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Facebook Fan Page & Vanity URL For Your Interior Design Business

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUNhvy-gfo0&w=200&rel=0]

This article looks at the very narrow area concerning how to make your Facebook URL for your interior design business appear professional. Specifically how to create a proper ‘vanity URL’ for your business fan page.If you have already done that then here are some more useful additions to the business side of your Facebook page.

Many Interior Designers who sell to the general public see Facebook as just one way of lead generation – to some it is more important than others.

Ok here goes. This is a real life example where KOTHEA’s MD set up her personal username on Facebook incorrectly, there was already a Fan Page for KOTHEA. This article takes you through the steps we had to take to get the ‘vanity’ url correct both for the individual and for the company. Our MD inadvertently set her personal username (vanity URL) as ‘KOTHEA‘. So if anyone typed www.facebook.com/kothea it took them to her personal page rather than to the ‘proper’ company page. This situation got progressively messy as she started to use Facebook more for personal matters with business messages appearing in the same place as her personal ones. The result was that many of her friends kept seeing fabric related articles when they were not interior designers. Hopefully you get the picture!

So we start with the erroneous situation:

www.facebook.com/kothea as her personal name

and the rather unwieldly

http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/KOTHEA/129265851209

as the original name for the company as it was assigned  by Facebook. Note for this all to work you must already have created a business page or FAN PAGE for your business.

What we want to do is threefold:

Before we get started in earnest there are five critically important points: firstly, the person making these changes must be an administer of the business page and logged in to that page via THEIR PERSONAL ACCOUNT;  secondly, you can only make changes to names once so be very, very careful; thirdly you must have at least 25 fans of your business page; fourthly, your business page must have been created as a Facebook PAGE not a group or anything else, it must be a page!; and finally Facebook sometimes requires that your personal account has been verified by mobile phone before any of these changes are allowed to be made.

If you are creating a page for the first time BE VERY CAREFUL some Facebook Fan Page setting CANNOT BE CHANGED (Jan 2010).

Here are the steps to go through:

  1. Check to make sure what settings have already been made

Type in this exactly: www.facebook.com/username ie do not put in your username put in the word ‘username’. You will get a message like the one below.

This confirms that KOTHEA is my MD’s username.

2. From the facebook menu go to SETTINGS and then to “ACCOUNT SETTINGS”. You will see something like the following where we now want to change the Username NOT the name.

3. Click on the word “change” the one next to USERNAME. ie the one above the word KOTHEA in my example. You are then prompted for a new username. It must be unique and there are various limitations to what you can have (sorry I don’t know all the restrictions but Facebook seems to disallow certain names even though they might be unique – for example i think only one ‘full stop’ is allowed). Be very sure what new username you want. Once you have checked its availability and confirmed your selection you will have something like the following, which shows your new username and you will have also freed up the old username:

4. Now go again to step 1 and type this exactly as I show here ie using EXACTLY what I have written: www.facebook.com/username

Where it says Page name choose your business page (the one you have already set up before reading this article!). Type in your desired Fan Page name in the box to the right of that and check the availability. If it is available (and it should be as you just released it) you can select and choose it and a message will appears as follows:

Sorted.

Good Luck.

Advanced FB suggestions <here>.

Problems?:

FB is not great to administer. I don’t work for them.

Read the article carefully. You MUST meet ALL the criteria to perform this. eg Are you really an admin user? YOU MUST HAVE A PERSONAL ACCOUNT AND THAT PERSONAL ACCOUNT MUST BE AN ADMIN USER OF THE PAGE.

Try making someone else an Admin user of your page: Goto fan page: choose “edit page” (top lhs underneath logo); on middle rhs is Admins Add section.

If your desired business name is not available then  you have a problem. It is my understanding that Facebook will not allow people to use your business name if they have no connection with that business. So there is probably a way of getting that name back but I do not know how to do that. If there is a business with the same name in another country then I imagine you will never be able to get the control of the name 🙁

PS:

1. You need to have 5 characters in your chosen vanity url

2. You can choose for example mysite.com as the name of your vanity url but facebook translates it to be mysitecom, so it kind of ignores the full stop/period. And sometimes it doesn’t. Hmmm.

3. Also check your privacy settings if some people cannot see the vanity after you appear to have successfully created it.

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