Changing the Name of Your Facebook Page (Migrating)
With Facebook having been around for a while now, it is inevitable that brands who adapted to using it early on may see changes to their name. Then again, perhaps someone didn't quite set up their Facebook presence as they would have done if they were to go through the process now, having learned more about the social media mega site and how to best utilize it for their business.
These situations happen on a daily basis and unfortunately there is no easy process to change the name of your Facebook Page. This is due somewhat obvious reasons like untrustworthy people starting a Page called 'Fluffy Bunnies' then to only change it to 'Sexy Fluff Bunnies' down the line, a name which could land some people in hot water for being associated with (I'll let your imaginations ponder on the content of the renamed Page).
So how do you 'change' the name of the Facebook Page, for which you have built a great following? It takes a bit of work, but it is possible and can be better long term if done right. Read on as we go over the process, using a scenario that I will create from a rather amusing new Page that showed up on Facebook about a week ago: 'Help Name My Baby Megatron'.
So, we have a Page for someone that wants to name his future son Megatron. According to the proud father to be, his wife has agreed to name the baby this if he can get 1 million fans of a Facebook Page built for the purpose. Either she is really quite confident it won't happen or just thought that it would be an amusing process to go through. So what happens when the child is born and the Page received 1 million fans, meaning the child's name is automatically Megatron? I would imagine that the natural progression would be to migrate the fans to a Page now named something like 'Megatron—The Child Named After 1 Million Likes'? Maybe not, but that is the scenario we are going to work with.
So the child is born, the Page has over 1million fans, and the kid receives the name. The father wants to change the name of the Page to 'Megatron—The Child Named After 1 Million Likes' now that the child is born and has the name. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, you cannot rename Facebook Pages - not after you have obtained 100 fans, at least. At this point you can adjust it. The custom url, however, which can only be set once you reach 25 fans, can never be changed! So even if the Page admin could change the name, the url would still read 'HelpNameMyBabyMegatron'—not ideal when the baby is already named.
So the thing that needs to happen in order to get the naming structure that you want is to create a new Page on Facebook and migrate as many of the fans over to this Page as possible. The downside is that, statistically, you will only obtain roughly 60% of the fans on your Previous Page. The plus side of this, especially with the process we will go through, is that they will be the engaged fans and great brand advocates, essentially weeding out those that are not very involved with the Page and in turn making the Page stronger!
First things first, do not delete the current Page! We will need to utilize this in order to help with the migration.
- Open Facebook and create the new Page, giving it the name that you wish (in the case of the example: 'Megatron—The Child Named After 1 Million Likes'). Set the Page up with all of your branding information, including a custom landing tab if you are going to do this, and any other customization that you wish to run on the Page.
- Once all of this is done head over to the old page and Post on the Wall that you have rebranded, simply changed the name, whatever your reasons, let your fans know, and ask that they move over to the new Pages location (be sure to provide them with the link as well). If you have a custom landing tab setup then be sure that you make the fans want to 'Like' you again. Provide some contest details etc that they cannot refuse but want to be involved with.
- You should post the above messages on the Wall of your old Page at least every 3 days for the first couple of weeks to a month, in order to make sure that you continue to show up in peoples streams. If you are not posting consistently then no one will see your message in their News Feeds. This will also make sure that those that missed the earlier posts about the move will see the message.
- In addition to posting on the old Pages Wall you can also send an 'Update to all fans'. This will only be visible by the fans of the current Page and no one else. It will not be visible on the Wall, therefore new arrivals to the Page will not know about the move and hence the need to use both of these methods. Also this method should only be used once a week for a month or so max, as it will really begin to wear thin on the current fans of your Page and could in tern backfire. Use this method with care.
- Additionally to the above mentioned steps, you can run a Facebook Fan ad campaign, requesting people become fans of the Page. Using Facebook's great targeting abilities you can really hone in on who you want to be a fan of your Page. Personally, I don't recommend this step until the other two are drawing to a close (after about a month to 6 weeks of updates), and you feel that you have gotten close to the amount of quality fans that you are going to get.
Obviously during all of these updates to the old fans, you want to be updating the new Page with some great content and get involved in some great interactions with your fans. This will only help with the success of new fans, as they will see some great things happening on your Wall and will want to be a part of it all. After about 8 weeks (earlier if you feel confident you have as many as you will get), go ahead and delete the old Page from Facebook.
To Sum it Up
It may sound daunting, losing all the fans that you have worked to build up, but remember that it's not all about numbers as far as quantities go. You are much better off with a page of 50 very engaged and passionate fans than 100 fans that never post, comment or interact with your Page at all. Social media is essentially building brand advocates that will help push sales by becoming little sales people for you. Studies are showing that more and more, people look to influencers online in social media channels like Twitter, Facebook or Forums, for information on a product or service before going ahead and making a purchase.
As for little Megatron—go become a fan of the Page, if not for anything else than to see if the little guy gets a million fans and the wife holds true to her side of the bargain.
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