If your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, you are getting an abundance of notifications about photographers changing their Facebook business pages to include their location. I personally to keep my feed more clean, like very few pages but in just about every photography group I am in, everyone is scrambling to figure out what this means, and why everyone is doing it. At first I was a bit confused, then thought “how stupid,” now I am a little indifferent but I am still not sold on it. I have pull a little research on this to pull together a quick run down of the myths & truths to why this is happening.
1. Sue Bryce told me to do it
First off we all love Sue. Her work is incredible and she is an even better person. I think even Sue would agree to leave the in’s and out’s to the social media battle field to people that study the trends all day long. Many people claim they heard Sue on yesterday’s Creative Live feed suggest to do this. Sue has since stated that she did not, and would not, suggest to do this. So we can officially cross Sue off our list of culprits. Keep rocking on Sue and congrats on your Creative Live milestone!
2. Facebook made the change
While this could be the case, from what I have gathered it is not the truth. I have spoke to several artists on why they changed their’s and none of them said that Facebook “made” or “told” them to do it. While Facebook DOES recommend you to add a location to your page, that is not meaning to add the location in your profile name. If you decide you don’t want your reviews on, but want your address or location showing, I suggest adding it to your about section on your business page.
I also did a bit of searching through Google and could not find one piece of relevant information as to why this was happening. Which leads me to believe that it was just a rumor or advice sent through the photography community and people decided to follow. I also went to Facebook news board and they have nothing on there all the way back to February about this. Just to calm your fears even more, generally when Facebook changes are made, they aren’t a secret for very long.
3. This is just another way for Facebook to take our money
For this topic I am going to try to keep a very quiet and even tone, hence the word try. Let’s tackle the first part. No Facebook is not making this change, I don’t believe, and no Facebook is not trying to turn their community into a Dictatorship. As far as Facebook “wanting our money,” plain and simple, yes they do. But so does radio advertisers, so do TV Ads, so do newspaper Ads and so on. Facebook is not in the business of giving away free business. They are in the business of making money and never hid that fact. This is a free service and you may continue to do so without paying them anything. I personally VERY rarely pay for any boosting on post and right now my Facebook page has roughly a 94,000 outreach on my posts. I know another big complaint is that “well I pay on my posts and they still don’t work.” Have you ever considered the fact that maybe it is user error? Unless you are studying social media and keeping up on current trend setters and blogs, I wouldn’t be trying to point the finger at Facebook so quickly and more so should be looking in the mirror. I will save this topic for another day.
So now that we know a few of the myths about why this is happening let’s talk about what we do know.
4. Recommended through photography groups
Through a few of the girls that I have talked to, they have all said they read it in some photography groups to do this. While this might ease some nerves that Facebook is making you do it, I still wouldn’t be following “random” advice. Even when SEO specialists say to do something, always take the time to vet out if this method will truly work. Do some research on the topic and see if it makes any logical sense, before diving right in. One big pet peeve of everyone is that “everyone” is a photographer, well just because someone says they are a SEO expert, doesn’t make them one. Do your research people. Also to all Facebook group managers, these are the types of topics of discussion to keep an eye out for. As community managers it is our jobs not to let rumors run rampant.
5. I am going to be found easier
Hold your horses there cowboy. I am not completely convinced that this will do any of that for you. The theory is that by adding your location to your name, that Facebook will deem you higher in searches. First I am going to say no, at least not in Google, but I will save that for #8. As far as searching in Facebook, I have poked around and put in different methods in the Facebook search bar, and I have not found this to be the case. Facebook has a memory just as Google search does and will remember your most current searches. I went through some of the pages that changed their names and I wasn’t finding them first through this method either. It still proves that by adding your address, this is the best way for Facebook to pull you up in searches. Even if people do a Google like search in the Facebook search bar. Such as “Dallas, Texas Photographer.” I did find on a few occasions it did pull up the direct photographer by that local search but it has to be put in exact. So if you put in “Memphis, TN Photographer,” that is exactly what they had to search. By the person searching “Memphis, Tennessee Photographer,” that photographer no longer showed up. So again, I am not totally convinced by this Facebook theory either. This is the only glimmer of hope this new trend has.
6. My page won’t get confused with other local & non-local photographers
I am not going to dig very far into this issue other than let your work speak for itself AND have your address on your page. If a person is looking for you, a newborn Washington photographer, and run across a photographer in Colorado with that name, I am sure it won’t take long to figure out that they are in the wrong place. If you have someone looking for a newborn Washington photographer, and find you competition who has a name that is similar in nature, this is your time to shine. This is why we should be focusing and fine tuning our craft so we can attract more attention from potential clients. Sometimes we are going to lose potential clients to our competition and there is nothing we can do. Just as you might have your heart set on a dress at Anthropology but come across Free People first..Free People might get the win but not for lack on Anthropology’s trying.
7. I can change my business page name however often I want
I saw this on one of the posts I was reading and it made me want to cringe. No, Facebook will not let you change your name as much as you want. POLICY HERE It still has in it’s rules that only ONE name change is allowed and with you having under 200 fans, or you have to ask Facebook. I can tell you personally when I changed my page name it was hell, and nothing short of it. Also the terms of agreement with Facebook state that you may not include geographic locations. Is this trend really worth being banned over?
8. It will help me rank in Google searches
Social media does not typically trump any website content, generally speaking. You will find when you don’t blog often or don’t have a blog/website that is good with SEO, then your other media pages will pop up. There is a big, giant web to what all ranks in SEO and this article I found explains it great. Read it HERE
9. Confusing your potential and current clients
I know a big reason as to why a lot of wedding photographers are scared is because they travel and they have a right to be worried. By putting on your Facebook page that you are a XX photographer, this might lead potential clients into thinking you no longer travel. Or let’s say you are a local photographer but still travel to any area within an hours drive. By adding your location, you might be adding more extra, busy work by having clients email concerned you no longer will be accepting them. There is one theory here where by adding your location will actually help people understand you ONLY stay in XX city in XX state, if that is your case, then more power to you. And yes it would clear up any confusion.
10. My Facebook business page is my website
No. Just no. Your website is NOT your Facebook business page. If you are doing this, then yes I can see how the decrease in organic reach has upset you but again, you have no one to be upset with but yourself. It is extremely helpful to add your location into your headers on your website but this does not include Facebook pages. Since again I repeat, THEY ARE NOT A WEBSITE.
I think this just about covers all the current theories I have seen floating around. Please people, do your research before jumping into anything. These are our businesses and not something to toy around with. You would hate to make any decisions that might jeopardize the future of your business. Don’t ever feel pressured to make a change, that you don’t believe in because as quick as the trends come…they usually go.
If you hear of more myths that you want busted on this topic email me at [email protected]
Image by: Picography