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Be Careful When Creating a Business Facebook Page

UPDATE: As of June 11, 2010, it looks like Facebook has fixed page creator removal problem and all page admins can now be removed, including the page creator.

The creation of a Facebook fan page for a business is deceptively simple, at first. Certainly, it’s not rocket-science by any stretch of the imagination but there are a few pitfalls that you need to consider before hitting that “create” button. Some of the choices you must make when creating the page are irrevocable – the page name, the business type and the affiliation of the creator to the page.

First, the page name. Unlike individual profiles, the name at the top of a Facebook fan page cannot be changed. Does your business have multiple locations and you intend for this page to refer to only one? Better make sure that you’ve designated that location in your page name now. You can’t go back and change it.? (This also become a problem – as one of our clients recently saw – when the company changes its name. They had to start from scratch in the creation of a page and migration of existing fans to the new page.)

Second, the business type. When creating the page, Facebook prompts you – via some dropdown menus – to describe your business. No big deal, right? In the grand scheme of things, probably not a huge deal. But, depending on which choice you make, Facebook formats your page for you. If you choose retail business, for example, your info page will have space for store hours, location and parking. Not a major issue – but it’s probably worth poking around a few fan pages to check out the format associated with the various business type choices.

Finally, and probably most concerning, is the issue of the creator of the page. This subject has been discussed a bit on Twitter recently and then followed up with a good blog post by Arik Hanson over at Communications Conversations. Here’s the deal: whoever creates a Facebook page is forever tied to that page (some have reported that calling and find a human to speak with at Facebook can solve the problem – there is, however, no contact information listed for Facebook anywhere on the site).

If K2Media is working with a company and I create a Facebook page for that company while logged in as myself, I am the “creator” of the page. I am automatically an admin on the page. I can add and delete other admins. BUT no one (including me) can delete ME as the admin. EVER (or at least without a series of emails and phone calls to Facebook after you’ve figured out how to reach them).

So, what happens when K2Media is no longer working with that company? I still have total administrative control over their Facebook page. Now, I’m a good person and certainly wouldn’t do anything harmful to the company, even after our professional relationship had ended. But what if the company had tasked an employee or intern with creating the page and then the employee or intern is terminated or moved on to another competitor? Now, you’ve got a disgruntled former employee or competitor with control of your Facebook page.

Here is what we do to avoid the problem (and what we recommend you do):

  • Create a new Gmail account (we usually call ours companynameSM@gmail.com). We use Gmail as the collecting basin for multiple email accounts – so we simply forward the new account’s inbox to our own.
  • Then log out of Facebook.
  • On the login page, you can click “Create a Page” (it’s below the sign-up box) without being logged in as yourself. You will then be prompted to choose the business type and name the page.
  • The next page will ask if you have a Facebook account. Choose “I? do not have a Facebook account” and input your new Gmail address as the email tied to the new page. You will then have created a page that is tied to the Gmail account (a nameless, faceless account) and NOT to? your individual account.

We then personally “fan” the page and make ourselves page admins.

Our client is provided the Gmail account and password information – which they can then use to add or delete subsequent admins (including us). They are also free to change the password, locking us out of the account in the future if they choose to do so.

The account is not tied to any specific individual – just the companynameSM@gmail.com account. All individual admins can be removed if and when necessary or appropriate.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have a slightly different problem with having created a FB page for someone. I have lost my personal identity on that page. Every post I make is made as from the page itself. I would like to retain my personal identity on that page. Any suggestions woudl be greatly appreciated. I wish that I had know about this before I created the page. I cannot delete it now as it is live now..

    1. @mamta – As long as your individual profile is an admin (or the creator) of a page, your actions on that page show up as the page itself. I haven’t found any way around this. If you had created the page using a dummy account as outlined above and then fanned the page using your individual profile (but had NOT made yourself an admin), you would have been able to comment as yourself. But the horse has already left the barn or so it seems – and I’m not sure of any way around the problem now. If someone else knows of a way around this, please share!

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