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.