By Paula Wethington / @WethingtonPaula
Did you set up a Facebook brand, organization or business page – or inherit one – and wonder how to get the long string of numbers out of the URL?
It’s a common challenge, based on what I’ve seen for pages for small businesses and volunteer organizations. And no, it’s not a good workaround to tell people to “just search for ….” Have you actually used Facebook’s search bar?
If you still have the default numeric string that was assigned at the launch of a page, let’s make your Facebook presence easier for customers and clients to find and remember. A vanity URL provides a more professional appearance and is easier to find, even if you don’t have a check mark that indicates Facebook has verified the page.
First, as Facebook explains, make sure you are an admin on the page. Some people who are authorized to post as the page are not at the highest level called admins. Go into the settings and look through the section called the page roles. If you aren’t listed as admin, but perhaps editor or something else, talk to whomever is admin to get this accomplished.
Then before you get started, come up with two or three options for the name, using Facebook’s guidelines for user names.
Ideally a user name and page name on Facebook are the same. For example, you’ll find my journalist page on Facebook with page name Paula Wethington and user name @paula.wethington. You also want the Facebook name to be the same you are using on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., to the best extent possible.
Keep the name short but understandable, don’t add a tag line or slogan, and don’t use abbreviations that could be mistaken for something else. And make sure you will be happy with the user name in the long run! There are limits (disputed as to how strict they are, but they do exist) on how often you can change this.
The differences between user name and page name are:
- The user name is the URL and what appears after the .com.
- The user name will appear on the page under the page name.
- The user name will appear on the page with @ in front of it.
- The page name is the title of the page.
- The page name is how people look for you in the search box.
These instructions on how to update both are for desktop:
- Click on about.
- Find the “page info” link on the about page.
- Now you are in the section where you can edit the user name and page name.
- Give your first choice a try.
If you’re looking for social media tips, I have a huge collection on my Pinterest account including an entire section on Facebook.
This post was written in December 2016 and updated in June 2017.