Facebook’s Locations framework (which knits together a brand’s local Facebook pages) is always evolving. The social network has made several more significant changes to the process in the past few months. Here are some things to know if you are currently managing or considering implementing the Locations network (formerly known as parent-child) for your franchise or multi-location brand.
All Pages Must Now Have the Same Name
Previously, Facebook allowed individual pages in your Locations network to have slight name variations, as long as each name started the same (i.e. – your main Facebook page could be called Store ABC, but your individual location pages could be named Store ABC New York, Store ABC #123, etc.). This is no longer the case. To ensure consistency and make it easier for customers to find the correct location when searching for your brand, Facebook now requires all of your pages to be named consistently. For example, if your parent page is named Store ABC, all of your child pages must be named exactly the same.
From a user perspective, people will now see the page name and a description of each page’s location in parentheses. If there is only one store in a city, it will show up as Store ABC (Toronto). If there is more than one location in that city, the street address will be in the parentheses instead: Store ABC (123 Main St, Toronto).
If you search Starbucks in your Facebook app, for example, you’ll see a list of all the Starbucks around you. The pages will all be named the same (Starbucks Canada), but next to the name in parentheses, you will see each location’s street address.
By showing either the city name or the street address next to the page name, Facebook is eliminating any confusion that may occur when admins name their Facebook pages based on things like store numbers or neighborhoods. A Facebook user may not know exactly where a search result for Starbucks East Village is, but they’ll know where Starbucks (665 Broadway, NY) is.
The parentheses descriptor is also visible next to the name when you visit each individual child page, but be aware that this is not officially part of your child page’s name. Note that this naming change does not impact the URL of the page in any way.
If you implemented the Locations framework prior to this change you will be “grandfathered”, meaning you do not need to change the page names of your existing pages to conform to this new standard. However, if you add new pages to your existing Locations framework, you will be required to renamed them using the new standard before they can be added.
No More Reviews on Your Corporate Facebook Page
In order to set up Locations, you must designate one of your pages as your main (or parent) Facebook page. Previously, this page was allowed to have a street address, and therefore user reviews and star ratings were visible. However, Facebook has recently made an update that requires admins to disable the street address on their main page before Locations can be enabled. Removing the street address means that all reviews on your main page will also be removed.
We believe Facebook has made this change because they want user reviews to focus on individual locations, rather than a corporate page. If a user reviewed a restaurant that is part of a chain, for instance, there is more value for the audience in having that review be about the specific restaurant that the user went to, rather than the overall brand, and therefore the review should live on that location’s Facebook page.
More Options for Who Can Access Your Locations Pages
Previously, when you set up Locations on Facebook, everyone who visited your main Facebook page could see it by clicking on the Locations tab, which displays a map marking all of your various stores. Facebook has recently provided admins with tools to provide additional control. Now, you have the option to only expose that to mobile users, or not at all:
Why Facebook is Making These Changes
As Facebook continues to increase its focus on local through features such as nearby, beacons, and place tips, local Facebook pages are becoming increasingly important. The social network is actively mapping connections between consumers and the businesses that they interact with, which necessitates a connection between the digital world and the physical one. To make this work, Facebook requires unique pages with physical addresses for people to check into, rate, like, and take photos/videos of.
By standardizing the naming convention across all store locations for a brand, Facebook is better able to surface search results for that brand (with the nearest locations) and create localized connections between people and that brand. This approach also has the added benefit of making it easier for customers to find local locations by providing specific addresses right in the page name.
As mobile Facebook use continues to grow in popularity and local search becomes increasingly important for businesses, having an individual Facebook presence for each of your brand’s locations is essential. Facebook continues to tweak its Locations framework to help its users find exactly the page they are looking for, and increase local page visibility. To learn more about Facebook Locations or for help implementing it, please contact us.
I appreciate your info. A small business just hired me to do their social media marketing. They have several locations where mangers have set up their own facebook account. The VP is asking that I merge all the accounts to be under the main account. I have created a location under business manager and I am trying to merge it with an existing page. It wants the account names to be the same but when I try to change the name of the page it says “you already manage a page named ______”. Can you please provide any insight to a solution??
This is a common Facebook error loop — you’ll have to contact Facebook Support to get their help to change the name.
Help! How do you change the pre-existing pages to match? If I go into the “About” section of one of our locations and change the name to be the same as the parent page, there’s of course an error saying that page already exists!
So for a ‘child’ page do you make it the name of the parent page plus the city? (I thought the city was added automatically?)
My company owns 5 different brands that have 5 Facebook pages under separate names. We are working towards transitioning each brand to our company name.
1. Can I bring each of these pages into the corporate page as a location or do I first have to change their name to match ours?
2. Will each location still retain their own likes and reviews?
3. If I move our corporate page to a location page, do the likes and reviews move too?
4. Does the main page now have an aggregate of our likes and reviews or are they just on our location pages?
Thanks for your help.
1. Before you move the pages into Locations, you’ll have to change the names to match
2. Each local page will retain likes and reviews
3. I don’t know what you mean by moving the corporate page to a local page?
4. Your main page will not aggregate likes or reviews. They will stay on your local pages.
Hi There – We received a message from MOZ, suggesting that our switch to the Facebook Locations Framework is going to be detrimental to our Local SEO (since the local page names are being pulled as the brand without the local descriptor – ex: “Invisible Fence”). In your experience, does this negatively affect local page rank? Are there any suggestions on how we can combat this?
I am encountering the same issue with setting up Page Locations for Parent + 3 child pages.
I have existing pages that I want to use, my pages names are slightly different, with descriptor included, but I cannot add locations because they don’t have the Main Page name only, and I cannot change them either, because I am already Admin for a page with similar name. I had no luck in contacting Facebook.
I finally manage to add the locations, with the help of multiple admins users. I delete my admin role from the pages with the Main Name (Parent) so I can be able to edit the name of the other page, and so until the last page has the Main Name and I am admin for 1 page only, instead of 3. From another admin account I add each one of them and set up the Page Locations.
The problem is that I have normal Likes on each Page Location, they are connected, I can post on all of them from the Parent page, but it have 1 Like only on the Parent, since is a new page.
How can I make them count all the pages’ Likes?
If I turn the oldest page into the Parent…I will have more Likes, but still, it won’t count them all later.
I will appreciate any answer.
Thank you in advance!
Including the people that like the page? We have 13k people that like the page. My boss will kill me if they disappear.
Thanks so much!!
I have never experienced any loss of page likes when connecting a page to the Locations framework. Here is more info: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/438938373108321?helpref=faq_content
Thank you Jen! Really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me. Have a great day.
I’ve spent so long researching and I think I know the answer, but I’m still afraid so am asking your help!
I just started a brand page that will have 2 “child” pages. One of the children will be brand new. The other is an established FB page that I plan to migrate to become a child to the brand page. Will my likes, reviews, comments, etc… migrate over?
I have to let my brand page exist for 2 days before I can do this, so I’m trying to get more affirmation.
Thanks so much in advance.
Yes, if you migrate a page over to Locations, you will retain all the posts, comments, reviews on that child page. Nothing changes except that child page will now have a Locations tab, and also you can choose to cascade posts from the parent page to it.
I accidentally created a location page for our main page and now it started to collect some likes and check-ins. Can I safely delete the location page AND add the address in the main page, so everyone can check-in there again. We don’t really need location pages as we have only one location.
I would add yourself as an admin on the local page, then remove the local page from the Locations framework (go to the main page, Settings, Locations, click on the pencil icon next to the ‘remove location’ link in the pop up). Then, merge your local page into your main page.
Currently our main page does not have a street address and therefore has no ratings or reviews. I was wondering if when we make the switch will the child (location) pages keep their original ratings and reviews or will we have to start fresh? We are hoping to make the switch this week and prefer not to lose them.
So glad I found this post as I couldn’t find anywhere to clarify if page likes on the location pages were included in the main business total likes. We are a state agency with several field office locations and when I took over our social media last June I found that several of our field offices had FB-generated pages because people have checked into those locations. So I claimed, converted, and created location pages for each field office to grow our audience and provide better customer service. We only post on the main page (unless there’s a local closure), which posts on the location pages.
I’ve looked on the FB help channels for answers to the questions below, but haven’t found any so hoping you can help with a couple of questions.
1. Why are our likes and follows different numbers?
2. On the location descriptor field I type it in the way I want it and it updates on the page, but the next day it goes back to city & state or full address for the 3 Austin locations. Any ideas?
3. Two pages don’t match the other pages in regards to the information I can enter on the about page. I was able to delete one and recreate it because there wasn’t any activity on it and I could change the page url (Corpus Christi to Corpus). The other page has 10 check-ins and the page url isn’t easily changed (Midland). Any ideas?
4. Do you know how to stop the updates for page views on the desktop view and keep up the good work notifications on the Pages app?
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide
1. I don’t believe that all of the local likes roll into the main page anymore. So you could have different likes/follower counts on the main page as on local pages
2. When you have more than one location in a city, the naming convention kicks in. I’ve never tried to override it so I’m not sure editing the Location Descriptor field will work
3. I’m not sure what this means, but I’m guessing the category on those pages are different, which is why your about section is different
4. This is under notifications. You need to set it for each page. If you want to use the Pages app for all of your pages, you have to make yourself an admin on each local page.
Hey, same problem. I have 1 main page + 5 page dedicated to locations. On the location manager, I see the button “Download Locations” But nowhere “Add locations”.. What’s wrong?
You should see the “Add Locations” button at the top left of your screen. However, if you cannot, try adding that page to your business manager. Through that, you’ll be able to manage/add pages under the tab labeled “Business Locations.”
Hello Misty your post is very helpful but I have the same problem I m setting up my location pages on a national brand’s page but FB will not allow me to change the name of an existing franchisee pages . When I try to add the location on my main page it reads that there cannot be a location in the title. From there I went to the local page (Admin role) and tried to change the name and got an error that reads “The name of the page already exists.” I tried to contact with facebook as you said for a week now and I sent more that 4 bug report for the same issue but none of them were checked. Any other ideas how can I solve this?
Great posts in this series–they’ve been very helpful as I’ve been working on a project! I’m working on creating locations for a large health care client and I had a couple of questions. They had quite a few existing pages that have all been converted into locations. Will the likes roll up to increase the Main (parent) page’s count? I know this didn’t flow through previously but I was wondering if the update includes them. Also, is there a way to scrub all legacy content from the location (child) pages that were in existence prior to the consolidation? They’re launching a new brand and would like to start fresh on all of these pages.
Check-in data across all locations will be aggregated on the main page, however other metrics (such as likes) will not be rolled up to the main page. The posts from the child pages will not be erased during the consolidation. I believe that would have to be a manual process if they want to remove old content.
Can someone help me, please?
Anyway, a total disaster! I tested Facebook locations and I didn’t like it because when you type my company name in the search there was just too many options and it would confuse my customers. So I removed my two company locations. After that I went back to my main page to add back my address, that was previously there, I couldn’t add it!!
Later, I checked reviews and all I can see is a number, not a single review! I was one of the 11 reviews on the page, but Facebook is asking me to rate again even I did rate page half year ago. So there’s no review I posted, just static number 11 reviews.
So basically “Facebook locations” destroyed my page. I lost written reviews (there’s just number 11 and no text of review) and I can’t add back my original location.
Can you please please help me?
When you removed the two company locations, did your Locations area get removed from your Settings? Usually once you remove the Locations framework and add your address back to the main page, your reviews are restored. Did you have to change your category when you added Locations. If so, did you change your category back to Local Business (or whatever it was before)?
If your reviews are still not restored, you’ll have to contact the Facebook rep that helped you enable Locations to see if they can bring them back.
I’ve emailed Facebook on that error that Aisling Lithgow reported. Their answer was: ” Before creating a Locations structure, you will need to change your Page Name of the Location you are adding to your main Page. The Location you are adding must have the same name as the main Page – with an identifier. For example, “Mad Science” as the main Page, and “Mad Science Nottingham.
The location that I’m trying to add is called Mad Science East Midlands. My main page name is Mad Science. Here is the error I get when trying to add Mad Science East Midlands as a location:
We could not add your new location due to the following error:
You can’t change location Page’s name. Please request Page name change of the location Page before adding it into Locations.
has anyone had the below issue keep popping up when they try to pull my claimed locations under my main page:
‘you can’t change the location Page’s name. Please request to change the Page name of the location Page before adding it to Locations’
when i try to rename the page to match the name of the main page, it says that a page with that name already exists and i cannot claim it
have you heard of this error appearing before?
Yes, there is a bug and sometimes you get stuck in an error loop. Unfortunately, the only way I’ve been able to get around it is to contact Facebook and get them to do it for me.
How do you contact Facebook to get them to do it for you? I’ve been trying to figure this out for weeks and have posted in the community section multiple times.
Great write up Jen! When I hit the locations tab on my main page, it lists all three of my locations w the same name below the map. Is there a way to put a descriptor next to each listing so my customers know which location that are clicking to take them to that page? As it is, they can only see the main page name and address but I need it to also say (north), (south), (neighboring city).
By the way, when I do click on a location, it takes me to that page which does include the descriptor, in parentheses, next to the main page name. I just need the descriptor on the page before too.
The descriptor is not officially part of the page name, so you can’t change how it shows up on the map at this time.
Misty, informative post. When we converted to locations our main parent page lost the reviews as you have referenced, but they are also not associated with any one location either. Do you have any idea on how these can be recovered and re-associated to the new locations?
I’m not sure what you mean by converting locations to your main page? If you made one of your locations pages your main page, you’ve lost the reviews on that page. Also, you cannot transfer reviews to new pages. It’s possible you may be able to recover reviews on the original page they were on if you re-input that page’s address.
I’m setting up my location pages on a national brand’s page but FB will not allow me to change the name of an existing franchisee page I’m trying to add. When I try to add the location on my main page it reads that there cannot be a location in the title. From there I went to the local page (Admin role) and tried to change the name and got an error that reads “You already manage a page with that name.” Any ideas on what I can do to find my way around this? Thanks so much!
I’ve had this happen to me before and have had to ask Facebook for help. Contact them through your advertiser support tools and they should be able to resolve the issue.
We’re having this same problem as well. I’m not running into any luck finding a reliable way to contact Facebook about this through the advertiser help center (no chat/email/phone information anywhere). Would you be able to post a screenshot or provide some guidance on how I can get in touch with them? Thank you a ton for the help!
It’s under Business Resources in the Advertiser section:
I have to apologize, I might be a bit dense. I’ve spent about a half an hour poking around the various Business sections, ending on https://www.facebook.com/business/help/ . I haven’t been able to find any page with “Business Resources” on it. Also no hints of an email or chat link. We currently don’t have any active ads with Facebook (we pulled way back over a year ago after an awful experience) – do we need to have active spending with them to get access?
Thank you for the information. Please forgive me if I’m being dense, I’ve been all over the site and haven’t yet found the page that gets me to the screen that you’ve posted. I ended on this page – https://www.facebook.com/business/help/ – I also wasn’t sure if I would have access since we stopped advertising with Facebook a year ago after a bad experience. I put in a small ad for an upcoming event to cross off that possibility. Would you be able to provide a link to the page that has the Business Resources link on it?
It’s facebook.com/business/resources/ but what you see is dependent on whether or not your an advertiser. If you are, you’ll see an “email” option at the bottom of that page.
I just wanted to give you an update. It took a little while, but once my Ad was active for about an hour I got access to the support email and chat links.
Thank you for your help!
Excellent! I’m glad it worked out. 🙂