Facebook Fan Page & Vanity URL For Your Interior Design Business

This article looks at the very narrow area concerning how to make your Facebook URL for your interior design business appear professional. Specifically how to create a proper ‘vanity URL’ for your business fan page.If you have already done that then here are some more useful additions to the business side of your Facebook page.

Many Interior Designers who sell to the general public see Facebook as just one way of lead generation – to some it is more important than others.

Ok here goes. This is a real life example where KOTHEA’s MD set up her personal username on Facebook incorrectly, there was already a Fan Page for KOTHEA. This article takes you through the steps we had to take to get the ‘vanity’ url correct both for the individual and for the company. Our MD inadvertently set her personal username (vanity URL) as ‘KOTHEA‘. So if anyone typed www.facebook.com/kothea it took them to her personal page rather than to the ‘proper’ company page. This situation got progressively messy as she started to use Facebook more for personal matters with business messages appearing in the same place as her personal ones. The result was that many of her friends kept seeing fabric related articles when they were not interior designers. Hopefully you get the picture!

So we start with the erroneous situation:

www.facebook.com/kothea as her personal name

and the rather unwieldly

http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/KOTHEA/129265851209

as the original name for the company as it was assigned  by Facebook. Note for this all to work you must already have created a business page or FAN PAGE for your business.

What we want to do is threefold:

  • Release the facebook.com/kothea name so that it can be re-assigned to the business page
  • Change her vanity url/username name to something more like what it really is
  • Assign the proper company name to be KOTHEA.

Before we get started in earnest there are five critically important points: firstly, the person making these changes must be an administer of the business page and logged in to that page via THEIR PERSONAL ACCOUNT;  secondly, you can only make changes to names once so be very, very careful; thirdly you must have at least 25 fans of your business page; fourthly, your business page must have been created as a Facebook PAGE not a group or anything else, it must be a page!; and finally Facebook sometimes requires that your personal account has been verified by mobile phone before any of these changes are allowed to be made.

If you are creating a page for the first time BE VERY CAREFUL some Facebook Fan Page setting CANNOT BE CHANGED (Jan 2010).

Here are the steps to go through:

  1. Check to make sure what settings have already been made

Type in this exactly: www.facebook.com/username ie do not put in your username put in the word ‘username’. You will get a message like the one below.

This confirms that KOTHEA is my MD’s username.

2. From the facebook menu go to SETTINGS and then to “ACCOUNT SETTINGS”. You will see something like the following where we now want to change the Username NOT the name.

3. Click on the word “change” the one next to USERNAME. ie the one above the word KOTHEA in my example. You are then prompted for a new username. It must be unique and there are various limitations to what you can have (sorry I don’t know all the restrictions but Facebook seems to disallow certain names even though they might be unique – for example i think only one ‘full stop’ is allowed). Be very sure what new username you want. Once you have checked its availability and confirmed your selection you will have something like the following, which shows your new username and you will have also freed up the old username:

4. Now go again to step 1 and type this exactly as I show here ie using EXACTLY what I have written: www.facebook.com/username

Where it says Page name choose your business page (the one you have already set up before reading this article!). Type in your desired Fan Page name in the box to the right of that and check the availability. If it is available (and it should be as you just released it) you can select and choose it and a message will appears as follows:

Sorted.

Good Luck.

Share & Enjoy:

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advanced FB suggestions <here>.

Problems?:

FB is not great to administer. I don’t work for them.

Read the article carefully. You MUST meet ALL the criteria to perform this. eg Are you really an admin user? YOU MUST HAVE A PERSONAL ACCOUNT AND THAT PERSONAL ACCOUNT MUST BE AN ADMIN USER OF THE PAGE.

Try making someone else an Admin user of your page: Goto fan page: choose “edit page” (top lhs underneath logo); on middle rhs is Admins Add section.

If your desired business name is not available then  you have a problem. It is my understanding that Facebook will not allow people to use your business name if they have no connection with that business. So there is probably a way of getting that name back but I do not know how to do that. If there is a business with the same name in another country then I imagine you will never be able to get the control of the name 🙁

PS:

1. You need to have 5 characters in your chosen vanity url

2. You can choose for example mysite.com as the name of your vanity url but facebook translates it to be mysitecom, so it kind of ignores the full stop/period. And sometimes it doesn’t. Hmmm.

3. Also check your privacy settings if some people cannot see the vanity after you appear to have successfully created it.

96 Comments

  1. Thanks for the help! I would not have been able to figure this out on my own. Facebook administration is completely convoluted and there’s no way to contact them for help (at least not that I know of!) Thanks again.

  2. http://www.facebook.com/ pages/ arkansaslotterynumbers/ 230916825906

    Got a question. I created a business page and now have 63 fans. I misspelled the page name and want to change it. I created a new business page with the correct name. I don’t want to lose my fans. How can I can the name or transfer fans to new page.
    I am creating a real website that will show a facebook “Become a Fan” Button and need that to show the correct name
    Any ideas?

    Please help if you can
    Thank you

    • Change the name of the original business page as per the article. that will keep your fans.

      if you have already changed once then that is not an option and you will have to get your fans to become fans of the new page themselves. There is no other way unfortunately. They have to become fans. They have control of their fan status not you.

      Regarding your last question: Why have a ‘real’ website as well? You could consider redirecting your http://www.mywebsite.com to facebook.com/mywebsite and then you only have to manage your content in one place ie on your facebook page. Just a thought…

  3. i don’t have 25 fans yet. i can’t figure out how to find my fan page’s url so i can promote a link to it on my website. help!!!

    • Hi Amy
      1. You have to get 25 fans in order to get a vanity url. There is no way around that (it used to be 1000!!)
      2. Go to your fan page.
      3. Re-read the article…it says what the format of the fan page url (long form) should look like. It ends in lots of numbers. That is the url that you want to link to from your web site. KOTHEA’s is (long form): http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/KOTHEA/129265851209 yours will be similar take off the bits after the long number, then test what you have left to see if it works. The long form will NEVER change it will always exist. Your vanity url (when facebook allow you to have one) merely points to that long form.

      Maybe I’m not understanding exactly what you are trying to achieve? Am happy to help.

  4. I have 98 fans on my FB business page. I went to facebook.com/username and clicked the “set a username for your Pages” button. I typed in the username and was told it is available. I clicked confirm and nothing happened. I do this over and over and it won’t work. The cancel button works just fine. What the heck am I doing wrong? Thanks!

    • hi terri, it sounds like you are doing it right. I can’t tell for sure unless i see exactly what you are doing. maybe you could email me some screen shots info@kothea.com ? or you could make me a friend and admin user of your site and i can try to do it? if you know someone else technical you can use software like crossloop for them to control your pc remotely and do it in front of your eyes.
      just some options.

  5. When I check my setting and click where it says user name it gives me a message requiring me to provide a phone number for them to send a confirmation text message. Had to have Sprint place a complete block on my phone for texting do to hackers trying to steal my ID. What other option is there?

    • Hmmm. The message you are getting is asking you to confirm the security on your account. So I suggest you do that first.

      However having said that, it should not have stopped you from doing what the article intends to achieve.

      What you can do as a workaround is to make a friend an admin of your company page and then get them to do whatever you were earlier trying to achieve.

      Hope this helps.

  6. Thanks for your helpful article! I have followed your steps exactly to change our nonprofit FB URL with no luck. When I click on the facebook.com/username link provided in your article, I get a message telling me that I must apply for a personal FB account. I have a personal account and am the designated administrator of our nonprofit page, so I don’t understand why I’m getting this message. Our page has the required number of fans, too. What am I doing wrong? I appreciate any help you can provide!

  7. K
    Found your blogging thru Linkedin (NCIDQ group). Enjoying articles, like 2010 predictions. I haven’t gotten so far as creating a facebook page–yet. Do I understand you correctly that that is the first step in being able to “get” or do the above stuff, like about urls?

    Interesting that you suggest no business website necessary, rather only a facebook page website. The reason I mention this is that as a owner and sole employee of my company, I created a website with iLife so that I could change photos/content myself. But of course, that requires me to spend $99 per year to publish through Mac.

    It seems obvious now…. that I would control a facebook page. Couldn’t I just direct folks to my website, from facebook (personal or page)? Where do the 25 fans come in?

    Well, I have more questions than I thought. No rush on response, really, but tips on a setting up an effective (good) facebook page would be appreciated.

    -Joanne

    • hi Joanne
      1. the vanity url is a facebook thing. You need an account AND then a business/fan page in order to proceed further (more articles to follow on this)
      2. no website is necessary. facebook may well suffice for small designers. if you have yourwebsite.com then you can ‘map’ that to your facebook fan page if you so wish. you cold also get a wordpress blog (like this one) and map the various addresses. That is free as well.
      3. You need 25 fans to get the vanity url.
      4. I will write something about more advanced pages on facebook shortly.

  8. Thank You
    Thank You
    Thank You!!!

    Your detailed instructions on releasing my user name from personal Facebook page and then claiming it again for my Facebook Fan page made a scary process simple and painless.
    It worked the first time I tried it.

    Thanks Again

    Charlie

  9. Thank you for these instructions! I’ve been wanting to change the username for our business page, but wasn’t sure how. I was able to enter our business name for our username (it is available), however, when I click “CONFIRM” to change it, all I see is a dialog box that says “LOADING…”. I’ve let this dialog box remain on screen for over 20 minutes, and it doesn’t finish. I tried setting the username again, with the same results. I also logged out of our business Facebook account, logged back in, tried it again, and it does the same thing. I have also tried setting the username on a different computer – same problem. Has anyone else seen this issue? If so, what did you do to resolve it? Thanks for an input!

    • This is not working for me. When I go to my business “page” then type in facebook.com/username it states “You are using Facebook as, “My business name”. To access this page, you’ll need to switch from using Facebook as your page to using Facebook as yourself.” Then I go to the next page, I try to change the username to my business name which also shows up in the drop down menu box. But, then it says this name is not available. I know it is avaible, because it is the former name of my personal page which I just replaced with a different name. It’s too bad the twin brothers didn’t keep facebook, has Zuckerberg ever tried creating and editing the url on a business page? Doubt it.

  10. Hi!

    I just want to say thank you very much because of your blog I was able to do what the discussions say in Facebook that you can’t…and that’s switch my username over to my page and select a new username for my profile! I see many people have the same problem like me they thought they were setting up a username for their page not their profile. So anyways all is well thanks to you!!! 🙂

    Reggie
    facebook.com/AppDelete

  11. Hello!

    I created my fan page in October. My fan page has my city name in the title, I now realize that there is another city with the same name in another state and i am getting members from that state so I wanted to change to add my states name to the title but when I do the steps you provided, I do not get the option to change the name, there is not a box to type in?

  12. My employer has a friend page, but it is now required by regulation that all friend pages be converted to “fan” pages only.
    It seems simple in theory, but I can’t figure out how to “turn off” my friend page and reroute friends to our fan page.
    When I log on, I end up on the friend page, when trying to post pictures on the fan page, they end up on the friend page instead. Please help…
    Thanks

  13. My employer has a friend page, but it is now required by regulation that all friend pages be converted to “fan” pages only.
    It seems simple in theory, but I can’t figure out how to “turn off” my friend page and reroute friends to our fan page.
    When I log on, I end up on the friend page, when trying to post pictures on the fan page, they end up on the friend page instead. Please help…
    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Houston-TX/US-Army-Recruiting-Battalion-Houston/108268525863820?ref=ts

    Thanks

  14. My fan page is all set and I have 50+ fans so I’m ready to get a vanity URL. But FB is requiring that I create a “personal profile” before it will let me choose a username for my Fan Page. I’m the administrator of the Fan Page but I don’t want to link my personal profile to this, nor does the owner (seems we tried that and it was a mess to keep business & personal separate… dumb, I know).

    Anyway, do you know of anyway around this or suggestions? Should I consider setting up a “dummy profile” that’s not technically related to either myself or the business owner?

    • not sure why it was a prob to keep personal and business seperate. shoudl be ok, you have really created a fan page right? the two are not linked insofar as what another person sees i believe.

      if so i think you answer your own question in that you have to do what fb says ! or yes your workaround does seem to be a sensible alternative…let us know what happens

  15. Hi there…
    I followed step 1: and FB states that I already set a username. When I got to step 2: in settings there was no Username Change.
    The following tabs only show:

    Name
    Email
    Password
    Linked Accounts
    Security Question
    Privacy
    Deactivate Account

    Why isn’t Username there?

    • You can only change the vanity url once.

      look again at the instructions as they do work, eg step 1 should have the response that you report.

  16. Hhi, I have been trying tohelp a friend and found your blog. Maybe you can help with the answer. When we type in the vanity url for her fan page it takes you to the loging page for Facebook. If logged in to facebook it works fine just not working for the general public with no facebook profile.The url is http://www.facebook.com/LungrenRealEstate. Thanks for any help

      • Hi,

        I have the same problem as above, when i click the facebook tab on my website unless you are logged in to facebook it takes you to the facebook login page. My web designer keeps telling me its not the url its because of a setting within facebook which only allows you to click in when logged into facebook and I need to change the setting within facebook to allow to view my page when offline.. Ten hours and many frustrating moments later I still cannot find anywhere to change settings to make my business page visable to those offline.

        Is this because I only have three fans (likes) so far, or is the url wrong. I would be eternally grateful for help on this.

        Michelle

  17. I just wanted to express my sincere gratitude to you for writing this blog… and being so specific in your instructions on making the Fan Page name change…

    I did PRECISELY as you instructed… held my breath… crossed my fingers and toes… and “Poof!” I successfully, (wiping sweat from my brow here), changed my personal page name over to my Fan Page… and it worked… I am sooooo relieved!

    Thank you so much … this blog post was SO helpful.. and I would NEVER have figured this out without YOU!

    Much love… and continued success & abundance to YOU!

    XO!
    Tamara

  18. Hi,

    I have the same problem as above, when i click the facebook tab on my website unless you are logged in to facebook it takes you to the facebook login page. My web designer keeps telling me its not the url its because of a setting within facebook which only allows you to click in when logged into facebook and I need to change the setting within facebook to allow to view my page when offline.. Ten hours and many frustrating moments later I still cannot find anywhere to change settings to make my business page visable to those offline.

    Is this because I only have three fans (likes) so far, or is the url wrong. I would be eternally grateful for help on this.

    Michelle

  19. Excellent article but we’re still stuck. Here’s what’s going on. I’ve searched facebook’s help center without any luck and I’ve asked many so-called facebook “experts” and they’re also clueless.

    I even used the instructions from their own FAQ here:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=112466578764598#!/FacebookPages

    We created a Facebook Page and want to create a vanity url with our company name.
    We have the 25 fans that are required but when I go to create the vanity URL it takes me here:
    http://www.facebook.com/upgradeaccount.php

    it says in order to use the vanity url you need to create a profile but right under that there’s a link called

    Can I start a profile for my business, band or organization?

    Click the link and it clearly states:

    Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.
    If you create a profile for your business, your account may be disabled for violating our Terms of Use. If you have questions about how to best leverage your Facebook Page, please check out our Insider’s Guide or FAQ.

    I mean what the ……!!!!

    How can we do this?

    It’s a catch 22! It states we need a profile to claim a vanity URL but then it states it violates their TOS if we do so for a brand or organization!!!!

    Am I missing something? I hope I am…

    I might just create an alias that points to the long URL… i.e. http://www.MyCompany.com/facebook

    Frustrated

    Thanks

  20. Got the nice company vanity URL but only works for the admins. For all the other people, it redirects them to their own personal profiles. Have over 25 fans and set up the URL.
    What’s wrong?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Steve, do you have a URL or more info? I’ll look at that if you supply the info.

      The instructions given should work but Facebook is Facebook!! Maybe something to do with security settings, sorry I don’t know them in any detail.

  21. Sure, the URL i’m trying to make really public is facebook.com/GameShop.ro
    It has like 26 fans, people that like it, and it’s United States and 13+ for the age thing.
    Thanks.

  22. I have published my vanity url, no countries are blocked, in addition it works when a user is logged into facebook but not when the user is not

    my vanity url is http://www.facebook.com/SeekTeachers

    it does not work and I have followed all steps. I also have a profile but still no joy

    any further suggestions

    regards

    Ash

    • I am not logged into facebook. Your/SeekTeachers page works for me. I get sent to the WELCOME page straight away. I can’t click ‘like’ and things like that … but that is because you have to be logged in for that functionality to work i would imagine.
      check any age restrictions as well.

      seems to work for me tho…

  23. HELP!

    i created a facebook business page for my business under the name
    “Bugggy.com” i then picked a vanity url so its facebook.com/Bugggy

    Then, I realized I screwed up. I want my business page name to be “Bugggy” (no .com)

    My question is: if i create a new business page under the correct name and delete the old one (with the .com) which has my vanity url linked it to, will it release that vanity url and I’ll be able to use it for the new page?

    (in case anyone wants to know: i am the admin for the original business page and would be creating a new page under the same facebook account)

    anyone tried this?? any help??

  24. Thank you so much I have been fiddling around with this for days, and your instructions have been the clearest. Thanks again.

  25. Before I start this process I need to understand the procedure a bit more. Here’s my situation:

    Not knowing much about the difference between an Account page and a Fan page — I created a separate Account page for my business. Then created a Fan page for that Account. I accidentally set the Username (www.facebook.com/greenslopebuilding) to the Account page when it should have gone to the Fan page.

    So to be clear I have a Personal Account page, a Business Account page, and a Business Fan page.

    I am an admin of the Business Fan page because I created it using the Business Account page, but I am also an admin of the Business Fan page via my Personal Account page.

    What I don’t understand from you instructions is should I try your procedure logged into my Business Account page or my Personal Account page?

    And I’ve read on other blogs that this procedure may or may not work. The common thread seems to be an internal change Facebook made in the beginning of November 2010.

    Thanks for you help,

    Mark

  26. Thank you SO much for blogging these instructions. I needed to make that change and fast, and was near pulling my hair out trying to figure this out. Your help got it sorted within minutes and now I’m ready to go. No if I could only figure out how to delete the other page I accidentally created before seeing this post… Here we go. Round two!

    Thanks again!

  27. Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering if you could help me.

    I have a business page with about 31 fans on it and I have manage to create the username as instructed above. However, when I type the URL with username is does work but only works if you are logged into FB. Can you please guide me to resolve this problem.

    Thanks

    Vaishakhi

Have your say