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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  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Wish I could help you. I just liked several pages from a page I admin that is a Business Page only (not connected to a personal profile) and I didn’t have any trouble.

  • Tamra

    I need to merge a Facebook brand page with Twitter. There are four admins on the brand page. I am one of them. When I try to merge Twitter with FB, it wants to pull my personal FB page. The brand page is a clients page for a non-profit youth site. I don’t manage that brand page. Does all admins on that brand page have to merge to Twitter, because it looks like only my post merge and not all other FB brand page post to FB.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Tamra,
    I’m not sure what you mean by merging a Facebook page with Twitter. They are two separate companies, and you cannot merge accounts.If you mean that you want to auto post your Facebook updates to Twitter, there are apps that allow you to do that. Here is a tutorial you might find helpful: https://support.twitter.com/articles/31113-using-twitter-with-facebook#

  • K

    Hi Laura, I have had a personal Facebook profile for six years. I want to start a small freelance online business but am quite shy about how I will do, I’ve seen others on my news feed ask everyone to like their page, look at their site etc, only for them to not have really succeeded and their consequential failure is witnessed by everyone. To avoid a possible embarrassment, I did not want to announce my efforts to all my friends and family unless it does reasonably well.

    With that in mind I opened a new browser and decided to use another name (my pen name) to start a website, Twitter account, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook page. Everything was going well until, as has been stated, the page has no search bar to start networking with other pages. I’ve since learned I’ll need to become an administrator by sending myself an email to become part of the admin team and I’ll need to ‘like’ my new business page to make it ‘open’ up.

    So two problems:

    1. I’ve sent an email request to myself to become an administrator and haven’t as yet received it (it’s been three hours now). Am I possibly under review for violating their terms & conditions by not creating my page from my personal account?.

    And 2. When i like my ‘pen name’ business page, everyone on my news feed will see the ‘like’ and thereby make my efforts no longer a secret.

    Any advice?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    K – My most important advice (since you asked) concerns starting your freelance business. I believe that anyone who’s willing and brave enough to go into business should also understand that failure, embarrassment, and putting yourself out there publicly is all part of doing business. If you’re so afraid of being embarrassed that you won’t tell your friends and family about your business, I fear you’re setting yourself up for the failure of your business. That’s my opinion, based on my own experiences as a long-time business owner.

    If you like your own page in order to become an admin (and you are correct, you do need to do this), some of your Facebook friends will likely see this action you’ve taken and may be curious enough to look at the page you liked. Again, that is one of the risks of doing business. Only you can decide how committed you are to doing this.

  • Danielle Hébert

    How do I post as my Page and not my timeline?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Danielle, To post as your page’s “persona,” click the “gear” icon that’s in the upper righthand corner of the blue Facebook stripe across the top of your screen. A dropdown menu will say, “Use Facebook As…” Click once on the page you want to use as your Facebook persona. You’re done! Any comments, likes, and shares you do will show that they’re coming from your Page’s persona, rather than from your personal timeline profile.

  • Danielle Hébert

    Hello Laura: Thank you for your quick response. That is what I have been doing but I am under the impression this is not what is happening… Another question…when I joined a group who accepted me as my timeline persona how can I change to my Page persona??

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Danielle, Why don’t you try leaving a comment on my page https://www.facebook.com/bloggingbistro via your page’s persona and you’ll be able to see right away if it works, because it’ll display the thumbnail image (profile picture) for your page and it will specify that the comment is coming from your page.

    You cannot post to a Facebook group via your Page persona — Groups work with personal timeline profiles only.

  • Danielle Hébert

    Laura: thank you for your quick response. I have joined a group as my timeline persona, how can I change to my Page persona?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, you cannot join or post to a Facebook group via your Page persona — Groups work with personal timeline profiles only.

  • Danielle Hébert

    Bonjour Laura: Hope all is well. Can you tell me why I can’t see my ”Likes” . from my FB Page?

    Thanks you,

    Danielle

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Bonjour Danielle. Without seeing your page’s admin area, I have no way of knowing. To see your likes, use Facebook as your page. Then, from the admin panel which displays above your cover photo, click the link above the lower lefthand module that says “See Likes.” There should be a drop down arrow that allows you to select from “People who like this” or “Pages that like this” or “Subscribers.”

  • Zea

    Hi there – can one have strict privacy settings on one’s timeline, and public settings on ones professional page? It seems to me that my personal privacy settings on my timeline govern my brand page because my brand name doesn’t come up at all in a search.

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Yes. The only way your brand page and personal timeline are connected is via the login credentials. Other than that, they are separate entities.

  • Phil Terrana

    Hi when I post on my business page or another group page how can I stop it from showing on my personnel /timeline page

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Phil, I’m guessing that you liked your business page from your personal timeline. If that’s the case, your business page’s updates will display in your personal news feed, just like they do for others who like your page.

  • Phil Terrana

    Hi Laura
    So when I post on another group page I can’t stop it from showing on my newsfeed. It’s just that I’m part of about 30 groups and I post the same ad which means all My friends get 30 posts of the same thing
    Regards

    Phil Terrana
    Barrie James RR & Bentley hire

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Phil, I believe that only you see your own News Feed — pages and groups that you like. Others would only see your group posts in their own News Feed if they are part of the group. You may want to check with a trusted FB friend to verify this.

  • Katelyn

    I really want to make a Facebook for my business where i can choose to add my clients (I’m a travel agent) that is not connected to my personal page… Is that possible?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Katelyn – Yes, Facebook pages and profiles are “connected” only in that they use the same login. Other than that, they are considered completely separate entities.

  • stoods

    Hi, is there a way to block friends from seeing what you post on your fanpage in their newsfeed? I just don’t want to annoy my friends with my business information. Thanks

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Your personal friends will only see your posts in their newsfeed if they have liked your fan page. Those two accounts are completely separate, except for the login.

  • stoods

    Thanks Laura, however I had posted my Facebook Fanpage into a group which none of my friends are members of & a few of my friends saw it in their news feed & liked my page.
    How does this work?

  • DF

    No matter that I change it so I’m supposedly commenting as my page, Facebook ALWAYS shows me commenting as my personal profile. How do I convince facebook that I want to comment as my page?

  • tommy

    I have a like page
    I want to add a personal timeline for my friends?
    fb gives me no option to add a personal page ?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Tommy – I believe that if you created a business/fan/like page as a stand-alone page, you will likely need to create a new, separate account for your personal timeline profile. Be sure to use a different email address and different password for your personal account.

  • Amy

    I’m hoping you can help, the previous manager of my little café has set up 2 profiles with pages linked. I want to delete the profile & page that is not relevant & hide the profile to the page that I want to use. I have been through all the settings but cannot work out how to do this, is anyone able to help?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Amy, Be aware that if you completely delete a personal timeline profile, the page it’s associated with (if they use the same login credentials) will also go away. If you don’t want to use the personal timeline anymore but want to keep the business page active, you can take down all the updates, images, profile picture, etc. from the personal profile and set the privacy settings as high as possible (so “only you” can see most of the content). I would then put one update on the personal profile that says something like, “We have a Facebook business page at (INSERT PAGE URL). We invite you to visit our page, like it, and tell us about your favorite menu item…”

  • Daniel

    Thanks for this! Very useful :)

  • Dana Blais Vermilyea

    Laura,
    Good morning! I may have left you a question last night. I was so bleary-eyed from attempting to upload a video, that I can’t remember, so I am posting again. Sorry if it is a double! I have a profile page and have recently linked a fan page to it. I can upload a 14 second video to my profile page from my computer. However, I am not having success uploading that same video to my fan page, which is where I would like it. Do you have any suggestions?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Dana,
    I recommend that you either use Facebook’s “VIdeos” app, which comes standard with all business pages, or install the YouTube app, https://apps.facebook.com/mytubechannel/, which makes your YouTube channel available on your FB page automatically.

  • Dana Blais Vermilyea

    Thanks, Laura. How do I use Facebook’s Videos app? Do I need to download something? Also, just out of curiosity, why would the video upload with no problem to my profile page, but not my fan page?

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Click the DOWN arrow to the right of the small apps images (below cover photo, if you use the old design and in the MORE menu if you use the new design). Then click the + button in one of the blank app boxes and select Videos and Add to Favorites. That’s it.

  • Dana Blais Vermilyea

    Laura,

    I was able to set up the Facebook Videos app. I used my iphone5 to make a 15 second video this morning. I set it up in PicPlayPost and had the video transferred to my iCloud photo library. Then, I tried to upload the video to my Facebook fan page. This is the message that I received:

    Your photos couldn’t be uploaded. Photos should be saved as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP or TIFF files.

    Can you point me in the right direction of what to do next? I’m not sure if I am missing a step. This is a video and not a photo. I really appreciate any advice you can give.
    Dana

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Did you click on the “Videos” app before trying to upload the video? That app should let you know what video formats they accept.

  • Dana Blais Vermilyea

    This what my cover page looks like, Laura. My videos are converted to mp4, which is the preferred format. When I click on the videos box near photos and likes, this is what I get:
    Dana Vermilyea-Health and Fitness’s Videos
    No videos to show
    When I try to upload a video, nothing comes up in the square of the status box. Yet, I could very easily upload the same video to Dana Blais Vermilyea-my personal page. Any other ideas?
    Dana

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    I am mystified, too, Dana. I found your page and it says “No Videos to show” when I click the app, too. Looks as if you’re using the correct MP4 format. And the latest version of your browser, I assume? I looked at FB’s Help desk and it appears you are doing everything correctly. Perhaps there is a glitch in their Videos app on your page? You might try uploading a third party app that does the same function and see if that works for you. You can search for them here https://www.facebook.com/appcenter/. I just liked your page so it’ll be easier for me to follow your progress. Let me know if you find a solution that works for you.

  • Dana Blais Vermilyea

    Laura,
    I will check these links out. I also sent a problem report to Facebook, but when you submit it, a message pops up that says that they can’t respond to all inquiries and that they will use the info submitted to make Facebook better. That isn’t exactly helpful. I will keep trying and let you know how I make out. Thank you!

  • Edith Romero

    Super exciting thats all

  • joanntho

    Hi. Here is my problem. We have a church facebook page which is associated with someone’s facebook account. This person is an admin and I am an admin. The problem for me is she does not want me to access the church facebook page through my facebook account. She wants me to access through her account, which means I am using her facebook, logging in with her email and password. It takes me to her facebook and then I access our church facebook page through her favorites. I hate doing this. It does not feel right. Also, unless I completely log out of facebook and close the application completely she is not able to get in herself. Does facebook have any rule that says this is not alright to do? If so, where would I find it as I would very much like to bring this information to the other admin so we can work this out properly. Thanks so much for your help in this matter. JoAnn

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    JoAnn,

    I can share my personal experience with this, as I occasionally need to access the Facebook business page of one of my clients by logging in to their account. (The only reason one might want to do this is when running an ad campaign or installing a third party app, since it’s just easier and more convenient to do so when logging in directly.)

    It is true that you have to log out of your own FB account before you can log in to someone else’s. I do believe two people can be logged in simultaneously to the same account without it booting one person off. At least, I’ve been able to do that.

    There’s a much quicker way of getting to the page than through “favorites,” though. I simply bookmark the page’s URL and put it in my browser bar (I use Firefox, which does a nice job of displaying icons/bookmarks I’ve customized right across the top of my screen). When I want to go to my client’s page, I just click the icon in my browser and then log in. I takes me straight to their business page.

    The other way of quickly getting there is you log in as someone else is to click the “down” arrow that’s on the upper righthand side of the Facebook bar (on a PC) and select “Use Facebook As…” and choose the name of the page you want to use Facebook as.

    I manage a bunch of FB pages, so I use this feature multiple times per day.

    As for her not wanting you to use your admin access to the page to manage it, I am completely befuddled about that. WHY would she want you to go through the hassle of logging in to her private account, when it’s a simple matter of clicking “Use Facebook As…” from within your own account to manage the page. That request makes absolutely no sense, and it’s far safer for you to use the church page as an admin than to log in to her personal account. I would lobby hard for that, as it’s really the way to go. You can tell her I recommended that.

  • Jane Watson

    Hi sorry to bother you only I am having trouble putting a name into my groups it used to work and now it doesn’t it would start to go blue and then you would press the blue word instead I am on a iPhone 4 s and can only do this from desk top not on safari it will not work that way hope you can help me please many thanks Jane xx

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Jane, The Facebook app for smartphones does not include the full functionality that you’ll find when accessing Facebook via a desktop computer. I’d suggest signing up for groups from a computer.

  • Emily

    Hi sorry it’s so late but i’ve just found this blog while searching for an answer. I have a facebook page and about a year ago my co founder fell out with me, deleted & then blocked me on facebook. As the page’s creator I could delete her admin role but I have been told by numerous people (I can’t see it because I’m blocked), this ex admin is still linking her profile to my page. In her About section (I assume), she still has co founder of…and then there is my page name in blue so that anyone clicking on to the name is taken to my page. How do I stop her linking to the page since she is no longer admin and wanted nothing to do with the page or me? Help!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Emily,

    Since your page is public, there’s not much you can do to prevent anyone from linking to it. If she is no longer part of your company, you should remove her as an admin of your page. But that wouldn’t prevent her from linking her personal profile to your page. You could email her and ask her to remove the link.