One thing that the Pipeline teams hears all the time from local businesses is

“We’ve decided that we aren’t going to be on Facebook anymore. It’s too much to keep up with. We’re just going to delete it.”

This could be an option for business owners who don’t have customers coming through their business on a daily basis, but definitely not for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. And yes, there are other forms of promotion that will work for you: word of mouth, mail-outs, email marketing . . . The issue is—if customers are coming to your place of work on a regular basis, they can create a business page for you simply by checking into your business on Facebook. Yup, it’s true! Even if you have never created a Facebook business page, it likely exists right now and it isn’t being managed by you.

This is how it works—If your business page is not yet created, whoever checks in is prompted to create one. Multiple places can be created for your page as well. The actual business owner has the ability to claim the listing, merge accounts, and “verify” your main page. We will get to the how in a bit.

This is what a user sees after selecting “check in” in the status box and typing in “jimmy johns.” If the user clicks the “Add ‘jimmy johns’ in Stockbridge” button, this would create a Facebook business page for the business, whether they wanted it or not.

What happens when customers create a page for your business?

  1. Misinformation– When you are not the owner of your business page, you lose all control of whether the information on that page is accurate. This could mean anything from wrong contact information in the About section to dealing with a person you don’t even know answering questions about your business.
  2. You cannot respond to reviews– Facebook users can leave reviews on pages. If someone leaves a review for your business on a page you don’t manage, you cannot respond to it. The reviews section is a big deal for your business. Many users check Facebook reviews before they choose to do business with them. You want to be able to respond to those reviews—negative or positive.
  3. You cannot respond to check-ins– Customers often check-in when visiting or interacting with a business. They like to tell their friends what they’re up to, share their thoughts on a product, or post pictures of their experience. Being able to monitor these interactions allows you to answer any questions or concerns and gives you a front row seat to how customers feel about your business. If you don’t claim your business page, you miss out on all of that.
  4. Duplicate pages– It is possible for there to be several versions of your business page since users have the ability to create listings. If someone does create a business page for you, Facebook gives you the opportunity to absorb or report those pages if you have the authentic and verified page. Otherwise, it could be difficult for users to find and interact with your business page without running into other pages that may look similar to yours.

So, how can you protect your business online presence?

Verify your page

Read one of our past articles How to Verify Your Facebook Business page (And Why You Should) and take ownership of your Facebook presence. Verifying your page allows new and current customers to know that your Facebook Page is the official page.

Take care of your page

Even if you aren’t into Facebook, your customers are using it. Make sure that your business looks good. This means having a nice profile & cover photo, ensuring that all of the information is correct, and that your fan base is being engaged & responded to.

Or get someone else to take care of your page

Outsourcing is a smart option for business owners who do not have the time, ability, or desire to manage their social media presence. Hiring a team of people who manage social media for a living can give you peace of mind and increase your bottom line. (Psst! This is what we do.)

We know that brick-and-mortar business owners are sometimes hesitant to join Facebook, but the benefits make it worth it. Facebook allows you to claim your business listing, share what’s happening at your business, communicate with your customers, and engage with your fan base. And it does not have to be dry or impersonal! There are so many ways to show your personal quirks and what makes your business stand out—like highlighting your staff for example.

If you need more convincing, check out our other blog posts or follow us on Facebook. We post frequently on how to engage with your audience on social media. We hope this post was helpful! Thank you for reading.

Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor/coach your team along the way and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

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