Let’s begin with a hypothetical situation – you’re a business owner with more than 50 locations all over the country. During a quick Facebook search you find local Pages that feature outdated information and unapproved logos, or maybe even some Pages that represent stores that are no longer open. You start to panic. How could this happen?
Never fear — Facebook has a new solution for multi-location and franchise businesses: Facebook Locations, formerly the Parent-Child structure.
This feature allows you to easily add, remove and manage your business locations in one central place. Your Brand Page will become the central hub to which all of your Locations will live.
While Locations can be a major benefit for multi-location businesses, we would be doing you a disservice if we did not outline the pros and cons of this feature based on our firsthand experience.
- Brand Page’s cover and avatar images are populated across all Location Pages
- Posts to Brand Page can be set to automatically publish to all Location Pages
- New Locations can be easily added with vanity URLs
- Existing Facebook Pages can be merged into the Location structure. There’s no need to create a new page if one already exists on Facebook
- Facebook users can see “nearby locations,” with the feature serving as a store locator on mobile and desktop
- Individual Location Pages can have separate Page editors, allowing individuals to have access to specific Pages, while the brand manager maintains control over the entire structure
- Location notifications are visible from Brand Page notifications, which eliminates the need to manually click over to view each Location Page separately
- Reviews cannot be left on the Brand Page, which allows individual Locations to handle potential customer issues directly without impacting entire brand’s image
- Establishes community presence for businesses allowing visitors to easily “check-in” to Location
- Requesting access to the Locations platform from Facebook can take time to be enabled
- Initial setup is labor intensive, requiring a full Facebook search for all brand extensions, including Pages and Places (ex: estimated time to complete the process for a business with 100 locations = 30 hours)
- Business owner must manually “Claim” existing Pages in order to merge them into Locations
Are the benefits of Facebook Locations worth the time, effort and dedication that is required? To be frank, sometimes the answer is “no” based on resource limitations, but we’ve found for certain clients on-going maintenance is minimal once the dirty work is complete.
If I’ve inspired you to establish Locations for your business I wish you luck and will part with you here: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/911181838969039.