With all the hullaballoo about Facebook Pages, I thought it was time I experimented with one for myself. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, there are a few instances where it may make sense for a blogger to have a Facebook Page. One is for a multi-author blog such as Snapshot Chronicles Roadtrip, the family travel blog I launched about eight weeks ago. Each author can be an admin, use his/her own Facebook following to help build the brand and share the load of adding unique content — beyond just the blog posts that get fed automatically.
I’m still experimenting but I want to warn readers to be very very careful when selecting the initial category for their page. There are three basic categories, each with sub options, and once you’ve selected your choice, there is no going back. The only way to change once you’ve created a page is to START OVER. If you’ve actually published the page and started publicizing it, this means losing those fans, and hoping they follow you.
Why is this so important?
Two reasons. First, discoverability. Facebook uses the categories in search, and if you are in the wrong one, fewer people will find you in general searches, versus specific ones based on your blog or brand name.
Second is that the options under the Info tab are different for each basic category. Local Business allows you to list your physical address, hours of operation, website address and information about parking and public transit. No free-form fields. For a Brand Product or Organization, you can list typical business information, including company overview and products in free-form fields. Artists, Bands & Public Figures are presented with options very similar to the ones in the personal profile. These cannot be changed or added to.
The Facebook Page for Snapshot Chronicles Roadtrip ended up in the wrong category – Local Other Business. Not because I didn’t pick the one I wanted (Brand, Travel). I did. However, I initially typed my electronic signature with my middle initial; Facebook wanted my Facebook name exactly, without the initial, so it posted an error message. I realized the error, fixed it, and saved.
What I didn’t realize was that in the refresh Facebook had also reset the category to Local Other Business. I pulled a similar sequence of screens to illustrate this for you.
The good news? I mostly did the fan page to find out what might go wrong when creating one, and lo and behold I was not disappointed. Not having the right options on the Info tab is not a big deal for my family travel blog, but it might be for your company or brand.
What should you do?
- Take a look at the three types of pages and pick the right one for your brand, blog or business.
- When you are filling out the initial creation screen, check the box, type in your profile name correctly and carefully review the selection of category before you hit Create Page.
- If you get the error message, check twice.
You can start over at any time until you actually publish your page, but in my case, I just didn’t notice that the category had defaulted to something else until I started trying to customize the info page much, much later in my process.
I’ll just chalk it up to one of those things I do, so you don’t have to, and hope that my experience helps at least one other person avoid the same mistake. I do know I am not the only one who has run into the problem, as there is a support topic in the Facebook FAQs.
So pick carefully!
Some additional nits:
I wish you could have a different image for the thumbnail and the main graphic. Unlike headshots, which most people use on their personal Facebook profiles, logos don’t always size down to something acceptable in a teeny thumbnail square, and certainly not when the same image is used for both with no resizing possible.
I have a devil of a time getting back to my page to edit it. I hope I am just missing something obvious, but the only way I’ve found so far is to navigate to all the pages I follow and then pick mine. There has to be an easier way….