This article is focused at system-wide social media managers, those managing multiple location pages (more than 10) under a brand. My example is of the Indy Parks and Recreation system which features a Facebook Brand Page and 200+ location pages. The goal of this article is to teach the basics of getting “Locations” added to a brand site and importing sites into the system. Benefits include aggregation of check-ins, improved administrator management inside of Facebook, the ability to export aggravated metrics about your pages to Excel, and “Near Me” mapping on the brand and location pages.
During my time with Indy Parks and Recreation, I have had the opportunity to manage over 100 individual Facebook Location Pages. While our local managers handle content creation for their individual location, managing this large of a network is a headache that many people in my position feel. For a number of years, large companies like Starbucks and Toys R Us have managed their brand through Facebook Location Pages; a feature that you can use if you know how to ask.
Step 1 – Claim Your Locations
You may have Facebook Sites where people are asking questions, complaining, thanking, and posting to and you may not be aware of it. Facebook creates location pages on it’s own and people interact with those pages. It is up to the brand manager to claim them and monitor them. It is fairly straight forward – you need to prove you are a representative of the location. Facebook has a great help topic here. In our specific reference to Indy Parks, I did have to prepare a memo on City Letterhead and signed by our department director with a list of properties that do not have utility bills or fall inside other standard proof of ownership / representation. As with the entire topic, you may have to be persistent with the Facebook team to get approved.
Step 2 – Prepare Your Locations
Facebook requires that all brand locations share a name with the brand page. In my example, our brand page is “Indy Parks and Recreation” but all of our locations were named with the park name (i.e. Washington Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.) You will notice in the example that there is no cover photo or avatar – if this is blank when you port the location into the brand page, Facebook will copy your brand page avatar and cover photo over (this happens only at creation, it will not cascade changes afterwards.)
- Open each of your location pages and click “About” under the banner picture.
- On the left-hand navigation click on “Page Info”
- Change your page name to the exact name of your brand page followed by a location identifier. (i.e. Starbucks W. 16th St., Indianapolis or Indy Parks and Recreation Washington Park.)
- Save Changes and repeat for each location.
Step 3 – Request the Facebook Location Tab
Facebook is notoriously difficult to get a hold of but I found they respond well using their advertisers contact portal. When you open the link, use the following help criteria:
- What is your question about? “Pages features or requests”
- Select one of these options: “Other”
- Fill out your personal information.
- Select your top brand (parent) page from the drop down.
- In the text box state: I am asking for the Facebook Locations Tab to be turned on for our brand page. I administer (enter qty) locations that are children of this brand and would like to take advantage of this feature. I have the spreadsheets and instructions and am able to begin uploading this information on my own as soon as it is set up. Thank You.
Step 4 – Wait for a Response
As I mentioned before, it takes a bit of time to convince Facebook that you know what you are doing. There may be some back and forth, but eventually if you are persistent, you will get your page!
In my experience, the spreadsheet is a bit of a waste of time. It was easier to do them one at a time through the online interface.
Step 5 – Set up the Locations
This is the fun part – seeing your locations map grow.
- From your brand page (parent,) click settings in the upper left corner.
- On the left hand navigation, you will see “Locations,” click that.
- Click “+ Add a Location” and click on the drop down for “Select a Page.”
- Pick the page you would like to add
- Enter a Store Number (if you don’t have formal store numbers, you can use the key number from your Customer Relationship Management software or just make one up. It must be numeric and cannot repeat.)
- The page name must be exactly the same as your brand page.
- Select the correct subcategories – up to 3
- Before the street address, I put an identifier (in this case, the park name.)
- Inspect the remaining information and add a new URL – click Save.
- It will then show in your Location Pages list along with Total Reach, Likes, and Check-Ins. This can be downloaded for Excel by clicking “Download All” in the upper right corner.
Step 6 – Administration
My key reason for wanting to structure Indy Parks in this manner was for enhanced administrative rights. Because I was the sole administrator for more than 100 sites, I couldn’t answer one of the philosophical questions of work life. “What happens if I get hit by a bus…”
People who have access to the brand (parent) page, automatically have the same access to all location (child) pages. This means you will only have to give senior managers permission once. This also makes setting up a “back-up” admin quite easy, you add and change permissions exactly the same way you did prior to the addition of the locations tab. On your location pages you will find the following notification under settings>page roles:
After which time you can remove yourself as the admin for the location page – your rights are set from the brand page.
I hope you have found this helpful! If you have questions please comment below. I am able to help with the general idea, but can make no promises on getting Facebook to help set you up.