Are you or some of your employees hesitant about using personal Facebook accounts to manage business pages at work? You’re not alone. At Brazzell Marketing Agency we help clients with Facebook design, content posting, review management, and Facebook advertising campaigns, and we hear this almost daily. Businesses want to log in to their Facebook pages directly, not be forced to expose their personal accounts to coworkers and potentially to customers.
Below, we’ll talk about three ways to work on this, but they’re fraught with concerns and drawbacks. Here’s what you really need to do to fix this situation. Use this feedback form to tell Facebook directly that their policy feels like an invasion of privacy. Where the feedback form asks for “Product or Feature,” select “Pages.”
Facebook Feature Feedback: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323.
When enough of us ask for the same feature, they will pay attention. Ask them to provide direct login to Facebook business pages instead of requiring us to connect our personal accounts. Tell them that you’re willing to do any verification they want, as long as it doesn’t involve your personal life. You’ll send a business license, your employer identification number, a photo of your building, a link to the website or whatever they need to verify your business. Tell Facebook you just don’t want to expose personal accounts at work or be forced to turn over your personal cell phone number. Tell them how this makes you and your employees feel – politely. Then share this article on Facebook and ask others to do the same. Email this article to all your employees and ask them to do the same. We need real numbers to get Facebook’s attention.
You can stop reading here, but the next three sections give the best possible answers to the question in the title of this article.
Create a Business Account
You may find some old articles telling you that you can create a Facebook page without first creating a personal account and thusly create a limited use “business account.” You cannot. This option is long gone.
Facebook Business Manager for Protecting Personal Accounts
Facebook’s official answer for minimizing the exposure of your personal account to your coworkers is Facebook’s Business Manager. This is an extra interface that you can use to create new business pages and have an overview of all your business pages. To add managers to your pages, you can simply enter an email address. Facebook will email an invitation to the person to become a manager or editor in your Business Manager.
This is a little better than Page Roles on business pages. It doesn’t reveal the person’s profile image. After the person accepts an invitation, it only reveals his or her name. However, there are several problems to this approach.
Why Facebook Business Manager is Not Good Enough
- It still connects personal accounts with business assets. There’s an extra degree of separation and privacy, but ultimately the same problems exist. Employees are reluctant to use their personal Facebook account at work. Employers don’t exactly want employees on their personal Facebook accounts at work, either. Moreover, we don’t want to have to trust Facebook to not mess this up.
- You can’t always add people you want. The invitation emails often have bad links, making them impossible to use.
- You can’t always add the pages you want to manage. When you try to add a page, Business Manager is supposed to send a notification to the page admins. In early testing, we found this to work about 50% of the time. The other half of the time, the notification never gets found / never goes out, and you may not be able to add all your pages.
- Facebook Business Manager is too complicated for most business owners to use effectively.
Create a Facebook Personal Account for Your Business
For years, the practical solution was to create a personal page named after your business and only use it for business. Don’t create a fake account. This would be creating a real account for a real entity with legal personhood. Businesses would then give the login information to all employees authorized to work on the business Facebook page. This does not seem to be the approach Facebook prefers. Facebook has long blocked personal accounts from putting business-sounding words in the name. For instance, if you try to put “marketing,” “agency,” “services,” “veterinary,” “hospital,” etc. in the business name, the system has automatically blocked that and forced a different choice.
Nevertheless, the “personal business account” approach worked well enough until 2019. Earlier this year, Facebook began demanding personal cell phone numbers of any account that wants to post on a business page. Not only is this another exposure of personal life to coworkers; this also creates logistical hassles for this solution. When different people try to log in to Facebook from different computers, Facebook now may block them, demanding a code that was texted to someone’s personal cell phone. There has been some chatter online about Facebook starting to delete these accounts, and Facebook may be stepping up their automatic detection systems. It’s not entirely clear how much longer this will be a viable option.
Don’t Have a Personal Facebook Account. Have an Impersonal Facebook Account.
The only answer in Facebook’s current system is for a key employee to delete all personal posts and essentially surrender his or her personal Facebook account to the business. We’re not necessarily recommending this, but it is the only full answer to the title question. In exchange, the business will buy a cell phone for each manager who does this. That way, Facebook can have their precious personal account with a cell phone number in it. You can give the login credentials to employees, and none of them will have to use their personal accounts to do business. Consider that one Facebook account a public persona – much like newly minted reality show stars as well as politicians deleting their Facebook histories and starting over for their new public lives. Before you delete all your friends, send a post telling them you are moving to Twitter and asking them to move there, too. That way, you can have a personal account that you don’t have to expose to your coworkers.
Clearly, these three options are inferior to simply having a direct login option for each Facebook business page. Facebook is too important for businesses to ignore or avoid on principle. That’s just shooting yourself in the foot. The constructive fix it to send them polite, constructive feedback about the feature we need, and to do this in massive numbers.
Facebook Feature Feedback: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323