The #1 Mistake On Your Personal Facebook Profile

[UPDATE: December 17, 2011: Now that the Facebook Timeline has rolled out worldwide, the way you access your Employer field has changed. Under your Cover image, there are three possible ways to access your Work and Education details and all the other data that was previously under your “Info” tab. See screenshot below – 1) click anywhere in the shaded area, or 2) click the Update Info button, or 3) click About.

Facebook Timeline - Update Info

Once on the Work and Education Section, click the “Edit” button in the top right of that section. Then begin to type in your own fan page if you work for yourself, or the fan page of your employer. Then add your Position, City/Town and a Description. For the position, you could use standard wording like “CEO” or you can put anything you wish, e.g. I have “Passionate Social Media Leader.” :)

Facebook Timeline - Update Work

If you currently have more than one job, as far as I know, you can only hyperlink one company fan page on your Timeline. I haven’t seen more than one employer linked in this section. However, it’s certainly feasible to add more into that section and when visitors/friends click on your About section, they’ll see the other jobs/positions. If you have difficulty in getting your main job to show as the featured one on your Timeline, you may need to delete the other jobs/employers and add the main one last.] End update.

Original post follows:

When Facebook upgraded personal profiles to the new design, most of the new features took effect without much effort on the user’s part. If you don’t like a certain photo in your five-photo strip at the top, just “x” it out to hide it from showing at the top. Tabs became links down the side, and we lost the most recent status update at the very top. (Oh, how I miss that feature as well as the wee mini-bio box!).

One of the most significant changes with the new profile design is the personal info at the top of your profile, right under your name. This section contains your job title, place of work, where you live, your birthday, education, hometown, languages, college/high school and a few other pertinent fields.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you prefer not to share any of these areas, just leave those fields blank when you edit your profile information. As you can see in the screenshot below, I choose to only show my title, employer, city of residence and birthday. I figure less is more when it comes to personal info on Facebook! By the way, only you can see fields left blank as indicated by links inviting you to “Add your xxxx.”

[Also, hot tip: be sure to change your date of birth to only show month and day – not the year – to add a layer of protection].

Facebook Profile Mari Smith

The #1 mistake? Your Employer link is a Community Page!

Go to your Facebook profile now and mouseover your Employer field – you’ll see it’s not linked to your fan page! When Facebook changed your profile to the new design, it automatically hyperlinked your EMPLOYER field to an auto-generated COMMUNITY PAGE!

(What is a Community Page? It’s an auto-generated wiki style of page that, in some ways, “competes” with your official fan page… at least, it can be confusing for some people when they’re trying to find you. For a full explanation of Community Pages and what you need to know, see this post.)

If you work for yourself and have your own Facebook Fan Page (or you’re an employee and your employer has a fan page), I highly recommend that you change this Employer field to your Fan Page.


Facebook Fan Page Hover Card Mari Smith

Facebook Fan Page Hover Card on Mari Smith's Profile

I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of personal Facebook profiles where the user is clearly blissfully unaware that they are missing out on an opportunity to promote their Fan Page right at the top of their profiles. We have no idea how many people might be browsing our personal profiles, whether they are friends or not, and you may as well take the opportunity to promote your fan page.

How to add your Facebook Fan Page as your Employer:

The process is straightforward:

  1. Click Edit Profile > then go to the Education and Work section.
  2. Begin typing the name of your fan page in the Employer field.
  3. If you see your fan page in the dropdown menu, select it.
  4. Then fill out the remaining fields (Position, City/Town, Description and Time Period). If you also add in any business partners/colleagues, this will show on their profile too under the Employer section.
  5. Click Add Job.
  6. You can also add Project(s) to any position and add business partners/colleagues (again, this shows on their Employer section).
  7. Voila!

Facebook Employer - Starbucks

If you find that your fan page just does not want to show up in the Employer field, there is a Ninja workaround which takes a tad of tecchie knowledge. See this helpful tutorial.

That’s it. I’m sure there are many other “mistakes” some Facebook users make on their personal profiles (besides having a personal profile in the name of a business which is a violation of Facebook’s terms!). But, I feel this one mistake with the missed opportunity to promote your fan page is the most overlooked area.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below. Also, what other mistakes or tips for optimizing profiles do you know of? Feel free to share!

Recommended reading:

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Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

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Posted in Facebook for Business, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Tips, Social Media
  • Mari Smith

    Exactly!!! Makes no sense why all those Community Pages were created – most are just “ghost towns.” Lol!

  • Mari Smith

    Hey Ceci – I would delete out all info on your Employer field for now, then try the “Ninja” workaround with the web developer toolbar in Firefox or Chrome. 

  • Mari Smith

    Oh wow, that’s interesting!! Good to know you got it sorted!

  • Mari Smith

    Ya, I wasn’t saying it’s a user mistake! :) It’s for sure an oversight on Facebook’s part… beats me why there are so many useless Community Pages (and Place Pages) floating in limbo with no owners! I mean, Place Pages are useful for sure for local businesses who claim them and use them. But there’s a lot of dupes. Agreed re merging!

  • Mari Smith

    Hi Bob – wow, that’s an interesting workaround!! Glad it worked. :) 

  • Mari Smith

    Yay you got it to work Nancy!! Hey, btw, did you know your Fan Page is a Place Page? Not sure if you intended that, but unless you do have peeps physically coming to your location, you can remove your full mailing address from the Info tab and it should morph back to a regular Fan Page. There’s no harm in having it a Place Page, but just FYI. 

  • Mari Smith

    Great! I’ve been telling peeps about this for some time since Ching Ya wrote her tutorial! :) Figured I’d shine more light on the subject cuz so many peeps are still blissfully unaware. 

    BTW, quick tip for video tutorials – keep ’em SUPER short!! Two minutes max if possible. 

  • Mari Smith

    Aha!! Excellent point! I gotta update my post with that tidbit too!

  • Mari Smith

    Hey Ray – how I ended up getting my own fan page in there a while back when I made the change was to delete the previous info and select a really popular fan page like Starbucks. Then just replace their ID # with mine using the web developer toolbar trick. 

  • Jason Fox

    Great tip.  I just clicked mine and lo and behold it was a community page… WHY Facebook?  Anyway I am on my way to correcting that, but my page does not show up.  So I am using the secret ninja technique to get it to show up.  Wish me Luck.

  • Allison Duncan

    Great tip. I honestly hadn’t thought of doing that. Thanks for the heads-up. You may find, however, that you have to delete the previous job in order to get the new one to show up.

    I just found your site, so am doing a lot of back reading.

    The Nerd Connection

  • John Barnett


    Much obliged for the simple approach.  Worked like a charm and didn’t need any ninjas!  Many Thx! 

  • Carrie

    Fixed it! Thanks.

  • Ewealthology

    Yes, thanks for the tip. BTW, there was no way I could explain this tutorial in two minutes or less! :)

  • Ewealthology

    Hey Hugh. That’s the way my profile looks when not logged in. I will change that too. Thanks!

  • Beth Millner

    Thank you for this!  I had a little different of a scenario, I had my fan page listed as people>artist and it would not let me change my employer to my artist self.  I changed the fan page to be a local business and voila, I was able to put myself as my employer on my profile!  Your post clued me in that this might be the issue.  =)

  • Dolly Madison

    No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to enter valid information in these fields. Always wanted a summer birthday? Go for it. Always wanted to be Warren Buffet’s financial advisor? Be it. Didn’t you graduate with honors from Oxford? Have some fun!

  • Hugh Briss

    Ah, I see the problem. It’s not that I wasn’t logged in, it’s because I was viewing your profile while using Facebook as my Page and not myself. Kind of a strange bug I think. Apparently Facebook treats us as not being logged in if we’re in Page mode.

  • Ileane

    Hi Mari! Is there a way to determine how often people are finding your page this way? Any tracking tools we can use? Thanks!

  • Dees Music

    I’m pretty sure I’ve violated: “having a personal profile in the name of a business which is a violation” ..I’m at which is apparently my personal account.  I’ve created my business pages out of the personal profile, but I’m afraid (based on your post) I’ve violated FB terms.

    And.. I have 4 really important biz pages coming out of the original personal account.

    Please tell me what you think I should do.  

  • Laura Christianson

    I had no idea you were blogging about this, Mari, and I wrote a tutorial on the same topic Monday, after multiple questions about it from my own readers.

    My tutorial explains how to do the workaround, in case your Community Page shows up when you try to put in your Business/Fan page:

  • Mari Smith

    Great – lotsa peeps have blogged about this issue and made all manner of video tutorials too! It was one of my pet peeves, so figured I’d get the word out even more!

  • Mari Smith

    Hey Darlene – you’re absolutely fine. The link you shared goes to your personal profile which is in your name – the actual URL (username) can be anything you want. And, in fact, you do get one chance on your personal profile to change the username if you want to. 

  • Mari Smith

    Oh wow, million dollar question – none that I know of!! :) Hopefully as Facebook continues to evolve, we’ll have more and more tracking tools!

  • Mari Smith

    hahaa. Good points, Dolly. If you want to kid around with your friends. I’m a big fan of putting in the facts in though. :) 

  • Mari Smith

    Interesting! Glad it worked out. :) 

  • Anonymous


    Thanks for sharing, I think the  Employer field or link on everyone’s profile is the biggest
    blunder facebook makes. 90 percent of the people who try to do their biz on this social
    site, will see when they click on “where they work” , “employer” or business it goes to a bizzarre briefcase with zero or very little fans.

    If you go back into your facebook profile and write in the exact name of your business or where you want it to link to it works great.

    For example:  I put in MAYO Communications, which goes to my like page

    Before it redirecting unique visitors to that crazy latent image or graphic of a 60’s briefcase. Anyone who has a challenge with this I would be happy to help them. We see this so often, and if you ware relying on facebook as your business URL (another mistake), be sure to go to and add “Facebook Archive” download it in Firefox browser and it will appear in your menu of Firefox. It saves images, contacts, and posts, but not sure about emails, maybe.
    But you would never get that from FB, which have a goofy archive on its site I do NOT trust.

    Nothing is worse than getting your account hacked into and having FB close your account for no reason or explanation. Thanks for sharing Mary! You’re the best.

  • Anonymous

    Keep trying, too me half hour on my account, then a few minutes on other friends I helped or maintained for them.

  • Anonymous

    Good job, you really should have to fiddle with and Facebook should have told us when they did their great pitch about the updates. thx. for sharing. I had to do something similar, but when you change it copy exactly the title or sometimes the URL it also works.  G.

  • Giselle

    Mari,  I followed all of your steps, but Facebook won’t allow me to add the name of my page.?.  Any help would be appreciated.

  • Virtual Gina

    Thanks for sharing

  • Ileane

    Mari, just a word of advice for anyone who doesn’t want to bother with the “techie” Ninja work-around. I tried this about 3 weeks ago and it didn’t work but I didn’t want to bother with all the steps necessary to make Facebook behave. Tried it again yesterday after being reminded by this post and it worked like a charm. Maybe it just takes a little patience to wait for Facebook to catch up :)
    Thanks Mari and I’ll “see” you at the webinar. 

  • Michelle

    I tried some of the other techniques including the ninjas without success. However, this cutting and pasting technique worked for me on the first try! It’s clearly the simplest and easiest solution if your page doesn’t show up when you type it in to the employer box. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jackie

    Am so glad to have found this post Mari, (via sitesell) and in fact to have found your whole website!  I can see I will be devouring all the facebook info, there is much to learn!

  • Varaneka Laxmi

    thank you!

  • Amelia@ International Business

    I would not call it as a “mistake” per se. It’s just a simple overlook. With sooo many things going around Facebook (chats, messages, wall posts, etc), people sometimes tend to disregard the difference between community page and fan page, which the latter has a great advantage over the former.

    I agree with Gabriella, the old Facebook’s design and layout is more superior than the present one. But technology and feature-wise, the present FB has the upper hand. It even changed the way we do businesses these days.

  • Poker Online

    Nice post.. It helped me so much !

  • Gabriella – the stepford wife

    This was a much needed post explaining such an important, but over-looked aspect of Facebook. Honestly, the old Facebook was far more better in my opinion.

  • Brintooze

    Hi, for some reason I am now Brin Tooze Tooze on Facebook.
    What happened?
    Can I have just one surname?

  • Tommy

    Thanks for the great tip. I’m a professional actor just putting together a Page. The Ninja workaround worked like a charm. Next up, getting friends to also become ‘fans’. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, that was helpful advice. It’s frustrating when you get things set up and then the platform changes and you have to go update things you didn’t even know about…

  • Tony Dix

    It’s a great tip. When the change took place I made sure that all our employees had the correct wording so as to get to the fan page. Only I assumed our boss knew & it took him a wee while to catch on:)

  • Joi Rogers

    Until recently my employer wouldn’t come up. Such a pesky creature Facebook can be! Now it’s working. Thanks for the great article. 😉

  • Steve

    Thanks for the tip, very easy to do.

  • Laura Christianson

    Beth – One of my Facebook peeps is having the same problem. Her page is listed as Media/News/Publishing and she’s not able to see it at all when she tries to add it as ’employer.’ I’ve suggested she change it to Companies & Organizations and we’ll see if that works. Often, Facebook rolls out these features for Pages in certain categories, and as time goes on they roll it out to all the Page categories.

  • Theyoganurse

    loved this, really generous. and i did it. gratitude!

  • The Sparkle Agency

    This is such an awesome tip Mari! I use this as a cue that a business could use my help in social media and send them the link to your post. I share this link and your name with everyone I talk to about Facebook!
    Debbie Horovitch

  • Mari Smith

    Many thanks dear Debbie!! You are so lovely and sparkly. hehee! :) 

  • Mari Smith

    Lol – so true!!

  • Mari Smith

    Good to hear, Tommy!! You may also enjoy this popular post I wrote with 21 creative ways to boost your fanbase:

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