Facebook announces five levels of page admins

Facebook Page admins now have 5 different roles of admin, each with different abilities to manage the page. This is huge for Facebook Page owners! In the past, when a page owner set someone as an admin for their page, that person had the exact same rights to the page as the owner. This meant any admin could delete any other admin, which many times resulted in Facebook Pages being hijacked or deleted by disgruntled employees.

That’s all changed. (Yay!!!)

With the new admin settings, only the manager can remove another admin. As the manager, a person can appoint someone else as an admin, allowing that person to only perform certain roles. Here are the five levels of Facebook Page admins, with their respective abilities:

Facebook admins permissions

Each admin still needs to have their own Facebook account in order to  be appointed as an admin.

How to change the roles for your page admins

  • Go to your Facebook Page
  • If you don’t already see the admin panel, click on Admin Panel in the upper right of your Page
  • Once the admin panel is open, click on Edit Page (at the top, under the blue bar)
  • Click on Admin Roles (on the left)
  • After you add a person as admin, you’ll see their role listed under their name. It’s set to manager by default. Click that and select the role from the drop down list.

Keep in mind that anyone set as manager will be able to add/remove any other admin on the page, even the owner.

For more information see Facebook Admin Roles.



Has your Facebook Page been hijacked by an admin?

What to do if your Facebook page is hijacked by a page adminBecause all admins of Facebook pages have the same rights, it’s possible for any admin to remove any other admin. What this means is that the owner of a Facebook business page can set someone up as an admin, then that person can easily turn around and remove the page owner. This can be a huge problem when the page represents a business.

Recently I’ve had a number of people asking me about this very problem. Some of them have (had) active business pages but because a disgruntled employee or former web developer was able to hijack the page, they’re in a real bind. The hijackers refuse to give the page back, and the business owners are afraid of what the person in control of the page will do to their business. Face it, some people will go to great lengths to ruin someone if they’re angry enough. And being able to mess with a company’s Facebook business page, especially if it’s an active one, is a pretty sure-fire way to do just that.

There may be a way to get your hijacked Facebook business page back though. The Facebook Copyright Policy allows a user to report infringement of intellectual property, including copyrights and trademarks. This would include using your business name, trademark, copyrighted content,  and/or custom URL on a business page.

How to Report an Infringing Facebook Username

To do this, fill out the infringing username form. If the Facebook username matches your email address my best guess is that your complaint will have a bit more legitimacy, as well as if you are able to provide a trademark registration number. There is also room to state why the page is infringing on your rights, so be sure to include that. As with most things, the more concrete information you can provide, the better off you will be.

How to Report an Infringing Trademark and/or Copyright

You can also report copyright or trademark infringement by completing the Facebook DMCA form. As with the infringing username, provide as much information as possible to prove your ownership of the material in question.

Keep in mind that Facebook has over 800 million users, so I wouldn’t expect an overnight response to your complaint. Since I haven’t had to go this route for myself, or any of my clients, I’m not sure how long it may take. With hosting companies it can take a few hours to a couple weeks. If any of you file a complaint with Facebook though, please let us know how it goes. My hope is that it’ll be a fairly quick turnaround.


Facebook introduces new Subscribe Button to follow public updates

Facebook is rolling out a new feature today, the Facebook Subscribe Button. It allows people to get public updates from others whether or not you are Facebook friends. It also allows people to decide what content they want to see from their Facebook friends. Here’s what it will allow you to do:

  •     Choose what you see from people in News Feed
  •     Hear from people, even if you’re not friends
  •     Let people hear from you, even if you’re not friends

How the Subscribe Button works with Facebook Friends
Right now, you don’t have much choice in what friend activity shows up in your feed. If you’re like me, you block all those annoying games, and get bored with some friends’ content, but other than blocking someone completely, there’s no way to filter it. With the new subscribe feature, you will be able to choose what you’d like to see. Here are the options you’ll have:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You should start seeing the Subscribe Button on personal profiles in the upper right corner of the page, as Facebook has started rolling this out today. However, it’s important to know that it will only show up on profiles for people who have opted in to the feature.

Facebook subscribe button

How the Subscribe Button works with Non-Friends
If you want to allow non-friends to see your public updates you must opt-into the subscribe button. Then, anyone who wants to subscribe to your public updates, can click the subscribe button on your personal profile. They will only see the updates you designate as public. They will not see information that you have previously set for friends only.

After you allow subscribers, you can decide who can comment on your public updates and whether or not you want to get notifications for new subscribers. To do this, click the Subscribers link that will be on the right side of your profile page. From there, you can also manage your subscriptions, by clicking the Subscriptions link.

Managing Facebook subscribers and subscriptions

How to Allow People to Subscribe
To allow people to subscribe to your public updates go to the Facebook Subscribe page and click Allow Subscribers. Facebook also has a short Facebook Subscription FAQ that you might want to read.

How to Post Public Updates
This isn’t a new feature but if you’re not sure how to post public updates, it’s easy. Just click the drop-down under your status box, and click on public. After you post your update, if you want to go back to posting for friends only (or another custom setting) be sure to click the appropriate option in the drop-down box again.

How to post a public update on FacebookIf you aren’t sure if an update you posted was public or not, just look for the icon off to the right of your post. If it’s the little globe, it’s public. The silhouette icon means it went out to friends only, and if it’s the gear icon, it went out to a custom group of people that you specified. For example, I made this update public, so it has the globe icon on the right.

Public update icon on Facebook

I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a Facebook page in my name, but just haven’t been sure I want to go that route. I have it made, and it’s sitting in “visible to admins only” mode for a while.  Now that Facebook has introduced the new Subscribe Button I think I’ll let that page sit there for a while longer. I already have a personal profile and a number of pages, so being able to use my personal profile for personal and business reasons may be a real time saver. If you want to subscribe to my public Facebook updates, go here.



Tough situations call for social media smarts

. . . or, how doing the right thing in a tough situation can actually help your business.

Pet food companies are notorious for trying to bury their pet food recalls. It shows a real lack of respect for their customers as well as a lack of understanding of how social media works. They have been known to do all of the following, which are all pretty darn shady:

  • Post recalls on their website, but in a place very few people (if any) will find them.
  • Post press releases or other announcements about recalls late on a Friday night, a holiday,  or on a weekend.
  • Don’t post them anywhere on their website. Instead, they let the FDA post them.
  • Don’t use their own social media accounts to let people know about the recalls.

Pet owners are getting wise to these slimy tactics though. Many of us keep our eyes out for recalls and are eager to get the word out whenever we see them. I, for one, scramble to post a pet food recall at PetsitUSA. Many times, recall notices pop up on blogs and social media accounts long before they appear on the company websites. And we quite often call out a pet food company when we think they are jerking customers (and their pets!) around. Some pet food companies are learning though.

Recently Purina had to recall some cat food (FYI, here it is:  Purina One Vibrant Maturity recall) because of possible contamination with salmonella. Rather than try to sweep the recall under the rug, they set up pay per click ad campaigns on Google, Bing, and Yahoo to announce it. It’s been almost three weeks since the recall was announced, and their ads are still showing up in searches. Here are some screenshots of the ads:

Purina uses pay per click ads to announce Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity cat food recall

Why publicize their own recall?

It’s simple, really.

The recall happened. It’s a fact. People ARE going to talk about it, so it’s best if people can hear about it from the source, Purina. The truth is, Purina will likely lose customers due to the recall. But, they’re going to lose a lot less than they would have if they tried to hide the recall. And my guess is that they will even gain customers because of the way they handled it.

Rather than letting social media work against them, Purina has figured out how to make it work for them, the pets who eat their food, and their customers. And not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s damn good PR as well! This isn’t just about pet food recalls though, it’s about how companies can use social media to their benefit, even in a tough situation. Many companies are catching on, and Purina’s just one example.


Your website is your online world headquarters

Even though social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and others are essential tools to marketing your business, your website is still important! I see a number of people getting into social media, which is way important, but they’re not setting up their own website, which I think is just as essential. Here’s how I like to explain it to my clients . . .

Your world headquarters

Think of your website as your world headquarters. This is where you can show everyone what you have to offer, talk about the company background, when it was founded, your company philosophy, offer testimonials, have a blog where you can interact with visitors, give people a way to contact you, etc. Just like the world headquarters for any brick & mortar company, your online world headquarters is the ultimate destination for your business.

Your branch offices

While your website is your online world headquarters, your social media accounts are like branch offices for your business or like a kiosk in a mall. They give people an idea of things like:

  • The ability to purchase products or services
  • Your location (your website and brick and mortar location)
  • Testimonials from clients/customers
  • Contact information
  • A little bit about the people behind the business
  • How to visit the main office

The McDonald’s effect

When you have branch offices, you’ll have a presence in areas people frequent, which means more visibility. Think of McDonald’s. Whether you like them or not, they’re everywhere, and because they’re everywhere, most of us think McDonald’s when we think of fast food. The same strategy will hold true online. If people see you wherever they go, they’re more likely to think of you when they need a product or service your company offers.

And, where are people online today? Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube, and many other social sites. And, remember, it’s not just people who visit these sites who are likely to see you. Since search engines are incorporating more and more social sites in their results, if you’re active on them, you’re upping your chances of appearing on Google too.

You’re your own landlord

Let’s go back to the kiosk idea for a moment. Companies that operate out of kiosks have to conform to certain standards. Their carts have to be of a certain type, they have to present their products in a specific way, have special signage, etc. In other words, they must adhere to set ways of doing things. It gives them great exposure, but it may limit their creativity a bit. Social sites are the same. While they provide excellent ways to get noticed by more people, you might want to do something that’s simply not available on one of these accounts. Because you have a website though, you generally have much more freedom to do what you want.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that if you have your own website, you won’t run the risk of becoming a victim if one of the social sites you’re using changes drastically or even goes away. GeoCities is a good example of this. GeoCities provided people with a way to set up free websites and many used them for their small businesses. Then, in 2009, the service was discontinued and the websites were gone. People who didn’t move their files over to a different hosting account were lost. And even then, because they’d built up their SEO on URLs based on their GeoCities site, when they changed to a new host, they had to start over. Social sites are similar in that you’re at their mercy if they make major changes or discontinue their services.


Having a website helps solidify your online presence and lends a bit more credibility to your company than if you just had social media accounts. However, your website and your social media accounts should work together so that when people visit one, they can easily visit the others if they like. So, even though your Facebook page, Twitter, etc. may be the main way you interact with people, it’s in your best interest to have a solid website as your online world headquarters.


How to link to your Facebook page on your personal profile

I put together this short tutorial on how to add a link to your Facebook business page to your personal profile. Your business name may show up just below your name on your profile, but rather than linking to your business page, it might link to a community profile. This short tutorial shows how to link it to your actual business page. I’ll also show you how to force it to show (and link to) the business of your choice if you have more than one business listed on your personal profile.


How to Convert a Facebook Profile to a Business Page

Yes, you read right! Facebook has finally set up a way for people to convert their personal profiles to business pages.

First, why convert a profile to a page?

Because it’s against the Facebook terms. If you have your business on a personal profile, you run the risk of having it deleted. (and yes, I do know of people who have had this happen) Profiles are for people and pages are for businesses. For more info, see my earlier blog post, Facebook Fan Pages vs. Personal Profile.

Things you need to know before converting your personal profile to a page:

  • All your confirmed friends will be converted to people who like your new Page.
  • Your profile pictures will be migrated to your new Page.
  • Photo albums, profile information, etc. will not be transferred. Be sure to save any important content before beginning your migration. (see step one, below)
  • Once you convert your personal profile to a business page, that profile will no longer exist.
  • You will not be able to convert your page back to a personal profile.
  • You will continue to login with the email/password that you used before you converted the page.

Now, here’s how to convert your Facebook profile to a business page:

Step one
Backup your Facebook profile. Login to Facebook and click the down arrow next to Account in the upper right corner of your screen, then select Account Settings. Toward the bottom of that page, you’ll see Download Your Information. Click the learn more link to the right and follow the instructions.

Step two
Go to this page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate and select the type of page you want to create. If you’ve never set up a Facebook page, you’ll see that you have a number of categories to select from. Pick the one that’s right for you, and follow the instructions.

how to convert a facebook profile to a page


Now, if you want to, you can set up a personal profile in your name, and make yourself an admin of the new page. You can also assign admin rights  to someone else if you’d like.

I could be wrong, but my guess is, that since Facebook is making this option available they may be gearing up to crack down a bit more on businesses that are set up on personal profiles. So, I think it would be wise for anyone with a business presence on Facebook to be sure it’s set up properly – on a page.


Apparently, although Facebook has made converting a profile to a page, all of the bugs haven’t been worked out yet. Earlier this evening, one of the Mashable bloggers wrote about some of the problems she had when she converted her personal profile to a business page. See her post here: Facebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale.

UPDATE #2 (April 2, 2011)

Facebook has disabled this feature. Hopefully they’ll fix it and make it available again.




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