8 Reasons YOU Should Avoid Claiming a Place on Facebook

The post below is comprised largely of words originally written by Extreme John over at extremejohn.com. An entrepreneur and small business owner, John and his wife own Extreme Tan and Smoothies and the Tampa Bay area.

It has come to my attention that nearly all of our pages are being asked by Facebook to Claim a Place. A number of you may have seen that Facebook is Encouraging Page Owners to Claim a Place, a push to increase Facebook’s share in the geo-location check-in based game. Some of you have even emailed me asking what to do about this request.

Facebook’s latest Places push and the fact that Facebook is now encouraging Page owners to claim a Place shows their complete incompetence when it comes to understanding business.

Facebook Pages and Places Merge is a Fail

Visit Miller-Motte Technical College – Charleston, SC with Claimed Places

1. No Support for Multiple Locations

Each brand of Delta schools has multiple locations. In the case of the Miller-Motte family they have locations in several cities in the southeast region. Over the last nine months or so we (the Charleston team as well as all the MMC and MMTC families) have worked to grow our campus fan page bases into decent and sizable ones. In any case now the entire existing fan base and any new fans moving forward will believe that we only have one location, this is because each Facebook Page can only claim one Place. So if a McCann campus claims a page no other McCann campus can claim that same information on their page.

Hey Facebook, guess what? Some businesses have more than one location.

2. Failure to Complete Merge

Thanks to the “merge” with Places feature that comes in the process of claiming your Place being so poorly written, the Charleston page is jacked up no longer allowing custom FMBL tabs (yep, they have stopped working INCLUDING the ‘apply now’ feature), coupons, special offers and/or contests to work.

Just for the record Facebook, customers hate change. Stop making your business owners change designs and layouts that customers and page admins become comfortable with, your not doing anyone any favors.

3. Poor Warning

The warning to business owners about the effect and the fact that it is missing some key abilities should have been pointed out by Facebook CLEARLY before claiming a Place is complete. A quick warning about not being able to undo the changes isn’t enough when it comes to the fact that you can only merge one Place with one Page. READ: You CANNOT undo this merge.

4. No Return

What we have now are brands with multiple locations that can only be represented by one single location, thanks to FB failing to think things through. There is currently no way for us to claim our other locations. This would be the same for any small business owner with multiple locations that claimed a Place.

Click here to see an MMTC campus fan page without claiming a Facebook Place page.

5. No Tabs

As a social media manager, I’ve been around long enough to know that when companies like Apple decide to remove a button or a function from something, regardless of the kicking and screaming anyone does, it pretty much never changes. When it comes to Tabs on Facebook Pages it’s been obvious for a while that Facebook hates them. They first changed the sizing. Then they changed the privacy functions. Now they are not allowing them at all. I love Facebook but I hate the way they constantly disregard our user habits and likes!

Tabs are gone in the new Page view and replaced with a weak left side nav. #FacebookFAIL

6. Left Column Fail

I fondly remember the early days of fan pages and group pages when I could embed a video or a poll or a number of things neatly into the left column. This is of course when events, photos, friends, etc. were buried on the left hand side of a profile page or a fan page. Someone at Facebook must have decided that thing like that just aren’t needed, so the Facebook gods taketh away. I can understand that FB wants to avoid the cluttery jacked pages of the now dead MySpace, but business Facebook Pages should have a little more customization ability.

At least a little more then the (may I say this?) graphically boring and almost monochromatic Facebook design that we have all come to love and hate day in and day out.

7. No Direction

Since everything in internet world has to be such a giant secret there’s no real answer to the direction that Facebook will take this, or when they might address the multitude of business owner complaints.

8. No Support

Other than the little bit of information I am posting here, don’t bother looking for someone to call or write in regards to your issues because there isn’t anyone listening. I can assure you that Zuckie isn’t listening.

So what do you think? Is it a poor, ill-researched, short-sighted thing, this, this, Merge Place junk? Do you see a benefit? What are the negative effects? Speak up. Let’s hear some arguments for and against this move. (However, this does not mean that our policy allows any admin to merge their page without my prior permission.) This move has upset and perhaps alienated small business owners; especially those with multiple locations.


About andrewodom

Social Media Manager at Delta Career Education Corp.
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11 Responses to 8 Reasons YOU Should Avoid Claiming a Place on Facebook

  1. Alexa says:

    Not cool. We shouldn’t be forced to do anything that would hinder what each campus has strived so hard to do…create a campus friendly rapport with the community, our students, etc. If you say NO, I am sure not going to argue!

    • andrewodom says:

      And I do emphatically say NO. hahahahah. I am so angry with FB over this. You are so right. We shouldn’t be bullied or forced into negating what we (each campus) has worked so hard for.

      Also, thank you for adding the beautiful profile pic! Great work.

  2. Dawn Zimmerman says:

    OMG Drew – what shall we do? I admit I am not the guru of fan pages – however there is a purpose to what we do – Change futures….Change lives.

    • andrewodom says:

      @Dawn – If you are presented with the question on y’alls Fan Page just click on “No thank you” or “Ignore” or whatever verbiage they have today.

      @Molly – FB will go the way of the DoDo bird, yes. Until then, you are right. We do what we can. I have faith that FB will develop a back door soon and when they do…we RUN in!

      @Gena – It amazes me too. But they know they have a product that on one else has. They have an audience of nearly 600 million so they feel that they are in control of the numbers. They can afford to lose 100,000 or so. I am pretty sure that Coke and Target and such have a direct “in” with FB that advises them of such changes. Those accounts would be too large to risk ruining.

  3. Molly Margosian says:

    It stinks! Luckily for us as consumers, eventually Facebook will go the way of MySpace, and those before it. Hopefully the “next great thing” won’t come with conditions, exclusions, and fine print. We will deal with what we’ve got, and wait for change. What else can we do at this point?

  4. Gena Ryan says:

    It amazes me that Facebook continually changes things without regard for the customer. I wonder what the big companies, like Coca Cola and Target, etc think of all this. I would imagine one of them could make the same mistake we did. They most definitely have multiple locations. I don’t see this as a benefit and hope FB changes their tune quickly.

  5. I don’t like this one bit! Different campuses have different things to post. It would confuse students if we were all on one page discussing activities that didn’t apply to their campus. If we didn’t announce the activities, it would defeat part of the reason the students like us on FB.

  6. Tyler says:

    Let’s hold on for 1 second before we flame away. Yes, FB may have jumped the gun in releasing their claim a place feature, but this has been the case for many companies (see windows vista or iPhone 4) and these companies in turn made the necessary changes to appease their customers. I think that this could be a new opportunity for us. From what I have seen, people love the ability to tag where they are at, so why not bring our schools into this mix? And I’m willing to be that we are not the only ones unhappy with the lack of ability to claim multiple places. So, if that changes then we will open the door to many, many more networking opportunities between campuses and their students. As I see it now, each of our pages is it’s own independent entity. To our students they may think that we are the only school that exists. They may not be aware of the HUGE network that is Delta. Sorry for playing devil’s advocate, and I know this will definitely cause more controversy, but it’s what I do.

    • andrewodom says:

      We are holding…holding…….nope. DON’T AGREE. hahahaha. You are right. Windows has jumped the gun since Win2000. Apple is notorious for launching prematurely. As is Facebook. The R&D needed for such a merge simply was not there. The issue here is not the emergence of the merge, it is the fact that they did not build an “Undo” or a back door of any sort. They don’t inform you of what could happen if you merge and what you stand to lose.

      Foursquare (the leading places-type app) boasts nearly 3,000,000 users after having come out of beta nearly 3 years ago. FB places has seen a 2.3% adoption rate since launching. That is not very high at all. While I agree with you that some people like to place themselves I will point to the MMTC – Charleston page which has been merged now for approaching 3 weeks and has only seen 4 places. 4!!!! Is that a worthwhile investment to lose customizable tabs, contest abilities, etc. I mean, not to mention the change in visual design which now features a Bing-drive map whether you want it to or not.

      Our students don’t know about Delta. I don’t really want them to. But McCann has several campuses and just because a student can’t attend the Pottsville location doesn’t mean we should lose them if they could commute to the Hazleton campus.

  7. Jennie says:

    I actually don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said but I will say this. If you want to be really good at something, you decide what that one thing is going to be and you become an expert. If Facebook (or any organization) tries to branch out to far, they loose out on a niche that only they can fill. People go to Facebook because they don’t like Twitter or Flickr or YouTube or Four Square, etc. If FB tries to blend everything together people will find somewhere else that will fill their social media need. They won’t be there forever.

  8. Pingback: 2010 in review | Social Media Dispatch

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