Every time I work with a new client, there always seems to be a lesson learned and I like to pass those on to you savvy folks so that you don’t go through the same angst. Many of you have written to me about this problem in the comments of the posts on merging duplicate pages. But I had not come across this problem until now. But NOW I know exactly what you were talking about!
Recently I had a client who somehow created their Facebook Page with a personal account that is just an administrator – meaning, no Timeline for that personal account. I imagine that this was Facebook’s solution for people who didn’t want a Facebook account but who wanted to create a Page for their business. The problem is that it’s uber confusing.
In this instance, the client had a business Page but the personal profile that they set up was also the name of the business Page, just listed as a profile. For example: XYZ Company (profile) was a Manager of XYZ Company (Page). The major problem was that the profile somehow had claimed the URL name but we wanted that name for the business Page (which hadn’t had the URL claimed yet).
Page’s URL was http://www.facebook.com/page/XYZ-Company/123456789
Profile URL was http://www.facebook.com/XYZCompany/
Clear as mud right? So I thought I’d just convert and merge. But although the business Page only had about 30 or so fans, it had over 350 photos on it. Yikes! And what do we know about merging pages? You only keep the fans and the URL. Everything else goes poof! Unless you download the file, but even then I’ve seen people have problems with doing that. And the real kicker was that when I logged in as the profile, I only had Settings and Logout in the upper right corner. No Timeline, no account settings, no privacy settings. It literally was just an admin/manager for the Page.
So, I converted the “rogue” personal profile to a Page. Now I had two Pages. One with 1 fan and one with 30-ish fans. If I was logged in under the rogue profile (now Page) I had the merge option available under the newly converted Page, but not the existing Page. If I logged in as myself (who I also made as a Manager), then I had the option to merge under the existing Page but not the newly converted Page. Agh!!
My dilemma: If I merged the old Page with the new Page, I chanced losing the URL. If I merged the new Page with the old Page, I would get the URL but I would lose all of the photos and posts. I had to sleep on it.
What I did:
In the end, I uploaded all of the photos to the new Page (just in case), which took about an hour. But at the last minute, I decided that I didn’t want to lose all of the comments and descriptions on the photos (personal choice), so I chose to:
- First merge the new Page into the existing Page.
- Then I went back and marked the rogue profile for deletion. (As you know that takes 14 days). And I deleted the rogue profile as a Page Manager for the business Page.
- I waited fourteen days and then went in to claim the URL of the deleted account. I know that Facebook holds onto your data for 180 days, and feared that the URL wouldn’t be released until then and my client didn’t have that kind of time to wait around for that to happen. The result? It worked! Apparently Facebook does let go of the user name once it is no longer used (unlike YouTube). This is good to know for future reference.