You may have noticed that when you search for a brand like Starbucks or Chipotle on Facebook, several options come up. The first is likely the verified corporate page. The next three to five options may be location pages near you. Which one do you click? And why are there so many options?
As a social media marketer, I’ve struggled with these questions, too. Why have more than one Facebook page for a company? Are location pages helpful to customers? Is it worth the time to create and maintain the pages?
In some cases, yes, it’s probably worth it to spend the extra time on segmented pages. For others, it may dilute the brand and lead to confusion for customers. This blog will serve as a guide to deciding which route to choose to fit the needs and capabilities of your organization.
The case for one central corporate page
One benefit of a centralize page is the ability to focus all efforts on one page. You’ll have more time, resources and quality content if you focus on maintaining one page and answering all questions and comments received on that page. It saves time on the marketing side and the customer service side.
It also helps maintain a consistent brand voice. No need to worry if your franchisees or branches are following the brand guidelines and style book. The corporate office has complete control over all Facebook content shared by the company.
Customers and potential customers can easily find your main page and direct questions. They won’t get lost in the sea of location pages, unable to find the right address or page to get the information they need. Plus, there’s less chance of someone getting confused by a knockoff or parody page, should one exist. With one verified corporate page, customers will know right away if they’re in the right place.
The case for multiple branch or location pages
Companies with various store locations or departments may opt to set up more than one page. This way, locations can update their page accordingly without causing confusion. Things like store hours, contact information and events may be hard to keep straight if it is all posted on one page that serves different communities.
In some cases, the pages may exist to allow customers to “check-in” to keep an eye on changing locations or hours. For this purpose, many brands opt for what some in our industry call a: parent-child page setup. This approach allows the corporate page manager to create locations and maintain those pages all at once. With this option, available through Facebook Pages, customers can find and ‘like’ their local page, but there is rarely content created and shared through the child pages. Only the parent page gets updated regularly and responds to questions and comments.
For companies like real estate agencies or mortgage companies, having the individual agents or officers maintain business pages is valuable. This is different than the parent/child page option. In some cases, these people operate as leaders of their own business and build personal relationships with clients and other companies; therefore it makes sense to operate under their own page. One example of this is C&F Mortgage Corporation, which is headquartered in Richmond, VA. The company takes this same approach with its loan officers.
Rather than location-specific pages, some companies will have a separate page for their philanthropic arm or customer service. That way, users can get company news in one place, but customer care updates in another. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has one page for the museum and another for the shop. These pages are managed by two different people but monitored by one marketing person to be sure the pages adhere to brand standards. Other than that, the pages offer different information according to their specific purpose.
Sam Campbell, Digital Content Strategist at the VMFA, explained the two pages allow the museum to reach a broader audience. While smaller operations may only have the staff or content for one page, the museum shop is really popular and therefore the page brings value to the whole organization. Campbell warns it does take a lot of time and manpower to keep up with two pages, so companies should consider the value it will bring compared to the time and effort it takes to maintain.
There are many good reasons for and against multiple pages. As Campbell said, most important thing is to consider the value Facebook Business Pages offer your customer and the cost of the time it takes to maintain quality pages. There’s nothing worse than a neglected business page to show customers you’re out-of-date or uninterested in their business.