Wondering why you shouldn’t have more than one Facebook profile? We break down all the reasons and offer solutions in this post.
You should only have one Facebook profile.
Trust me, I get the allure of having multiple profiles for your personal use.
You can have one that’s family-approved, where your mom and Aunt Cindy can comment how much they love you all day every day. And another that is coworker- and boss-appropriate. And, of course, your “real” one, where you get to talk politics or make bold jokes or even share more personal information you don’t want your family or coworkers knowing.
Unfortunately, you can’t—and shouldn’t—have more than one Facebook profile for a lot of reasons. (Not just because it goes against Facebook’s terms of service.)
In this article, we discuss why you shouldn’t have more than one Facebook profile for personal or business use. We’ll also look at what your options are to get the segmentation you want instead.
Because It Goes Against Facebook’s Terms of Service
This is easily the biggest and most important reason why you shouldn’t be having multiple Facebook accounts, especially if one or more are under a fake name: It’s against Facebook’s rules.
You are not allowed to have more than one personal account, and the account must be under your real name. This means you can use a nickname if it’s what people actually call you, but it has to be what people call you in real life and you must use your legal last name. (Please take this seriously: If you use a fake name and someone reports you, Facebook will reach out asking for identification with that name. If you don’t have it, you could get shut down.)
If anyone reports a duplicate profile of yours (even if they find it accidentally and think that someone is trying to hack you), you could run the risk of having all of your profiles shut down.
This isn’t worth it.
We put a lot of time and effort into cultivating our online profiles from accruing friends to sharing great content, and you don’t want to lose it all unexpectedly.
Just don’t do it.
You know what’s worse than only having to have one Facebook account? Having no account.
Because People Can Still Find Those Accounts
One of the most common reasons that someone wants to have multiple Facebook accounts is the scenario we addressed in the introduction: They want to cleanly segment off their life in nice, neat (and separate) Facebook profiles.
Though that concept makes sense, unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Aside from the fact that it goes against Facebook’s terms of service, there are also a bunch of potential pitfalls here.
First, people can still find you on Facebook, even if you’re already friends with them on another account. If they search for your phone number or an email address, that new account may come up. It’s also common for people who have linked their email accounts and phone numbers to their profiles to see your “secret” profile pop up, and even if you’re using a fake name, they can still recognize you.
Even if you’ve made it so that your account can’t be found through search, there’s still the chance that someone finds you on accident when idly clicking around on Facebook.
We all do this when we’re bored … We see a person we think we recognize and check out their profile. Your mom somehow could come across your best friend’s Facebook, which is unfortunately public, and click just out of curiosity… and that’s how she finds your second account.
If you want to keep certain content from certain groups of people on your Facebook, simply adjust your privacy settings.
Before posting, you can adjust the privacy of each individual post, so it only shows to certain groups of people or that it specifically excludes certain people. You can change these groups and who is in them for each post as needed.
Because Once It’s Online, It’s Not Private Anymore
Another common reason why people decide that they need a second or third profile: They want to keep some of their information “private” from different groups.
Aside from the fact that the above fix solves this problem, there’s another major issue with this reason. Once something is online, it’s not private anymore.
Yes, even if you trust your friends, and yes, even if you lock your profile down with privacy constraints.
Let’s say you were to let a coworker into your “personal” account because you get along so well at work, and you posted something that went against the company’s social media rules. That coworker could take a screenshot and share it with your boss, so now even though your boss never had access, your boss suddenly does. And fires you.
I’ve actually seen so many renditions of this happen over the past 10 years! It astonishes me that people still think they can get away with this. (In my high school, one person bragged openly about cheating by stealing test answers from the teacher’s desk. Someone spilled the beans, and the school expelled the cheater.)
I’ve also seen people create separate profiles to talk smack about their families, certain friends, and/or their jobs. All it takes is one petty person who doesn’t like you quite as much as you think (or who likes the other parties more) to screenshot and blow things up.
Don’t be a jerk online, and don’t post anything that you don’t want other people to find out about.
You deserve a right to privacy overall … (And I definitely don’t want a not-so-great ex being able to see anything about me, for example.) But remember that whatever you post online can be screenshotted and shared in seconds. So, refrain from posting anything that could land you in hot water.
Because Businesses Should Never Have Personal Profiles
And now, let’s look at what I consider to be the most innocent reason for having multiple personal profiles: You’ve tried to create one for your personal brand or your business.
Originally, some influencers or industry experts would have a profile for personal use that was hyper-private, and another that was fully public.
If you want to go this route, however, you should be creating a Page for yourself or your business.
Even though I’m a single-member LLC and I pretty much am my business, I still have a dedicated Page for my public brand. (I only keep that Page to run tests and demos for articles, but it still counts).
You can have multiple Pages, which you’d really want to do anyway. It creates a natural and healthy separation for those who want it, so you don’t have people trying to send your personal account friend requests constantly and they can just follow your public Page instead.
You also get an abundance of great features that you don’t get with your personal profile, including the following:
- In-depth analytics, to see what content your audience responds to and how they’re engaging with it
- The ability to track your follower trend
- The option to run ad campaigns from your Page and to boost posts for enhanced visibility
- Additional “about” sections so that you can elaborate on your business or brand, and direct users to your off-platform sites more easily.
- Outstanding features like the option to set up and collect reviews, create an on-platform shop, product tagging, and more
- Creating a Facebook group centered around your brand
- Features for managing incoming messages, including auto-replies and greetings
So if you have a business or a brand you want to promote separately, create Pages, not profiles. It keeps you from violating Facebook’s terms of service and makes you look more professional while offering a suite of outstanding features.
Creating a Page is exceptionally easy. You can see how to optimize one here.
The emergence of social media has introduced new, complicated social dynamics into our lives. Finding the right ways to balance it all is essential. The tips in this post can help you do exactly that.
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