Few weeks go by that I am not invited to join a filmmaker acquaintance’s NEW Facebook page for their latest project. I like to be supportive, but I am pretty judicious about joining pages and besides, isn’t this turning into a maintenance problem for most filmmakers?
Open a page, keep it up for a while until the film does the festival circuit and goes into digital distribution, then open a new page for the next project. How about instead of opening up new pages, project by project, you just open ONE page for your professional work or for your production company? I frequently talk about ending the disposable audience mentality, so let’s stop abandoning the fans of one Facebook page in the hope that they will join your new one.
Did you know that you can change the name of an already existing Facebook fan page? If you have over 200 Likes, it isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. The old rules were that you could NEVER change the name of your Facebook fan page or the vanity URL after reaching 25 fans, but with the new updates, Facebook has relaxed that NEVER a little bit. Mainly, they are worried about spammers opening pages, filling the page with millions of “fans” and then selling the page to the highest bidder (you know it would happen!). Plus, who wants to join one page and have it turn into something else? People would be more pissed at Facebook than they normally are.
Be aware: Pages with Non US based administrators do not currently have the option of requesting a name change.
There are 2 ways to change a Fan Page name. If you have less than 200 fans:
Go to Edit Page >Edit Settings>Basic Information
If you have less than 200 likes, you can change your page name under the Name field. If you have over that number, the Name field will not be editable.
Most filmmakers have worked pretty hard to get over 200 Likes, so here is how you request a name change:
From the top of your Page, click Edit Page>Edit settings>Basic Information>Request Change next to the Name field and fill out the form that pops up with the required information and click Send. On the form, you will need to provide some kind of proof that you legally own the page and that you are changing it for rebranding purposes only.
The Request Change option sometimes doesn’t appear even if you haven’t changed your Page name at some point in the past (it didn’t appear on my page settings, but it did on The Film Collaborative’s page).
If your Page has more than 200 likes, you can only change your Page name ONCE. If your request has been approved, you won’t be able to submit another request for that Page. Changing your Page’s name does not affect its username or Page URL address, but you can change those yourself, as long as the new names are available on Facebook.
Now, about that Form you have to send in…
Hopefully your production company is a LLC and has some kind of mail coming with a name and address in the US. Facebook is particular about how you prove that you are the page owner. You’ll have to scan it and attach the document. As with anything concerning Facebook, you are at the mercy of Facebook’s customer service people whether they will approve and change it for you.
Remember, if you are successful at changing your Facebook page name, you will need to change the URL and name on every communication you have that features your Facebook URL. Also change the URL in any buttons you have on your website.
For anyone who hasn’t started a page yet, just set it up under a business name to begin with because this is rather a pain to do. But if you have a page you want to change, at least you will be able to keep the audience base that you already built.
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