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Help! My Business is on Facebook and Out of My Control!

    • 30 posts
    June 25, 2012 9:12 PM EDT

    A veterinarian recently posted about a Facebook conundrum he encountered. He discovered his business had a presence on Facebook (not just one, but two pages!) but he didn’t create either of them. So how do you go about addressing this type of situation?

    How did this happen in the first place?! There are a few main ways you might end up with a Facebook page and not know about it:

    A) A Facebook user intentionally creates a business page for your business

    B) Facebook or a Facebook user creates a “Place” for your business

    C) A Facebook user lists your business as their place of employment (or anywhere in their Timeline profile)

    It is important to note that any combination of the above pages may exist for your business. Do a thorough search!

    So how are these various situations handled?!


    Scenario A)

    You will be able to identify if the created Facebook page is being intentionally moderated because it will likely have a cover photo, profile photo, and posts. You will also be able to see who the moderator is *if* they made themselves a “Featured Admin”. Click on the “About” link on the main part of the page. The lower right of that page will display any featured page admins. You can do this research without needing to log in to Facebook.

    Learning who is administrating an active business page is a good step in resolving the issue. But if you’re not able to identify them, you will need to go through steps to either have the page removed, or take it over.

    If you want the page removed, click on the settings pinwheel next to the Like button. Then click on Report Page and walk through the process. You may also see a link “Is this your business”. If you want to administrate the page, choose that option instead.

    Scenario B)

    Facebook creates many Place pages for businesses that have location and other data available on the web already. Facebook users can also create Place pages for businesses they want to check in at and tell their Friends about.

    It just so happens this was the situation the veterinarian I mentioned previously was in. If your presence on Facebook is a Place and you want to administrate it, click on the settings pinwheel in the upper right hand corner under Home and next to Edit, then choose “Is this your business”. If you don’t wish to use the Place page to create a business page, you may still edit it for accuracy and Report any duplicate Places you find. Don’t report the one with the most likes.

    Scenario C)

    The result of this scenario is called a “Company” page or “Community” page. It’s doubtful you will find any Community pages created with your business name as they are generally topical in nature and not related to establishments.

    If a Facebook user lists your business name as their place of employment and you either don’t have a Facebook page already for your business OR the employee chooses to manually enter the business name, rather than select the existing page to link to, a Company page is born (look for the briefcase image). There can be multiple instances of Company pages referencing the same location depending on any slight difference in the name. For example: ABC Animal Clinic and ABC Vet Clinic. 

    Fortunately, Company pages are ranked very low in search and will rarely cause a conflict. They also can’t be interacted with except that they can be liked. If you’re running into a problem with Company pages, do a search for your business on Facebook and click “See more results” to identify which employees are associated with the Company page. From there you can address the situation accordingly. Collectively asking employees to connect to your existing business page through the employment field on their profile is one option. Collectively asking they remove your business from their place of employment field is another. Take care not to single anyone out, or make it a requirement. You may also avoid all that and simply go through the reporting process with the Company page, but reports on those pages is not a priority for Facebook, so results can vary.

    Once you have ownership of your page or pages, you can begin to merge them to create one presence, or choose to take them down if you wish.

    Taking the current pages down doesn’t mean you won’t have a Page, Place, or Company presence show up again in the future. I would recommend keeping those pages under your supervision, even if you choose not to provide content on them or lock them to interaction from others.

    Think carefully about what actions you choose to take or not to take and what image this might portray to the people who Like you on Facebook, your Fans…