Quite often we'll run into businesses who have a slew of Facebook business pages that have come and gone over the years. Here are a few reasons this may have happened:
- The social strategy was not well thought out and the individual managing the page has let it go stale.
- The page administrator is no longer with the organization and administrative control has left with them.
- A previous agency or contractor took the administration access with them when a relationship changed.
- A zombie or company "user" profile was the only administrator and no one remembers how to access that account.
It's not only frustrating and confusing for your fans, but it can cause problems with the newly released Open Graph search tools. Not only that, but it fragments previous work done on building your engaged fan base. Thankfully there's a solution that can clean up this issue. It falls into two steps.
Step One: Claim Your Page
Claiming pages on Facebook is an easy process, even if you're not the current administrator. The trick here is to ensure you are an official representative of the organization. This involves the submission of proof to Facebook such as a utility bill with the current address or through additional legal documentation.
We've found that the utility bill is the easiest way to start the claim process. Once you submit your claim, you can then sit back and wait (for typically 72 hours). Facebook is fairly good at expediting the process.
Pro Tip: there is also the 'soft glove' approach, which is to send the current administrator a nice Facebook message asking that they add you as an administrator. In 99% of cases, we've had success with regaining administrator status this way, rather than resorting to the official claim.
Step Two: Merge Your Pages
Now we're ready to roll. Go to your brand page and from the top select: Edit Settings.
Now you'll see your brand page dashboard. A few items down you'll see: Request to merge duplicate Pages.
Et voila! Select your master page and the pages you would like to merge into that master page:
Once you submit this request, you should have word back from Facebook on the status of the merge within about 24 hours. If you've officially claimed the page already and are a verified location, then you should encounter no resistance from Facebook. The last and nicest benefit of this is that you now consolidate the fans on both pages.
If Page A had 1343 fans and Page B has 5000 fans, the newly updated Page B will have 6343 fans (minus any cross-over).
Now go out there and get 'em tiger!