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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Facebook Messes Up Big Time with "new" Places and Business Page Merge!

WARNING: DO NOT merge your Business Facebook Page and Places Page!

Recently, Facebook decided it would be a swell idea to create pages separate from regular business pages that would show business locations and give business owners the ability to create "deals" to their customers.  These deals were meant to be like coupons that customers could obtain through Places pages and other special offers for "checking in" to the business location frequently (ala Foursquare).

Unbenounced to most (if not all) Business Owners who uses Facebook to market their business, these Places Pages started popping up.

"Is this your business",  kindly asks Facebook on the sidebar of Places pages.  example

"Well, of course it is", exclaims rightful Business Owner. And concludes, "Why did you post this info without my knowledge?  I didn't sign-up to list my business.  And the map is all wrong.  Plus, I have 6 locations.  How can I change this info, so it is accurate???"


Now, Facebook prompts: Claiming this Place will turn it into a Facebook Page, allowing you to post updates to people who like the Page, update your business information, and more.

Sound good right?  You're doing the right thing, so you continue on to verify that you are the rightful business owner.

Next, another window asks, "Do you want to merge this pages with one of the pages you administer? Continue without merging or Merge"

Surely, most people wouldn't want to add another area to administer and worry about updating, so merging sounds like the way to go.


After merging your Business page and Places page, you end up with a page that has a big ugly Bing map at the top, all your custom tabs at the top of page are gone, your landing page (FBML) is moved to the side, your wall looks completely different and is completely unmanageable.  Not to mention, you lose the simple functionality of your page.

Don't get me wrong, I love change and new technology, but this was a huge step-back for the design and  interface for Facebook's business pages.

On top of it all, Facebook never really let's you know the adverse changes your business page will take and does not give you the option to unmerge.  In fact, they state that it cannot be undone.

Unmerge Facebook Page
After a week of surfing through Facebook's help section, researching online, venting on Unmerge Places & My Business Page Facebook page and complaining on Mark Zuckergerg's page it became apparent that Facebook could care less about it's users.  Mark would rather hang out with Georgie Boy!  There are no support e-mails to contact that will respond to you and calling them is completely worthless.

So, the only option is to start over and create a new business page!

As helpless as I felt, the only way to change things is to change it myself.  Facebook has become somewhat of a necessity for businesses to have until the next big and better thing comes along.  So, take my advise – bite the bullet and start over, because Facebook won't listen to anyone but their own greed.

I Admin several Business Facebook pages and am truly thankful I only merged one.  I also pity any other Admin's out there one who has a page with more than 200 Friends, countless posts, photo galleries, reviews and other elements they built up over the years that merged their page.

Here's how I created a new Facebook Business Page:  

  1. Start by creating a new Facebook page.
  2. If you want, create a temporary folder on your computer for all the miscellaneous content from your merged FB page. 
  3. Copy and paste all the info from your merged FB page to your new one.  (basic info, information, hours, etc.)
  4. Create all new photo galleries and upload pictures you want to include in new page.
  5. Create a new profile picture that has text that reads something like: Please "Like" our NEW Facebook Page and save to your computer!
  6. Recreate your landing page (if you have one) and change your settings for default page for new visitors.
  7. Add any custom tabs you want to include (with some, if not most, you will lose data here).
  8. Copy and paste wall posts that you made from your merged page to your new page that you would like to retain.  This could be the most time consuming thing to do, but this is ultimately the underlying content of your page.  If you can afford to skip some or can live with starting over, then that's your choice.  You will of course lose all the comments from your friends and the date you originally posted.  (Thanks again Facebook!)
  9. Goto edit page of your merged page and click on Manage Permissions.
  10. Uncheck: Users can write or post content on the wall, Users can add photos and Users can add video.  This will disallow anyone from making any more comments on your wall.  Once they determine what's going on, they will surely like your new page once again.
  11. Here's where the frustration and sadness kicks in... start deleting ALL of your wall posts.  If you have more than 300 wall posts, you might as well forget this step as it's quite the redundant time waster.  I'm sure we all have better things to do.  (Thanks again Facebook!!)
  12. Make a new wall post that reads something like: "Like" us at our new Facebook page and enter the link to your new Facebook page.  If you actually took the time to delete all your wall posts before doing this step then there should only be one post on your page and it will stand out as much as possible.
  13. Change your landing page on your merged page (if you had one) that says, "Our Official Facebook Page has moved!" Please join us by following us by clicking here.  And create a link to your new FB page or just post it.  
  14. Upload your new profile picture. 
  15. Now, it's time to get back your friends.  Start sharing your new page as usual and post your new page to your top friend's walls.  You can send out individual messages to each of your friends if you have extra time, but your most dedicated friends will see that your page has moved and will continue to follow you if they are truly loyal. And for those that don't, consider this fact... were they ever loyal friends in the first place? So, you can take a positive spin on this step to have more solid and genuine leads (aka friends).  NOTE: you can't really go too fast with sending out individual messages to your all of your friends or Facebook will send you a little pop-up message that says they will delete your account because they see it as spamming!
  16. Be sure to update all other links outside of Facebook to include: your website, LinkedIn, your e-mail signature, etc..   

I am truly not sure what will happen to my shortened username, but am thinking I will give it a week or so before I completely delete merged page and then try to submit new page for username.  Probably go through another loop with FB on that one!

But, all-in-all after next week, I will feel a lot better about our Facebook Page again.

Now... back to working on the real All Season Hydroponics website!


Tim said...

Thanks for the tip. Now I can better advise people I know.

Chris | Jerri said...

We have since deleted the old Facebook page.