As a Digital Marketing agency, we often have to make social media accounts for new clients. And, usually everything goes well until one of Facebook's features comes along to ruin everything...
This time it's the auto generated pages that Facebook creates for new businesses on Facebook.
Sounds helpful, right? Facebook creating your business page for you? No. Instead they have been automatically spewing out "generic company fan pages" that are unclaimable by the official business page.
"Well, so what?" you may be wondering.
These pages can be seen in the search bar and mistaken for your official business page by Facebook users. Meaning, people can like, share and tag that auto generated business page while your official page is losing out on all the engagement!
This also means that people are checking into a dummy business page instead of using your Facebook Tips Check-In. Click here to read our previous post to learn how to set this up and attract more visitors to your page.
How to claim these auto generated business pages
Long story short, you can't (as of February 2016)
Lots of research and angry Facebook Help Centre threads later, I came to the conclusion that it isn't actually possible to claim your auto generated business page.
That's probably not the answer you were hoping for, but it is what it is.
In fact, upon further investigation, it appears that last year it was possible to claim these pages. However, Facebook changes their rules, regulations and features so frequently it doesn't surprise me that this feature isn't available anymore.
People reported successfully claiming their page with the "claim this page" button in the settings drop down. But as you can see from the picture below, this feature no longer exists.
It's unknown whether the claim feature will return. Until then, we just have to make the best of a bad situation!
I thought I had found an alternative solution, but it turns out that there's another flaw with these auto generated pages...
Under the Edit tab there's an option to Add an official page.
Well, if a business can't actually CLAIM the page, at least they might be able to add a link that sends viewers to the real company page, right? Wrong.
This option asks you to type in the official business page name into a search bar and shows you a list of options from a drop down menu. But there was one small issue. The real business page wasn't even being shown in the drop down menu!
Auto generated pages outrage local businesses
It's safe to say that there are A LOT of angry business owners who are publicly showcasing their rage in Facebook's help forums.
And all for good reason! We hope that Facebook decides to provide a solution for these annoying auto generated business pages.
As it stands, some of the auto generated pages on Facebook have thousands of likes. These are thousands of likes that SHOULD be on the official pages! Not to mention the businesses who are using their social media as part of their bigger Inbound Marketing Strategy to drive traffic back to their website and make sales are fighting a needless war.
After all, the purpose of all these business social media accounts is to capture people's attention and then entice them back to your website where you can solve all their problems.
In the meantime, you can count on us to keep up to date with Facebook's latest features!
Facebook training for small businesses
All this social media stuff can be too confusing and time consuming for small businesses. That's why we offer tailored training where we teach you the fundamentals of using Facebook for business, how to maximise your time on there and drive traffic back to your website - where the sales are made!