Unintended Multiple Facebook Pages – Untying the Gordian Knot


Knot with a sword hovering aboveMany businesses have attempted to open up Facebook business pages and mistakenly assigned their business a personal page. Others had pages started for them by well-meaning but uninformed friends or relatives, ending up with pages not in the best interest of their business. Facebook further complicates the situation by automatically setting up starter pages for businesses to claim and many people will like the page assuming it comes from you. The end result can be a complex problem of multiple pages for your business, your fans scattered among the pages and none of the pages working effectively for your business.

It takes patience to solve this problem. It is possible to be tied up in this “gordian knot” of a mess for hours and even days while you try to search out the solution. The mythical story of the Gordian Knot promises great riches to the person that can loosen and untie the knot. It was said that Alexander solved the knot while others failed because he used the bold, decisive action of slicing the knot in half with his sword.

Sorry to say that in this case solving the problem generally doesn’t have a “sword solution.” My first impulse is to pick up the phone to talk to a real person but Facebook is such a big machine it is virtually impossible to reach a human being to offer real “carbon-based” assistance. However, Facebook has created some guidance that with some persistence on your part may help.

Here is my best advice based on helping several clients solve this knotty problem:

Personal Pages as Business Pages

If your business started with a personal page format and treated it as a business page prior to the introduction of Facebook pages for business, you probably have a following that you don’t want to lose. The best thing that you can do is message on the page for a few weeks, alerting your fans that you are migrating to a new page on a certain date. Encourage your fans to like your new page and be sure to share the url of the target Facebook page. To create some excitement conduct a simple Facebook page contest to entice your fans to move over. At the end of your time period – kill the personal page. Be sure you have a good strategy for engaging, informing and entertaining your new fans on your business page.

Multiple Business Pages

Facebook has created a process for merging pages so that you don’t lose fans from either page. However, there a few things that you need to decide.First, you want to decide which page you want to keep. Next, you need to be sure that if you are the one coordinating this merger that you have administrative access on all the pages in question.

Know that from Facebook’s perspective they want to know that you are not hijacking pages that aren’t truly yours or your responsibility. The page names have to be the same or very similar and business addresses need to be the same. In one case, my client had a page with an address from a previous location, we were able to simply go into the edit page and change the address before we initiated the merger with Facebook.

Be prepared for the fact that Facebook does not implement these merger requests immediately, and repeated failed attempts on your part may result in you losing all your pages. READ THEIR INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. In two recent projects to merge pages it was 3 to 4 days before being notified of a successful merger. And, don’t even think about re-sending because you don’t think Facebook got your message. The notification comes to the email account that you used to set-up your personal page, so be prepared to monitor that account.

To summarize, do your homework by carefully reading the instructions from Facebook; approach the page you want to keep as a premium outpost for your business; plan on updating it to make it appealing to your new fans; review and update the settings and page information; make a plan to consistently message on the page you want to keep; plan the migration.

Good Luck and Goodbye Gordian Knot!

Using the Facebook “Build Audience” Button on Business Fan Page


Row of chairs with dollar signs in themMany businesses set-up their Facebook fan page and then get stuck on what to do next. The Administrative Panel* is full of helpful resources and tools. Probably the most useful tool for businesses just getting started is the Build Audience button. *Note: You can’t see the Administrative Panel Insights(performance data) until you have achieved 30 Fans…so get cracking!

The Build Audience button can be found on the top right of your Administrative Panel on your business fan page. There are several ways to tap into your network of friends to begin to build an audience that will see what you post on your business fan page.

1.To find your Facebook friends (from your personal page or any other admin’s personal page) that you wish to invite to your business page:

  • On the administrative panel Click on Build Audience for a drop down menu
  • Click on Invite Friend
  • A scrolling box opens up with picture and name of friends from your personal page

Click “Invite” if you wish to send them an invitation to like your business page
To get more specific click on “Search all Friends” at the top of the scrolling box to select/sort friends by geography and/or special interests.

Don’t worry about pestering your friends if they don’t respond immediately, it is very possible that they missed your invitation and it is buried in their news feed. You can go back and issue invitations periodically from your know Facebook friends – the system will know if they are already a fan of your page.
2.To find people in your email database that might be on Facebook and could receive an invitation from your business page:

  • Click on Build Audience for the drop down menu
  • Click on “Invite email contacts” for a box with a list of common email sources (gmail,hot mail, constant contact)
  • Choose your email contacts provider and follow directions to allow Facebook to interface with your email database and show you a list of all of your email contacts that are on Facebook
  • Review list same as above and “Invite” those that you would like to view your page

3.To invite a particular Facebook friend or post on a specific page:

  • Click on Build Audience for the drop down menu
  • Select and Click on Share page
  • For an individual choose the “On Your Timeline” drop down message and select “In a Private Message”
  • Type person’s name (as it is seen on Facebook account) and then write a private message to go along with the invitation to like your page
  • Hit “Share Page” button

Note: Facebook creates the invitation to like your page from the “Long Description” that was written for your page info and your profile photo. It is a good idea to update this description periodically. You could use seasonal or topical messages that will be universally relevant and be a possible trigger for a new customer engagement ( eg; winter driving)

  • To change your Long Description look for the “Edit Page” button just to the left of the “Build Audience” button
  • Click and choose “Update Page Info”
  • Look for Long Description – click on the little pencil icon to the far right make your changes
  • “Save Changes” Review and check your spelling
  • Make a calendar note to change the description back to a general description or to update with a new topical description

Last, remember when you gain new friends on your personal Facebook page, if it makes sense, be sure to invite that new friend to your business fan page. And, to find even more new fans, “deputize” other trusted employees with temporary or permanent administrative access and encourage them to invite their friends to like your business page. This can be accomplished by going to the Edit Page button and selecting the Manage Admin Roles button. Follow the simple instructions to make a new Admin for your page.

K. Donovan Consulting, LLC is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in creating content and fully developed inbound marketing plans and strategies. 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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