Listing Management

Demystifying Facebook’s “Locations” aka parent/child set-up for brands

This post has been updated, here is the new version: How to Claim your Facebook Locations

The question of Facebook’s “Locations” feature is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, four years after it was rolled out.

Are you a multi-location brand? Then you need Facebook Locations!

Avoid random, user or auto-generated pages when you can have consistent local pages connected with your brand page.

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If a store does not have ‘child’ pages or at least individually created and managed local pages, then what they have is possibly a lot of disconnected pages. This is not ideal.

Random user-created and  ‘Auto-generated pages’,  which lack branding consistency and often contain some inappropriate content (like selfies of some scruffy dude), potentially erroneous address or phone or hours. These pages are accumulating likes, check-ins, positive and negative feedback most or all of which goes unseen and ignored by the business in question.

What is the Business Manager  aka “Facebook for Business”?

The Business Manager is a central dashboard to manage not only multiple brand pages, but their child pages as well, and assign page roles to anyone.

Ad accounts, post scheduling, analytics dashboard, and notifications are among the uses of the Business Manager.

Whether or not you use Locations and whether you are an agency or a brand, the Business Manager is an indispensable tool.

If you don’t plan to use “Locations”, you can still use the Business manager to create or sometimes claim location pages individually, and keep them in a convenient central dashboard (though they won’t be connected to your brand page).

The case of Tim’s vs. ‘Bucks

“Locations” should be the gold standard, yet you would be surprised to see just how many major brands out there are not using this feature.

Take for example Tim Horton’s, which does not:

Primary brand page:
https://www.facebook.com/TimHortons/timeline
Tim Horton’s – 94 million likes.

Tim Horton’s US brand page
https://www.facebook.com/TimHortonsUS/timeline
A random “autogenerated”- page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tim-Hortons/127234040646465?fref=ts
Nearly 2000 Check-ins, likes, random pictures, and prayers in the infamous Papyrus font.
It would have been a lot better if these customers had a monitoried consistent page to like and review.

Now let’s contrast that with Starbucks, which has locations properly set-up:https://www.facebook.com/Starbucks/locations

Starbucks may not understand your name when you say it, but they understand Facebook Locations.

Starbucks may not understand your name when you say it, but they understand Facebook Locations.

It displays the stores closest to you by default (there will probably be 30 within a block anyway because it’s Starbucks), and right away you can see the address and phone number and if they are open, without even visiting the page.

All locations are connected with a central map visible from the timeline of the main page – so tidy and consistent.

From mobile, in the Facebook app, when you go to ‘check in’ the pages are all there, based on what is closest to you.

Check-ins, but not likes, are accumulated on the main page from all child pages – 23 million check-ins for this Starbucks USA brand page.

I like that a lot better than what Tim’s has. Doesn’t entirely prevent random user pages but definitely minimizes their impact.

“Grandparent” set-up for international brands

Layers!

Layers!

There’s another layer to this stuff.

We have Parent / Child, and also the optional “Grandparent / Parent / Child”

Starbucks has an International tab from their main page (the Grandparent page)

https://www.facebook.com/Starbucks/app_244918148966124

Each country is its own regional brand page:

https://www.facebook.com/starbuckscanada

And each of those are independently connected to child pages within that country. Maybe a lot of stores won’t need that level, but Starbucks clearly does and it’s pretty sweet if you ask me.

How to get Locations

According to Facebook Business Resources, a Sales Rep will help you with all this and other Facebook-ish services if you spend a minimum of $25 USD in a month on their advertising services.

Alternately you can enlist the help of an agency that has an established relationship with a sales rep. And alternately again, if you are an agency and you manage multiple clients, the reps will help you with any brand page that meets requirements and to which you have been granted access.

This is not something you can do all by yourself without a rep. Go to that Facebook Business Resources and contact someone. If the brand page you want set up is spending $0.00 on advertising, then you’re probably gonna have to fork over a few Ad bucks first.  Or fork over a little bit more for an agency that will do all this for you.

Okay, I contacted the Facebook rep and/or an Agency and now I have Locations. How do I Parent/Child?!

Some supervision required.

Some supervision required.

“Ah, if only children came with a manual.”

And in this case they do- the helpful Facebook rep with send you a step-by-step guide for pretty much everything you need to know to do this thing.

A few key points:

  • You will need latitude and longitude for each store.
  • Each location will need to have the exact  same name as brand page (the address and city will be automatically added to the title later)
  • This will not do anything to clean up pre-existing pages out there in the Facebook wilderness
  • The child pages will take the current logo and cover photo of brand page, at initial set up. After that, images and posts are updated on a page by page basis. Store hours, phone and address, etc, can be updated in bulk.

Good luck out there, Locationators.

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