If you're a business with multiple locations (think franchises, restaurants, etc.), you probably found your way to this post because you're wondering one of two things:
1. Should you set up an individual Facebook page for each of your locations? What are the pros and cons of having either one page or multiple Facebook pages for your business?
2. How do you set up multiple Facebook pages for your business?
You're in the right place. Read on to learn the answers to both questions and come away with a better understanding of which direction is right for your business.
The case for maintaining one Facebook page for your business:
- Simplicity. Maintaining one page is the simplest way of doing things from a management standpoint. You've only got to worry about incoming communication to one page, publishing to one page, and tracking metrics for one page.
- One audience. All reviews, comments and discussions, likes and follows are in one place making it easier for your audience to build a sense of community when interacting with your page or posts.
The case for maintaining multiple Facebook pages for your business:
- Localization. This is a big one to consider when you're making your decision. When you have an individual page per physical business location, all of the engagement on that page should pertain to that location.
Localized marketing is becoming more important as trust in marketing platforms (like Facebook) is shrinking. While someone may not have a positive feeling about Facebook in general, many people still consider it as a source for reviews. Reviews that are obviously posted in the wrong location can take lowered trust one step further and cause an interested potential customer to look elsewhere.
From a local SEO perspective, Facebook is recognized one of the major directories. Having a listing on Facebook with the correct name, address, and phone number of your business can give you an overall boost when it comes to organic SERP listings or even local pack listings.
- Control. Oftentimes, if there is not a business-managed page for an individual business location, users will generate a page. The downside to this is that your business isn't actively managing the page.
- Facebook has released a way for businesses to manage multiple locations from one single dashboard. Previously, maintaining multiple pages meant just that. Often, each physical location would have control of their own page, leading to varying levels of engagement.
With Facebook's update, everything can be controlled centrally from publishing posts to each page (or all of them at once) to analyzing the data.
If you're still on the fence, consider this. If Facebook has created a way for you to manage multiple locations it's because that's their own recommendation. With tech giants like Facebook and Google, following their recommendations should correlate with a positive performance boost for your business.
How to set up multiple Facebook pages:
Facebook has their own resource for getting your pages set up. There are a few considerations to be aware of before you jump in and make changes.
1. If you've already got a page serving as your main business page, you can set that to be the "parent" page.
As you make the change to your main page, you'll be asked to remove the address and hide or move any reviews to a new page.
Depending on the priorities of your business, you could either create a new individual location page to replace the current (now main) page, or create a brand new main page that would not contain any of the previous activity from the (now) individual location page.
2. Once you add individual location pages, a location descriptor will automatically be created and added to the business name. You can change the descriptor, but the business name will always match that of the main business page.
3. Adding your individual location pages is as simple as creating new pages one by one, importing a list, or associating currently existing pages.
4. Once you have your locations set up, page visitors will be able to view them on a map from your main page. This is great for enabling them to find the location closest to them.
After set-up: managing multiple locations in Facebook
Once you've configured your locations, managing them is simple.
- Notifications from each location page will be filtered through your main brand page.
- Posts published to your main brand page can automatically be pushed out to the location pages. The location based posts are actually not separate posts, so metrics like shares and likes all count towards the same main post.
- You also still have the ability to post location specific posts on each page.
Following Facebook's recommendation for creating and managing multiple business pages if you have multiple business locations is what we'd recommend. If you think you have a unique case and could benefit from talking it through with a social media expert, get in touch.
If you're looking to learn more about improving your local SEO and overall digital presence for your local businesses, check out our free guide, Local Search Visibility for Beginners: A Complete Guide.