Many of us in the industry are using social media in some form or another. It's a great tool in promoting our work and we tend to explore as many options as possible. Facebook is one of those options. You may be using your personal page along with a business page to promote your work. What if Facebook suddenly deleted your personal page and you lost all your contacts, messages, and more? That is what recently happened to photographer Catherine Oshanek, otherwise known as White Cedar.
Although we know that it's only advisable to use your business/public page to promote your work, many people also use personal pages to share some of their work, make contacts, network, and do business. After all, we can stay in touch with colleagues and clients by adding them as friends (if you so choose to). A personal page also allows us to message them directly, where a business page does not allow this option unless they reply to us directly. So in a way, a personal page is as important as a business/public page in maintaining relationships, finding new clients, getting your work out there, and keeping in touch. This is also why many colleagues in the industry still use personal pages when doing business in some way or another. Some prefer keeping them separate, and there's nothing wrong with that either. If you're someone who keeps business off of Facebook, then this obviously is nothing you should be concerned about.
If you're in the same boat, be prepared to have Facebook delete your account. I'm not saying that this will happen, but it is a possibility you have to be ready for. This is what happened with Catherine. Without warning, she lost her Facebook page along with her messages and all her media on the account. Most importantly, she lost her past messages and contacts. They converted her old personal page into a public page. So technically it wasn't deleted, just converted. I use the word deleted because she cannot get back all of her messages and contacts. With public pages, as mentioned, you cannot reach out to people and message them directly or communicate with them in the same way that a personal page allows you to do so.
You can see the full conversation by clicking on the image. It will lead to her page.
She originally had 5,000 friends and over 1,000 subscribers, which then turned into fans.
So what should you do to prepare yourself? You can download a history of your Facebook activity and archive it somewhere, just in case. It will also allow you to keep a history of your messages, which I believe may be the most important element.
You can do so with the following directions, from Facebook's info page:
1) Click at the top right of any Facebook page and select Account Settings
2) Click General in the left-hand column
3) Click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data"
4) Click Start My Archive
This article does not apply to everyone, but for those of you who do any business using your personal page, consider this a warning. At least you can be prepared in case it does happen.