Lately there has been some confusion about naming Facebook Pages, Groups and Profiles. Do you use your personal name? The company name? Some good keyword packed SEO-friendly phrase?
Each social media site has it’s own rules to follow. If they do not, there are some generally accepted best practices to consider. I am gong to focus only on Facebook for now.
In general for personal profiles you would use your personal name only. And for business pages or profiles you would use your actual business name only. Keyword padding is generally frowned upon, except when a tagline is a regular part of your business name.
Here are the official rules (click the title) along with some comments from me. I’ve also included the character count limits for convenience, except for personal names which don’t seem to have a limit (?).
Use your real name only – no additional words or titles. No business name. Use your About section to include that. If you would like to add another name that people might search for you with (such as a maiden name or nickname) you can list that as an Alternate Name in your account settings.
One question that comes up often is whether you can participate in Groups with your company name. The answer is NO – Groups are for personal Profiles/Timelines only. So sometimes people will create a 2nd profile with their business name so they can network as their business in Groups. This is against Facebook’s Terms and your entire account can be deleted. I have seen this happen to someone who lost all their contacts, their information, their photos, everything. First of all it is against Facebook’s terms for any person to have more than one account, and second as stated above it is against the Terms to use a business name for a Profile/Timeline. There is no way around this.
Use the actual business names with no excessive tagline. For direct sellers, I recommend that the Corporate Page also include “Corporate Page” or “Official Page” to make it stand out from independent consultant Pages though you can include that in the first line of your About section instead.
For independent consultants in general it is best to use a combination including your real name, your company name if allowed, and whatever your title is such as Independent Consultant or Independent Director. It is important to make it clear that your Page is not the corporate Page. As well, most people will search using your real name so be sure to include that. Technically for most distributors as sole proprietors your real name IS your business name.
Alternately, you can certain brand yourself as a completely different name, such as Shop with Karen, and then include your company information and title in the About. This works well for a lot of people, especially those whose company policies forbid using the company name in the Page name.
There are no specific guidelines outlined as to what you can call your Group if you do create one. You should know that you cannot change the Group name if you have more than 250 members. In general I prefer Group names that are short and sweet, and describe the focus of the Group. If it is a team support group, follow company guidelines.
If you are the home office and setting up a Group for distributor support, again, I like to include the words “Corporate” or “Official” with the company name to distinguish the Group as the official place to gather. Ex: “ABC Company Consultant’s Official Group” or “ABC Company Corporate Group” otherwise be sure to include that information in the Group description. Side note: I recommend these groups be set to Closed privacy.
For independent consultants or leaders, you might want to create a Group for team support and title it with your team name such as Karen’s Shining Stars, or your personal name such as Karen Clark’s Team Group. For customer-oriented Groups you might want to brand it with a name easily associated with your product line such as Organize with Karen or Cooking with Karen, or use some select keywords that will help your Group get found in the search.
Side note: After you’ve decided on a Group name, use the Group settings to add an email address for the Group using its name or a shorter version – this is what then becomes the Group’s shorter URL such as www.facebook.com/group/shopwithkaren instead of the very long URL Facebook first gives groups.
Much like Facebook Groups, there are no specific guidelines for naming your Facebook Event. In general you want to be as descriptive and compelling as possible to inspire people to say YES to your invitation. Also, if you use keywords people might be looking for, if your event is public then others may find it by using the search function. Use words the general public would use vs. industry jargon. Example: ABC Company Home Based Business Information Call might work better than ABC Company Opportunity Call if you think people are more likely to look for home based businesses vs. opportunities.
Need to change the name of something on Facebook?
- Note that in order to change your name, it must comply with the “rules” and character counts outlined above or it will be rejected.
- Also note that when you change your name, a “story” goes out to the News Feed telling your friends/followers/likers/members that you have changed the name of your profile/timeline/page/group/event. So it is best to decide what you are changing it to (and comply with the Terms) before you change it so you only need to do it once.
- How to change your name on your Facebook personal profile/Timeline You must use your real name and may be asked to upload photo ID to do this.
- How to change the name of a Facebook Business Page If under 200 likes, it’s easy. Over 200 and you must submit a request and verify the business name and you can only do this once.
- How to change the name of a Facebook Group Only if you have 250 members or less.
- How to change the name of a Facebook event Up to 60 days out, and only if less than 5000 were invited.
Do you need some nitty gritty how-to lessons on Facebook? Do you need to learn how to set up and use a Facebook Profile, Page, Group or Event for your direct selling business? Read my book, Social Media for Direct Selling Representatives.