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Should You Merge Your Facebook Place Page and Business Page?

Facebook launched many great new products this year, not least of which was Facebook Places – which went live on August 18, 2010. Facebook Places is a terrific product for both local businesses and Facebook users alike, especially since the launch of Deals.

Facebook Places

When a Facebook user checks in to a location using their iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or via touch.facebook.com, they are automatically connected to what’s called a “Place Page” for that local business on Facebook.

Claim your Place Page

Place Pages look similar to a Business (Fan) Page, with emphasis on an interactive map from Bing at the very top. Just like a Business Page, there is a wall and you can also see your check-ins plus the total check-ins per this screenshot of my own chiropractor:

Facebook Place Page - Chiropractor

The first time a venue gets “checked-in” to by any Facebook user, Facebook instantly creates a Place Page for their business. The owner of that business then has the burden of searching and finding the Place Page on Facebook and claiming the business. (Scroll to the foot of the Place Page and click on the link, Is this your business?). Once claimed, you have some editing control in terms of the profile picture and ability to publish content to anyone who has Liked your Place Page.

Claim Your Facebook Place Page

To merge or not to merge?

With these new Place Pages, at first local businesses were justified in feeling overwhelmed at yet another piece of logistical management, on top of their regular Business Page, Community Page(s), Events, and possibly Groups. However, before long, Facebook offered the ability to MERGE your Place Page with your Business Page – assuming you had an obvious connection between the two. (In other words, if you have multiple locations with multiple Place Pages, you can’t merge all of them into one Business Page).

For some small businesses, this new merged Page might be ideal. But, from what I’m seeing, many business owners are extremely dissatisfied and confused by the merge. Here’s why:

  • Just like the new Profile layout, all your tabs disappear along the top and are now links down the left hand column.
  • You cannot set a default landing tab – so all that work (and money) you put into having a beautiful custom landing tab and testing your conversion has gone to waste.
  • The central focus is the Bing map plus links that were previously on your Info tab.
  • Even for Facebook users who have liked the page, it’s not easy or obvious where to write on the wall. The page lands on “Profile” by default and users have to click “Wall” to be able to make a post.

For the past several weeks, The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s Facebook Page is the new merged style – and somehow her 4M+ fans are managing just fine to engage on the Page:

The Ellen Show - Facebook Fan Page

Does the option to unmerge make sense?

For close to 700 – and growing – small business Facebook users, they are not happy at all with the new layout. The “Unmerge Places & My Business Page” fan page sprung up and users are posting their concerns about the merged Pages on the wall, along with adding to this lengthy discussion thread on Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page. Many users are choosing to abandon their merged Page and start from scratch. [UPDATE: 12.23.10 – Facebook have now added the option to UNMERGE your Place Page and Fan Page. Scroll to the lower left and you’ll see the new link to “Unmerge all Merged Places.”]

Facebook: Unmerge Place Page and Business Page

I asked my Twitter followers for their input, and the response was mixed – some don’t mind the merged Page, others are in the same frustrated camp as the members of the Unmerge fan page. @ChadRichards made a great point about fans being happy once they had access to Deals:

Merged Facebook Place Page and Business Page - Deals

Facebook’s Guide to Facebook Places

Take a look through Facebook’s guide to Places – page five clearly states that the user is at choice as to whether they merge or not. There is a notification that comes up with a preview of what your new merged place will look like.

Advantages to merging?

For some businesses with a physical location – especially those taking advantage of the new Deals – a merged Page may prove to be more advantageous. Iron Horse Vineyards had their Place Page and Business Page automatically merged by Facebook, with no notice or option to do so.  Iron Horse now offer Deals and are managing to train their fans to navigate and engage on the new merged Page.

The benefits of a merged Page include:

  • You have one central location to manage your Facebook fans and activity.
  • You can promote Deals to entice more fans to come to your premises.
  • You can appeal to those early adopters who are all into location based services and love to check-in (or you can educate them how to do so!).

I’d like to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the merging of Place Pages and Business Pages. Have you merged? If so, what feedback are you getting from your fans? Would you like Facebook to add the ability to unmerge?

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. Sultana on August 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Facebook automatically merged my fanpage with my place page as well without notice.  For some reason, it has also created a seperate community page for my business, over which I am not able to exercise any control (I am not given to option to claim it).  The annoying thing is that whenever my business is tagged in a post that the post ends up on the community page instead of my fan page.  I wish I could just delete the community page, but alas.

  2. Alex Pearlstein on July 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Note:The merge button was removed in June.  No one can see it.  I assume this is because they are writing new code and the logic that it used is now incorrect.

  3. Alex Pearlstein on July 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Your right we don’t want to merge to a new layout, what we want is JUST the ability for our customers to be able to say they are here.  The images are loading extremely slowly for what they are supposed to look like, but I can tell you this for a fact:  If there are two  pages that I can post information/updates/comments on my customers/fans are more likely to subscribe to ONLY one or they will see duplicate information.  That segments the consumers of my information for no good reason.  If a goal is go get more people to visit/attend my place you want everyone to know the news.  It is almost like you are trying to treat this like a membership privilege but, anyone can like a place so you are not communicating with only those who have attended.  Only chain stores or businesses with multiple locations should/would want an ability to have multiple places.  If I own a business that conducts all of it’s business in the same location, I should not have to replicate my data in 3 locations. (my website, My FB page, My FB Place Page) 

  4. Jeana on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t see the merge button either, but wish that I did.

  5. Online Media Direct on May 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    the problem we have at the moment is the merge button on our places page is not visible ? Has anyone else experienced this problem ..

    • Jessica on June 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      I can’t find the merge button either. I am told first you claim your place page and then the option will appear, but I have no option to claim my page either…

  6. fernades jacob on May 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Nice article about Facebook pages! Nowadays Facebook business made big impact in online marketing. Nice one. 

  7. Kelly on March 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Please help… I aCCIDENTALLY merged my personal page to a business page and lost everything! I need to unmerge and get back to my profile page!

  8. Brosix on January 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Overall, I think that merging is a good idea for businesses who have a physical location.

  9. Anonymous on January 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Facebook was not built for business and only marginally supports businesses, even thou businesses fully support FB I cannot wait for FB to go by the way of myspace (yes that day will come). IMO Business need to work on branding themselves apart from FB. theny need to lead and not follow

  10. Sara Davidson on December 20, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Mari – I tried to merge my company and places Facebook pages, but I never received a notification of approval from Facebook. Any idea?

    • Mari Smith on December 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Sara – gosh, that’s odd. So your pages are still unmerged? Did you for sure claim the Place Page? (So now it no longer says “Is this your business?” or if it does, it says you’ve claimed it?)

      • Wayne on July 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

        Hi there Mari, We have the same issue as Sara Davidson, we do not have a merge button on our place or page, yet we have claimed the place? We are in Australia, does this have anything to do with the roll out in countries?
        We would really like to merge as we now have fans on both…
        Thank you so much,

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