Authenticate your business on Facebook.

In this post, Kevin Davies from TecKnoQuest answers the following key questions about small businesses and Facebook:

  • Facebook is the second most often used search engine on the Internet - is the information about your business listed on Facebook accurate?
  • Are there active Facebook pages about your business that you did not create? (Correct: Facebook has a habit of auto-generating pages about your business without your consent or knowledge.)
  • Have you verified (with Facebook) the ownership of your business's Facebook page?

Facebook is currently going through some challenges related to user data, but it is still the "go to" online environment for millions of users worldwide. Despite your personal feelings about Facebook and its data collection/sharing tendencies, it is critical that you control your company's presence on Facebook.

If you created your business's Facebook page, make sure that the information about your business (location, hours, contact info, etc.) is current. Also take the time to ensure that the background information about your company is rich and complete - remember that search engines index Facebook regularly.

If you do not have a Facebook page, Facebook will automatically create a page if enough Facebook users search for your business. These pages are created using any information that Facebook can glean from search engines and other websites. However, quite often the business information displayed on the auto-generated page(s) is inaccurate and/or out of date.

When I first started working with Sidney Pharmacy, they did not have an official Facebook page, so we created one. We made sure that the information on the page was complete and accurate; we also verified the ownership of the page (a process that adds a note on the page that "Facebook confirmed that this is an authentic page for this business"). Sadly, a search of Facebook after their official page went live found three other auto-generated pages for Sidney Pharmacy - all of which contained inaccurate information about the business. (One page listed it in a different town; another listed the street address as a location that was closed over 15 years ago.)

Getting rid of the auto-generated Facebook pages about Sidney Pharmacy was relatively easy, but it did take some time and patience. First, we needed to suggest edits to the page (specifically, the business's phone number and website), then we needed to claim the pages (Facebook calls the phone number listed on the page with a code). Once we had ownership of the auto-generated Facebook pages, we could merge them with the authentic Sidney Pharmacy Facebook page or delete them - both strategies have strengths and weaknesses. The end result is that now there is one, accurate and helpful Facebook page for Sidney Pharmacy, fully controlled by that business.

As I write this, it appears that Facebook isn't in danger of losing its dominant roll with millions of online users. As such, making the most of the opportunity to promote your business on Facebook is a great strategy - just make sure the information is accurate and controlled by you.

If you'd like me to give you some feedback on your business's current "presence" on Facebook, please contact me for a free initial consultation - absolutely no strings attached.

Kevin Davies