Can I Create a Facebook Page That’s Not Connected to My Personal Timeline (and Other Common Facebook Questions)

When I was helping a client set up a Facebook account, I asked what password she wanted to use. “IHateFacebook,” she replied, without hesitation.

She’s not alone in her aversion to the social media giant. For nearly two years, “How to delete a Facebook page” has been the most-read article at BloggingBistro.com. An average of 10,000 people per month read that tutorial in hopes of extricating themselves from Facebook.

People’s frustration with Facebook often stems from setting up their account improperly. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to correctly create an account. I’ll also suggest workarounds for several common Facebook brand page conundrums.

I do not work for Facebook nor do I have any affiliation with the company, so I am not speaking in an official capacity, but rather, as a Facebook user who helps people troubleshoot issues.

The difference between a Personal Timeline and a Page

Before you do anything on Facebook, you need to understand the difference between a personal timeline (often called a personal profile) and a page.

Personal Timeline

A personal timeline – also known as a profile – is created under an individual’s name and is for posting personal, non-commercial updates to your family and friends. You can request and accept up to 5,000 “friends.” When you “friend” someone, you see each other’s updates in your respective news feeds.

Because so many personal timeline owners exceeded the 5,000 friend limit, Facebook added a “Subscribe” feature. When activated, people who are not “friends” can subscribe to updates you make publicly viewable.

How to activate “Subscribe” feature

  1. From your personal timeline, go to Account Settings.
  2. From the list in the lefthand sidebar, select Subscribers.
  3. Check the radio button next to “Allow Subscribers.”

You can also give subscribers the ability to post comments, and you can request that Facebook notify you (via email) when someone subscribes to your profile.

Further Reading: How to Subscribe to Facebook Updates of Non-Friends

Page

Pages, also known as fan pages, brand pages, or business pages, are for professional use by businesses, organizations, and brands.

A page can have an unlimited amount of likes (fans). But unlike “friending” via a personal timeline, liking is not reciprocal. Your fans will see your page’s updates in their news feed, but their updates will not display on your page’s news feed.


Now, on to some common questions business professionals ask me about Facebook:

Can I create a Facebook brand page that’s not affiliated with my personal timeline?

I’ve heard horror stories about social media managers who log in to their personal Facebook account and create a brand page for their employer. When the social media manager quits or gets fired, they take the Facebook account – and thus, the employer’s page – with them; they essentially hold the page hostage.

You do not want this to happen to you! If you don’t yet have a brand page, I suggest creating a unique Facebook account for your business. Here’s how:

1.  Set up an email address dedicated solely to Facebook – something like facebook@companyxyz.com.

2.  Create a secure password. A strong password is at least 8 characters in length and includes a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numerals, and symbols. Do not use the word “password” or “12345” or “ihatefacebook” as your password, unless you’d like to have your Facebook account hacked. To keep the hackers guessing, change your password every couple of months. (I know; it’s a hassle. Do it anyway.)

3.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/ and create a new account. Give your account a first and last name (such as “Jane Doe”), not your company’s name.

Facebook’s Terms of Service require everyone to use their real name on their account (and you can only sign up for one Facebook account per email address).

Names can’t include:

  • Symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, repeating characters or punctuation
  • Characters from multiple languages
  • Titles of any kind (ex: professional, religious, etc)
  • Words, phrases, or nicknames in place of a middle name
  • Offensive or suggestive content of any kind

The thing that Facebook didn’t take into account here is that brand page logins are connected to a personal account. So… if you don’t want your personal account connected to your brand page in any way, you are almost forced to create an account that uses a name other than your own.

I suggest creating an account name that is close as possible to the real name of an executive in your company. Perhaps it’s your middle name and maiden name; or your nickname and last name.

4.  Lock down your privacy settings. Once you’re signed up, Facebook will prompt you to add friends and do all kinds of other stuff. Ignore the prompts. Instead, click on “Account Settings” and “Privacy Settings” and customize them so they’re as private as possible.

5.  Create a page. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and create a page for your company. There are 6 categories of pages to choose from – don’t worry about choosing the correct category to begin with, because you can always switch categories.

Do put in your correct company name, business name, brand or product name into the “name” field, as that is the permanent name Facebook assigns to your page. That name displays in large type below the large cover photo and directly to the right of your page’s profile picture. Facebook is persnickety about letting you change this name, so make sure you choose appropriately, and spell it correctly.

6.  Whenever you log in to Facebook, publish updates solely to your brand page. People who like your page will not have access to the personal area of your account; the personal timeline and brand page are separate entities that merely share the same account login.


What can I do if I’ve been mistakenly publishing commercial updates to my personal timeline?

Facebook provides a way to convert a personal timeline to a brand page, but people who have tried it have told me this method doesn’t work well, so I can’t recommend it.

If you have published commercial updates to your personal timeline, you can re-publish your most significant updates and milestones to your brand page. Facebook offers the ability to backdate posts; when you do this, they will display on the appropriate date on your page’s Timeline.

Once you have re-published your most important updates, alert your “friends” that you will no longer be using your personal timeline for updates about your business. Invite them to like your page, and be sure to include the full URL to your page in the update, so it’ll display as a clickable hyperlink.

Here are two examples of updates you can customize for your own use:        

We’re moving! Starting November 1, you’ll get a fresh social media tip daily at our new Blogging Bistro Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bloggingbistro. Please visit right now and click “like” so you won’t miss a single tip!

As of November 1, this Facebook profile will be closed permanently. As in shut down. Gone with the wind. See ya later, alligator. Instead, you can find us at our Facebook page. We hope you’ll pledge your allegiance to our new Blogging Bistro page. It’s easy. Just click https://www.facebook.com/bloggingbistro. As Jack Bauer commanded in “24”: “Do it. NOW!”

Turning “friends” into “fans” (likes) is not easy. Most people I’ve talked to who have gone this route reported that one-quarter to one-third of their friends converted into fans. It’s depressing to drop from 5,000 friends to 1,250 likes (fans), but many people who make the switch are content with starting over. They tell me that many of their 5,000 so-called friends weren’t active on Facebook and never interacted personally with them. They discover that the 1,250 friends who willingly become fans are their most loyal brand advocates.

Once you’ve migrated as many friends as possible to your page, you can delete all the content, images, comments, and friends from your personal timeline. Many people even delete the Timeline cover photo and the profile image from their personal timeline, essentially turning the profile into a ghost town. I suggest leaving one update on your personal timeline (just in case anyone discovers it) that directs people and links to your brand page.

Manage your brand page efficiently

Once your brand page is set up, you can appoint multiple admins to manage it. Page admins need to have their own personal Facebook account. Once you appoint admins, they can post updates and comments to your page via your page’s persona without logging in through your company’s Facebook account. It’s an excellent way to allow others to help you manage your page without giving them your account’s password.

Further Reading: How to Assign Admin Roles to Facebook Fan Pages


Can I delete a brand page and create a new one with a duplicate name?

You can have as many brand pages as you want. However, if you attempt to give a new page the same page title (which Facebook calls a “name”) or custom username (URL/address) as the page you deleted –  or of a personal timeline you set up – you may hit a dead end.

When pages or personal timelines are permanently deleted, Facebook stores the original page names and usernames for an indefinite period. During that period, that name and URL is unavailable for you or anyone else to use.


I created a brand page that’s connected to my personal account and I have added another person as a page admin. Can I delete my personal account and the brand page will stay in place so my other page admin can manage it?

Because most brand pages are tied to the Facebook account from which the page was created, deleting the Facebook account will also delete the page, regardless of how many people administer the page.


My company asked me to create a Facebook brand page. I discovered that someone else from my company already created one. No one seems to know who did it, so I do not know the login or password. If I create a new page, people will be confused about which page to “like.” Can I delete the original page?

My recommendation is to contact Facebook at this URL: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/355708697832199 and fill out the “I’m having an issue creating a Facebook Page” form.

Give Facebook at least a week (maybe longer) to respond to your request.

Not having access to the account’s login information is a major problem. Find out whether anyone at your company is an admin of the page. If so, you should be able to get in through their admin access, which will at least give you some information to work with when you talk to the folks at Facebook.

It’s super-important to maintain access with the account through which the brand page is set up. Facebook offers these tips to help ensure that you don’t get locked out of your account:

  • Add another email address to your account: This way, if you ever lose access to your login email account, you have a backup. You can add or edit your email addresses from your Account Settings page, which you can find from the Account drop-down menu at the top of any Facebook page.
  • Add a security question to your account: If you forget your password and lose access to your email accounts, we can use this to help get you back into your Facebook account. Learn more.
  • Make sure you and only you can access the email addresses listed on your Facebook account: We need to be able to email you if you ever need a new password. Keep in mind that anyone with access to one of the email addresses listed on your account can request a new password for your Facebook account. If you lose access to one of your extra email addresses, be sure to remove it from your Facebook account.
  • Add your mobile number on your account: We can also send account information (ex: a code to reset your password) to your mobile phone. Follow the directions on the Mobile tab of your Account Settings page to add your mobile number to your account.
  • Use accurate information on your account: Use your real name and date of birth on your account so we can find your timeline if you ever loose access to it. You can change your name from your Account Settings page.

Have a Facebook conundrum?

Throughout the month, I’m going to tackle your Facebook brand page questions here at BloggingBistro.com. Post your question in the comments, and then sign up to receive my latest posts via email so you’ll see my response as soon as I publish it.

Love-Hate Image courtesy of Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • Ella

    Hi there, great guide but there’s one thing that’s missing ~ and that is what I’m after.
    So I do hope you can help me please ;)

    This is what happened. I did not want my business page associated with my personal page so I logged out and clicked on Create a Page (I think that’s what it’s called)
    It allowed me to create a Page – with no association to my personal page – all good. Right?
    No.
    Pages that aren’t connected to a personal page do not allow sharing or liking other pages – thus, I can’t build a fan base and grow my likes. It’s like a dead-end corridor and you’re all alone… meet the spooky side of facebook!
    I did not know about this limiting page system. Wish I knew!
    Question, can I go back and link this page to my personal profile, as that is the only way I can mingle in the community and get noticed?
    Or do I have to delete and add it to my personal page again, but then that name may not be available???
    Please help.
    Ella

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Ella – That is the oddest thing. One of my clients has a stand-alone page that’s not connected to a personal profile and when I “Use Facebook As” their page’s persona, I have no trouble liking other pages or commenting on them. They have had their page for several years, though, so perhaps the inability to like or share is new, instituted since Timeline.

    You might investigate Facebook’s Help Center on merging pages. Not sure whether they’ll allow you to merge pages with two different logins, but you can certainly look into it. Let me know what you discover.

  • Elizabeth

    I supposedly have a fan page.I went through all the steps you show. It appears with “/page/” in the address but there is no button for anyone to like it. It just shows “likes” I have given other pages. I cannot seem to correct this for anything. It was transferred over from an erroneous personal page and the instructions said the friends would be transferred and listed as “likes”. What do I do to get a “like” button?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Why don’t you share your page URL with me so I can take a look? The like button won’t show for page admins when you’re logged in to your own page if you have already liked your page.

  • Kimberly

    Thanks so much for the great information.

    I have probably a common problem, but cannot seem to find a consistent answer.

    I created a Fanpage (brand page) for a non-profit and was the exclusive Admin. This is also tied to my personal email address. I am now moving on and would like to know if simply adding a new Admin will remove my connection to this FanPage?

    Or, is it required that the org starts a new page from scratch with a different email address, login and Admins? (….clearly, not the preferred option…).

    I have read elsewhere that you should be able to simply remove yourself as the Admin to achieve the full separation, but have seen other information which says that an entirely new page will have to be created.

    Please clarify these steps for me….

    Thank you so much!
    Kimberly

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Kimberly, I believe that if you are the original admin of the page (you created the page) that you can add new admins, but you’ll likely have to leave yourself on as an admin, too. You could try to remove yourself (after adding the new admin, so the page isn’t left without an admin). You’ll have to provide your account password before making the change. Here’s info from FB on this: https://www.facebook.com/help/226947190654977/. You might submit a Help request to FB and ask them to help you keep the page, but assign it to a new admin so it isn’t attached to your account.

  • Maggie

    Ella, I’m having exactly the same experience – except that I didn’t have a personal page first (I think they’re called a personal profile). I’d like to make a personal profile too, but every time I try to accesss the Facebook site it just directs me back to my Page, and I’m stuck, incommunicado, in the same dead end. Can anyone tell me how to make a personal profile too, so that I can use Facebook properly?

  • ella @ lifeologia

    Hi Maggie! I figured it out ;)

    So what I did, was that I added a ‘manager’ which was me to this page.

    In your settings (edit page) you have an option called “Admin Roles” add your personal profile page name here. And you’re done!

    First though, you have to create a personal page. OMG this took me forever to figure out ;) Hope it works for you now. Connect away ;)

  • ella @ lifeologia

    Basically, facebook made it no fun for only companies to join – so you must have a personal page so that all your personal info is shared in their database. Oh well. I still do love facebook although they are limiting the features too much. Cheers.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Ella and Maggie – Here’s a link to a tutorial I wrote on how to assign roles to your Facebook admins, and what the different tiers of roles mean: http://www.bloggingbistro.com/how-to-assign-admin-roles-to-facebook-fan-brand-pages/

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Maggie – The problem you may be running into is that Facebook requires you to use a different email address for each personal profile you set up. If you’re trying to use the same email address or the same email/password combination as on another one of your accounts, you’ll run into trouble. If you want to create a separate personal profile that’s not connected in any way to your fan page, log out of your fan page first, and then go to Facebook.com and create a new account.

    I have lots of Facebook tutorials on my blog. Try browsing this category and see if you can find something that will help. http://www.bloggingbistro.com/category/facebook/

    I usually write about fan/brand pages, but here’s a tutorial that pertains specifically to personal profile setup: http://www.bloggingbistro.com/6-simple-steps-for-customizing-your-facebook-timeline/

    Also, one of Blogging Bistro’s services is to help people set up social accounts. We’d be happy to provide you with an estimate.

  • Tozer

    So if I go inactive on my personal page will my fan page still work?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    If you use the same login for each, you don’t necessarily have to be active on your personal profile, but you do need to keep it in order to log in to your page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.cahalan Jenni Glaser Cahalan

    Thanks for the great info. I created a fan page for our youth baseball league. We do not want anyone to be able to comment on things we post. I have turned off the ability to write a post but can’t get comments to turn off. Any ideas?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Jenni – Since the point of Facebook and other networks is interactivity, I don’t believe they offer an option to turn comments off. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.cahalan Jenni Glaser Cahalan

    Thanks Laura. That’s kind of the answer I’ve been getting. Because of the sensitivity of dealing with young people we were worried. I’ve blocked key words (hope I thought of them all) that might cause issues so we’ll see. Thanks for the reply.

  • Amber Jones

    Hello. I just started my business and I wanted to use facebook to try to get some traffic to my website. So, I created a business page. I am finding though, that you don’t have much opportunity from the page. I would like to be able to search for other businesses or groups that I am affiliated with, and invite them to my page, or at least like them on my page. I don’t have a personal account so it is not linked to my personal account. Is there anyway possible that I could create a personal account and link it to my business page without needing to delete and recreate my business page?? I just want to have more opportunities to find people, etc? My page looks so sad and blank! It just doesn’t look like facebook! Maybe that is my biggest concern. I don’t know how to get traffic to me!.. Thanks
    Amber Jones

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    You would have to contact Facebook’s Help Center with that question, as it would involve merging an existing page with the same login you use for your personal account.

  • Joel

    Hi there, I thought I’d point out that your suggestion to create a separate account for the sole purpose of creating a company Page is actually a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service and is not a general best practice for brands or businesses. You can read more about it in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Thanks for the tip, Joel. Since so many businesses do not want their page tied to the personal account of a company employee, it would be nice if FB provided us with a way to create stand-alone pages.

  • Eric7100

    I have a unique situation, because I haven’t been able to find one quite like it. I created a FB fan page, built it up, got a lot of likes, and everything was going well. Then one night, I cleared some cookies in my web browser, and since then, I’ve been locked out of my account. It thinks that I am logging in from an unrecognized computer (even though it’s the same one), and since I have no phone number associated with the account, it has no way of sending me a verification code. The only option on the screen is to contact FB support, which I did, and they refuse to help me unless I provide a Photo ID. The problem is that I set up my FB fan page with a fake name, so my Photo ID is not going to help me. There’s no way out of this except for starting from scratch with a new fan page, while the old one sits there forever without me being able to access it. Or is there?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Eric – Ouch, ouch, and triple ouch! I have deleted my cookies before but never had to verify with a phone number when it doesn’t recognize my phone number. I guess that’s a hard lesson on the importance of creating multiple email addresses for logging in and a valid phone number (not to mention using your real name).

  • Dia

    Hi I created a Facebook account and page with a brand name and while I am trying to add some friends it got locked and asking for photo ID but I cannot provide as I started with my brand name now I am not able to open my account and access my page too. What should I do now ? I want to access the page. Please advice!!!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Dia – For this issue, you will need to seek assistance directly from Facebook’s customer service.

  • J.S. Gilbert

    I have a personal page and a Facebook brand page. I would like to be able to comment and like other pages, either with the profile on my personal page or the profile from my fan page. Apparently my Fan Page profile only allows me to use that profile on my own page and not when going out to other pages. Any way to rectify this?

    Thanks.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    J.S. Hopefully I’m understanding your question correctly. If you “Use Facebook As your page”, any comments and likes you leave on other people’s pages will display as coming from your brand page’s identity. If you are using Facebook as your personal profile’s identity, comments, likes, and so on will display as coming from that profile. You just have to remember to click the “Use Facebook As” before liking or commenting. Also, in your brand page’s settings there is a box you can check that makes Facebook default to “use Facebook as your page” whenever you’re logged in to your Facebook account. This is handy, and I use it all the time, since I often forget to switch identities. To find this feature, open your Admin Panel in your page. Then click “Edit Page.” Click “Your Settings.” Next to “Posting Preferences,” check the box that says, “Always comment and post on your page as ___, even when you are using Facebook as (your personal profile).

  • Cait

    I have a question I am hoping you know the answer to. I have a page connected to my personal profile. If I post pictures and updates are the page, do “friends” of my personal page see these updates?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    No, not unless you route your page updates to your personal profile, as well. Your page and your personal profile are considered separate entities, even though you use the same login for each.

  • mike seroni

    Hi
    With Facebook is there a way to get the posts on my business page to show up in my personal timeline?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Mike – Be aware that if you paste posts from your business page into your personal timeline, people who are your friend AND like your page will get your posts in their news feed twice. Maybe not such a good idea. I’d use this judiciously — just paste the most important posts.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    People who like your page will see your updates. Your personal profile is not connected to your page, except that they use the same account login.

  • AJY

    I have a Fan page, which is linked to my personal page. Facebook suggests friends who I can invite to the Fan page. What message do they get when I click on “invite” next to their name? Is this message customizable? Thank you.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    As far as I can tell, the message is not currently customizable, and Facebook doesn’t give me indication of what the message says. You might test it by letting one of your friends know you’re going to message them, and then have them forward the message to you so you can see what it says. I’m curious, too!

  • JJ

    I’ve linked my Facebook and twitter To my Facebook fan page but they won’t update there. They update on the admin page which isn’t even a page it’s just an admin… Please help how to fix!!!

  • Randy Patrick

    I’m the page admin for our organizations FB Page…I’d like to be able to “Share” a photo or comment from some of our fans’ personal timelines – or even my personal timeline – onto our org page but when I try, FB won’t allow me. Ideas? Sorry if I’ve missed a previous answer to this! Dog Bless ya’!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    JJ – Are you trying to make your tweets post to your Facebook page? I don’t think I’m understanding your question.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Randy, I believe that page admins can share photos and updates only from other brand pages you’ve liked. When you’re using Facebook as your personal profile’s persona, you can share updates from your own friends. But as far as I know, brand pages can’t share updates from personal profiles.

  • Sylvia

    Hi Thanks for all the insight. I have a question can you link a fan page to feed into Linkedin, when this fan page is attached to your personal page? Or can it never behave as it’s own entity?