an existing Facebook setup. It looks like they’d setup as a profile initially, which I’m assuming was transferred to a page because of what you’d talked about in the article. When I log in on the mobile app with my work email, which is what tied to that “personal/page” account, I can still see this personal account. When I log in on the desktop side, it directs me straight to the page, where much is limited.

    I did just add my own personal account as an Admin, I admin my own business page from this account as well. It seems some things have restore like the ability to boost and make ads. I still can’t join or interact with groups however. Now that I have another account connected to this page, would it be safe to delete the old personal “shell” account that was originally made in hopes that it will restore functionality. I’m new to this aspect of Facebook so am still learning. I’m sure I will have more questions if you’re willing, but I’m just trying to get this businesses page back in working and thriving order. Thanks so much.

  4. Hello Jen, Facebook converted my profile to a page and I’ve signed in to set a profile admin literally dozens of times, but each time I hit the confirm button, I get the response, “Could not add 100034406314620 as admin of 641536926305307”. I have made sure that the admin account is public and has ‘liked’ my old page, but to no avail. And without the admin going through, I still cannot access my former page. Do you have any suggestions please? I certainly hope so. Thank you in advance.

  5. Hi Jen, I recently created a personal Facebook account using my company’s gmail email, so that I could create a business page but then Facebook asked me to send a photo for verification and now that account is disabled. Is there any way that I could retrieve that account? Thanks.

  6. Hi jen about 5 year ago i used a individual profile as a business page i recently logged into that profile it came up with a message that i have to convert the profile into a page and asked me to download the profile information. when i clicked on the download information link it would not download the information and it then came up with a error message. so i clicked next without downloading information and it gave me options to transfer pictures which i really want as i have everything on that profile i want to keep. it is then asking me to make a profile as admin which i want my personal profile to be admin. when i type in my email and password it is showing a error message stating the account does not exist or is invalid. yet i use my personal profile everyday. I would really like the profile and all the information like friends and pictures converted into a business page as this information is really important to me but it is just not letting me do it even when i type in my friends emails and passwords to make them admin. please help

  7. Hi Jen

    I’m in the UK.

    My employer (a casino) have told me to Like their Facebook page (I’ve been told to do it, not asked if I want to volunteer) so they can add me as an admin.

    I’m concerned about how this will affect me. Will I get notifications every time someone posts to their page? Will the casino clients be able to see my profile and contact me directly?

    As far as I’m concerned my Facebook page is my private life and I don’t want it mixed up with my work.

    We’ve been told they want us to be adding advertisements to the Facebook page but isn’t that something our managers should be doing?

    We’ve already had one member of our reception team who found herself added as an admin even though she is on holiday and hasn’t even seen the email from our general manager telling us about it yet. She is very angry about it.

    Where do we stand? Is this illegal?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Louise,

      I can’t speak to the legality of this, however you no longer need to like a page in order to be added as an admin. The public cannot see who admins are so there will be no affect on your personal profile. Also, as an admin you can go into Settings and turn off notifications.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  8. Hi. I have a personal fb account. On it I created a page for my business. Is it possible to make the page I created for the business to be a separate fb business page with its own log in details?
    Thanks

  9. H Jen,

    My developer is saying “we’re getting a notification that as an Admin for the Business manager, we can only create ads/pages (marketing work).”

    1. Hi James,

      Your developer needs a developers.facebook.com account to build the app. To then put the app on your Facebook page, they need admin access to your page. Granting them admin access through Business Manager will give them sufficient access to do this.

      Here is more information on Business Manager. If your developer has experience with building and installing Facebook apps, they are likely already familiar with this. https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/how-business-manager-works

      Thanks,
      Jen

  10. Hi Jen,

    Thank you I appreciate it. I’m the sole founder of a new Healthcare Crowdfunding website and juggling a lot of diverse aspects. Set to launch in 30-60 days. I will proceed with the info you suggested. Thank you!

  11. Hi Jen, thank you. Is there a way to add the developer to manager with only an email or do they have to have FB account? Thank you.

  12. Ok I understand what your saying now. Here is a different issue I’m having. My developers is saying Manger is not geared for developers and I have to create a “Facebook for Developers” account so he can proceed. My app is involved. Than he will have the correct access to my page but thru my personal account.

    1. Hi James,

      The developers account will not give him access to your page. He will still need to use Business Manager to get admin access. He should not be accessing your page through your personal account.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  13. Hi Jen,

    If I create a business page with my personal account, but in 5 years sell my business, how will I then separate my personal account n leave the new owner with full control?

    1. Hi James,

      It’s very easy to add or remove admin profiles from a business page. It will not affect your personal account in any way.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  14. Hi Jen,
    I wondered if you can help. I’m trying to convert my profile to a page but when I click ‘get started’ it comes back with failed to convert profile at this time. I am an admin on 2 other pages, the pages are not my personal name.
    Any clue as to why I can’t get it to work??

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      I’m sorry, I’ve never encountered that error so you may need to reach out to Facebook.

  15. Hello my boss asked me to open a business page from a personal account with his name spelled differently. He did not want the business page attached to his personal account nor the personal accounts of any other persons. The page was blocked and now we cannot access it. Is there anything we can do to gain access to it???

  16. Hi Jen,

    I am trying to convert my organizations page to a business page. When I try to add a new (business) page it adds it under my personal profile (which is attached to my organization.) How would I add it under the organization?

    Thank you!

  17. Hey Jen,

    I’ve recently created a fictitious Facebook profile and a page off of that profile to promote my website.

    Since I can’t directly add any one to the page, I was curious if it is allowed for me to add a lot of people on the fictitious profile then try advertising my page and website to them?

    Or MUST my page me linked to my personal profile? I don’t want to end up getting locked out of my profile at some point for some reason and I don’t want to mix my personal life with my business stuff. What can I do about this?

  18. Jen,

    I work for a government entity and our facebook pages were originally created by people within their departments. However, we are now working on getting software that archives our posts and the public’s comments, in order to comply with open records laws. The problem is the archiving company needs the personal profile’s passwords to access the businesses pages. Our employees are not comfortable giving that information out (quite understandably), and so we are looking for other ways to manage the pages. I tried business manager, but it still has to be linked off someone’s personal profile, which is not something we want to do. Other government agencies I asked suggest we create a ghost account, but I realize the risks involved in that as well. What would you suggest?

  19. The problem with this is that some employees don’t like the idea of having their personal page linked to the Business Manager. Even if you explain it isn’t posting linked, it is just authentication, they don’t like the idea. Additionally, if a Super Admin is a member of staff who leaves what happens then? We have a Super Admin which is a ‘fake’ person – real name but an unused profile – as well as our other Super Admins and Employees at different access levels. This is as a fail safe so that the business always has an account setup to manage the Business Manager.

    1. Hi Darren,

      Anytime you use a fake profile, you risk having that profile’s access taken away (even with Business Manager). More than one person can be made an admin on a page, so I would recommend adding a non-fake profile in case your current fake admin profile is suspended or that employee leaves.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  20. HELP! 🙂
    I just got locked out of my personal FB profile (and i think its because i used a nickname and not my real name) and it says i must convert it to to a page. But i cant because 1 – i will loose lots of information 2 – i will loose the p[age i admin which is my business and very important to me.

    I would be happy to just change the profile name to my real name but i cant because i am locked out! 🙁

    So what do i do? Can I somehow pass the lockout or is there a facebook email address i could use to write to them and ask to open it just so i could do the name change or any other way to save my ‘net’ life here?….

    THANK YOU!

    1. You will have to continue with the conversion process. During that time, Facebook should ask you to add an admin to the new business page you’re creating. Add your personal profile. You’re “friends” will be converted to “fans”.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  21. Jen,

    Thank you for the quick response. Whenever I click the link you sent it says
    “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now
    The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you’re not in.
    Go back to the previous page · Go to News Feed · Visit our Help Center”
    But when I’m logged into my personal profile and when I click the link it takes me to the migration page. I’m not sure if my business page is already converted, but in the business profile page I still see friends requests. When I go to my business page and try to merge it, it doesn’t show anything else to merge with.

    1. Hi,

      If you search “convert Facebook profile to page” you should be able to find the specific link that works for the country you’re in.

      It sounds like you still need to complete the conversion process.

      Jen

  22. Hi Jen,
    We created a facebook profile for our business few years ago and were adding guests as friends. Later we created a Page and people started following us. Now when I log in to the facebook it shows like I’m logged in to a personal facebook account (but with our compnay name). I searched quite a bit if it was possible to convert the profile to page (and merge it with our current page). I have added my personal facebook account as an admin in our business page.
    What would be the best way to clear the confusion? Most of our guests are adding us as friends through our profile rather than following our page since both Profile and page have the same business name.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Anwesh,

      You should make sure you have at least one other person as an admin on your business page (just in case), and then convert that profile page into a business page https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/migrate. Once that’s done, merge the new page you created with the official business page, so that all of your friends will be converted into likes.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  23. Hi Jen,

    I have a similar issue to Rob Wallis. An employee at my company had created a fake profile a while ago and tied our business page to it, and now we are currently locked out as there were no others admins associated with the page. In my research, I’m just finding out that a fake business profile is against Facebook policies.

    I’ve tried reaching out to FB and have had no luck. I’m a little skeptical to create a new business page linked to my personal profile in the event that my personal profile gets penalized.

    What do you recommend? Also, is ad account the same as business page?

    Many thanks!

    – Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      Unfortunately you’ll have to contact Facebook to claim your page. If you’re an advertising, use your advertising support tools to contact them easily. If you are not an advertiser, I’d suggest setting up an ad account.

      In the meantime, you can create a new page and then merge it with the existing page once you regain access. As long as you’re using your real FB profile to be an admin, you will not be penalized.

      Jen

  24. Hi Jen,
    I’m trying to find solution to our situation but I don’t think that FB Business Manager actually helps.
    The case is: colleague that has FB Ad account set up on her profile left the company. It’s not possible to remove her from Ad account admins. If we are thinking about setting up FB Business Manager we still need to add FB Ad account to it. So either we use current Ad account (which is set up on previous colleague) or create a new one – FB Ad account is connected to user profile. Even though we create a new FB Ad account under currently employed employee, he/she might leave company and we would have the same situation again. And as I understand once you add FB ad account to FB business manager it’s not possible to remove it later on.
    So is there a solution to control employee rotation situation?

    1. Hi Leva,

      Business Manager will solve this problem. You can create the ad account and then add and remove people as you see fit, and it will not be tied to just one account.

      Thanks,
      Jen

  25. Hi Jen – you angel! Facebook flagged my profile as fake and removed access to my account and my business page. I’ve had this message for months now when I try to access Facebook “Thank you. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to access your account while we’re reviewing these additional documents. We appreciate your patience, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.”

    What can I do?

    1. Hi Rob,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way to hurry the process. Is there another admin on your business page who could add you (using a different profile) as an admin? Otherwise, I would create a new profile, set up an ad account, and use ad manager support tools to contact Facebook, as they tend to reply to those ones quicker.

      Jen


  26. cmtolbert1 – Reply

    December 22, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Thank for the article. I was wondering what profile do Starbucks, Gold’s Gym, National Hockey League use to set up their Pages. It can’t be the personal profile of Joe-from-accounting. This leads me to believe that some version of a “dummy” account was used. A friend recently asked me about this same issue because his company’s FB account (with over 200 employees) was setup by a secretary and therefore attached to her account. His question was “what if she leaves?” I can not image setting admin roles to personal profiles of other employees who may eventually leave.

    What is a viable option, other than setting up a dummy profile?”

    You still didn’t answer this question, you just suggest they use the Business Manager”, that is not helpful.

    In order to use the Business Manager, small/medium sized seem to be required to have the business listing attached to a personal profile. This is ridiculous! I’m sure IBM or ExxonMobile used a secretary’s profile to set-up their business page, yeah right.

    Part of me wants to spend money advertising with FB, but why should I pay them $5000.00+/mo and still have to jump through stupid hoops, when I can spend that money through RTB/display ads, Google, other social media, without the headaches of FB, and still fully target my advertising.

    1. Hi Al,

      Yes, businesses use Business Manager, and employees access it through their personal profile. Some choose to create “fake” profiles to administer their Business Manager, but as I mentioned in the post, Facebook actively discourages this. My personal profile is connected to multiple Business Manager accounts. Should I ever leave, the main Business Manager admins would easily be able to remove me. Facebook recommends having multiple admins on one page/account to avoid your secretary scenario.

      Jen

  27. Oddly enough you can be called ‘fake’ if you don’t post enough personal information. I don’t have a photo or hundreds of so-called friends so now I am locked out of my account. Thanks Zuckerberg!

    1. Hi Anne, same thing for me. On top of that fb wanted my ID because they thought I had a fake name. So even after providing it, they found another reason to lock me out.

  28. Thank for the article. I was wondering what profile do Starbucks, Gold’s Gym, National Hockey League use to set up their Pages. It can’t be the personal profile of Joe-from-accounting. This leads me to believe that some version of a “dummy” account was used. A friend recently asked me about this same issue because his company’s FB account (with over 200 employees) was setup by a secretary and therefore attached to her account. His question was “what if she leaves?” I can not image setting admin roles to personal profiles of other employees who may eventually leave.

    What is a viable option, other than setting up a dummy profile?

  29. I read your post, and need help as i am a new user. I had created a profile http://www.facebook.com for my wifes business but knew no better and was running it like a normal profile. Facebook has recently converted (i presume) to a business page – can say this coz., when i log in now, it redirects me to a facebook for business ad. Also to others it looks like the page is broken.
    I now have something called a gray account, which is non functional.

    I am happy to create a business page, but want to get the posts and friends back from the earlier one (personal profile). Am at a loss as to how to recover. Can you please help.

    appreciate your advice.

    PD

    1. Hi PD,

      When your personal page converted to a business page, it should bring over your friends and likes, but not your posts.

      Thanks,
      Jen

      1. Jen,

        For over 6 months now anytime I try to log into my FB account from any device it automatically directs be to making an AD on business page. The only way I have access to FB is through my tablet. I do a lot of business through social media and if anything happens to my ipad I’m screwed because I can’t log in anywhere…… Please help what do I do? I have reset my password, logged in/out, nothing works. I’m extremely frustrated!!!!!