Facebook Fan Page & ‘Check In’ confusion reigns supreme
The bigger Facebook gets the more confusing it’s becoming for people who use it.
There are two main areas which need to be urgently addressed by Facebook; in particular (Facebook Check In’s) which in many cases is getting out of control, and Fan Page confusion regarding fake Facebook Pages.
Let’s first look at the disaster unfolding with Facebook Fan Pages.
The problem lies in just about anyone being able to create a Fan Page about almost anything, any business or anyone (like celebrities etc).
Even though it’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions to set up a Fan Page if you’re not an authorised representative of the subject of the Page, people do anyway. Here’s one example when you do a search for Brad Pitt:
It’s almost impossible to figure out which one is the real one (except for the dog one!). If you’re a brand, it becomes a nightmare as employees will often set up their own page, numerous Fans create their own ones too and Facebook users have no idea which one to “like”. Without giving away any names, some of the bigger brands on our books are starting to fret.
It also creates a problem around Fan dilution. Fans who want to ‘like’ a genuine Fan Page, are lured to fakes instead. When they realise they’ve been had, they stop trusting Facebook.
The implications are also pretty serious if you’ve invested in ecommerce or promotions etc on your official Fan Page.
Interestingly, there are new Facebook Fan Pages springing up trying to rally against Fake Pages to try and get something done about the problem.
There are a couple of solutions which spring to mind:
- Dob in the Fakes. Each Fan Page has a small ‘Report Page’ link down the left hand side of the page. When you click it a pop-up appears and you can anonymously report it to Facebook for potential removal (but don’t hold your breath!):
- The second solution is something you can do in 30 seconds. If you’re the administrator of your Facebook Fan Page, rename it to “Official” Brand Page – that way it’s pretty clear to people who’s who when they come looking for you.
Things get more confusing when we look at what’s going on with the Facebook Check In phenomenon.
As I explained in a post a few months back, you can create your own Check In location for your business if Facebook doesn’t have it listed already.
But you can also create a new Check In location even if it’s NOT your business.
To see what the implications are, take a look at the mess when you do a search on Facebook for ‘Chadstone Shopping Centre’ down here in Melbourne:
There are fake Fan Pages, weird Fan Pages (I love walking at Chadstone Shopping Centre – seriously?) and multiple Check In locations. And the screen grab above is just a small section of a much bigger page!
I’m seeing more and more problems when I’m mobile; often when I try and Check In somewhere; often there are multiple options for the same location.
OK, enough grizzle. What can you do to try and wrestle this problem back under control?
First of all, search for the Check In Page on Facebook using a desktop or laptop computer. You won’t be able to apply this fix using your Facebook App.
Once you found it, open it and edit (and again, there’s no security; anyone can edit or delete anyone’s Facebook Check In Location Page. Sheer craziness Facebook!).
Use the word ‘official’ in the description and perhaps even before your Business Name as this will make your official location receive more Check In’s. You can also market here; create an offer in your description if you like which will display when someone sees your check in location on their mobile phone…
When it comes to creating and/or claiming a Google Places listing, which in many ways is a similar concept, then I think Google’s got it about right. At least there’s some kind of verification process via SMS, Phone Call or Letter, so that when someone claims a ‘Place’, they’re usually authorised to do so.
With Facebook on the other hand, right now it’s the wild west.
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