User profiles are…. personal

Do you understand the term user profiles? It is a bit unclear, “user”. Is the user a person, employee, business owner, or all in one? Let me share with you, user profiles are personal. Social media is all about being social, talking with other people in social networks, and connecting with these people. It’s all about making real conversations and relationships.

You become friends with people, not with companies. You connect with people, not with companies. You connect with people in the company not with the logo or building it selfitself. However; you may want to follow or “like” a company so you can receive updates from them.

On social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn you have the option to create a special page or profile for your company. This makes it odd that people use their company details and logo to create a ‘personal profile’ on these networks.

Keep the user profile personal

So keep your ‘user profile’ really personal. The profile should state your first and last name. Make sure you upload a picture of yourself into your profile and not your company logo. The profile details should be about you. This way people can know about you before they connect and build a relationship with you. You can more easily form real relationships.

Terms and Agreements

Let’s see what the official Terms and Agreements say about it. Most people don’t read the Terms and Agreements, so let me share this with you:


Don’t undertake the following: 5. Create a user profile for anyone other than a natural person;


4. Registration and Account Security

  • Facebook users provide their real names and information
    1. You will not create more than one personal profile.

This means that Facebook and LinkedIn can (and will) at any moment decide to delete your non-personal profile.

“And what about Twitter”?, you ask. Twitter is not a social network, per say, it is a micro blogging system. Twitter can be personal but also just small blogposts of companies. The Terms of Twitter do not state that your profile needs to be either for personal or business use. However; I do think it is a lot nicer to understand who is sending these tweets on behalf of the company.

If you have a Twitter account for your company, and a personal twitter account, it is smart to show who is writing the status updates. For your business account, you can use a company logo as profile picture, use your company URL but also add a name of the person(s) doing all the work.

Examples of non-personal profiles

Bijzondermooi Dutchdesign in Facebook

Players for the Planet in LinkedIn

Here you see a personal name in the profile, but the completed profile is about the organization.

Example of personal profile and company page

Here you see the personal profile page of Eydie

And this is her professional page: Eydie’s Office

This is a great example of how you can make a personal page for yourself and create a page for your business on Facebook.
On her personal profile and the company page she is engaging with friends and fans. So on both profiles the conversation is personal, the best way to connect and develop real relationships.

Let’s connect

This is my personal profile on Facebook and my professional page on Facebook – “Like” the page and you will get updates and follow the discussions.

My personal profile on LinkedIn and my company profile on LinkedIn. And as you send a connection invitation, please tell me why you want to add me to your network. That is another thing that I will write about another time, impersonal invitations to connect in Facebook or LinkedIn. Hate it when I get these. Makes me guess why you want to connect with me.

Lately I’ve received more friend requests and connections requests from non-personal profiles (business profiles). Talking to some of the people behind these profiles it has become clear to me that some people don’t get the idea of personal profiles, social networks, and relationships.

I found this great article by Tamar Weinberg – Dear Facebook Friends, You’re Doing it Wrong. In her article, Tamar talks about social media etiquette, and other online do’s and don’ts.

Do you connect with people in social networks personally, professionally or both?

Update: the text was edited to improve English reading with the help from Eydie.

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.


  1. Thank you Erno for your timely info.

    If you have a facebook fan page for your business you can have as many ‘fans’ following you as you like. Facebook has set a limit for people who follow you on your profile page.

  2. Hi Erno,

    Wow… was I surprised when I saw my FB profile and fan page on your blog! Whoo Hoo! Thanks buddy!

    Sometimes there is a fine line in profiles. I use my personal profile for business as well. And I post personal ‘water cooler’ status updates as well as business related posts as well. Therefore I combine my two worlds, but stay cognizant of the fact that not all of my FB friends are on there to hear me talk about business.

    Twitter is mainly for business – if I even go on it. Honestly, not a fan! And of course, LinkedIn is ONLY for my business status updates. What I’d rather do is bring my TW and LI community into my FB community so then I have the best of all worlds!

    Eydie 🙂

    1. That still is not easy to do: bringing your Twitter and LinkedIn friends into Facebook. For Twitter it is a bit different. Not everyone you follow may be interested in a mutual connection. I follow some people like I follow their blogs. A tool to add your LinkedIn connections to your business page would be great. There was an application that let you find your Twitter friends on Facebook but it stopped working due to some issues between Twitter and Facebook and I do not think these issues are technical.
      Since Twitter is more business for you do you want to friend them on your Personal profiel in FB?

  3. Great Post Erno! I am more of a Twitterer than a Facebooker!! I feel that there are too many distractions on Facebook and I love to search for topics and keywords on Twitter. You can find a lot of good resources and information provided by others. I just wrote on my list of things to do: How to add your twitter stream to your facebook page? Hmmm, I will be sure to let everyone know when I find something.

    1. Thank you Jaime. For a company, especially when you work for consumers, Facebook is a very good place to be with 500 million people there. 250 million daily and 100 million via their mobile phone. I can see your point of distractions 🙂

  4. This is good article on this subject To Build a Facebook Page, You Need a Profile

    “Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook…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.”

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