For many small businesses and organizations, Facebook has become their online face. The wisdom of ceding that much control to a third-party is debatable but the fact is, many businesses have made that decision and are satisfied with the results.
I’m not here to speak in favor of or against this practice but I would like to offer these businesses, and any others that rely heavily on Facebook for their marketing efforts, one piece of advice.
Don’t hide your face!
Please, give us the full URL of your Facebook page. Too often, I receive emails or see flyers that say “Find out more on our Facebook page” or “Follow us on Facebook.” The problem with this is that you put the burden of finding the correct page on the user. As a business, you shouldn’t assume that your name is unique enough, or Facebook’s search algorithm smart enough, to guarantee that your page is found 100% of the time.
But the full URL is too long!
I hear ya. Often, I ask businesses for the full URL to their Facebook page and they can’t tell me what it is but they’ll say something to the effect of “Just search for X.” Just like your Twitter handle, you should be able to tell everyone the URL of your business. If you can’t then you’re doing something wrong. Either a) you haven’t created a page name and are still using whatever Facebook assigned to your or b) you created a complex name that no one could remember.
If the problem is that you haven’t created a page name, then I will commend this article that I wrote in 2013 to you, “Getting a Facebook Page Address.” The article may be old, but the content is still fairly accurate - at least enough to get you pointed in the right direction.
If the problem is that you created a name that is too complex to remember, see the solution provided above and do some creative thinking to make the name more easily remembered.
Is this really a problem?
YES! But, you probably want a tangible example, right? Here we go. Remember, you may get slightly different results based on the pages you have previously liked, which really reinforces the point that you don’t want to leave it to chance that your customer will find you.
Let’s say I want to find the Wellness Center in Martinsburg, WV on Facebook. When I do a search for “The Wellness Center” I get the following page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wellness-Center/130995540296651 The interesting thing about this page is this disclaimer in the bottom right:
This Page is automatically generated based on what Facebook users are interested in, and not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with the topic.
Facebook created this page, yet it is the first page that comes up when I do a search.
The page I actually wanted was: https://www.facebook.com/TheWellnessCenterAtBMC I tried to find this page because I wanted to help promote an event that they were holding but I couldn’t find it and finally had to contact them to get the URL to the page.
Most people would have assumed that the Facebook created page was the page that they wanted and then when they didn’t find information about the upcoming event would have given up or complained to the Wellness Center about not finding the information on their page. The Wellness center could have avoided this issue by simply listing out the full URL to their Facebook page. It would have saved me 10 or 15 minutes of frustration and then the time that it took to contact them and the time it took them to email me back. Ultimately, I found what I needed but I’m more persistent then most people would have been in a situation like this. Also, I decided I was going to write about it so I had to find their correct page.
When you make Facebook the online face of your business or organization, you leave a lot to chance. Ensuring that people find your page should not be one of those things.
Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/eC2dJv