Tips & Tricks: Merging Two Facebook Business Pages
I recently merged multiple Facebook Business pages representing the same organization and thought I'd share some tips and tricks I learned along the way.
To keep things simple, let's label the two pages:
Primary Page - The Facebook Business page you plan to keep. All the content (posts, photos, and videos) on this page will stay the same after the merge.
Merged Page - The Facebook Business page you plan to merge into Primary Page. Merged Page will no longer exist after the merge.
The check-ins and page likes/followers from Merged Page will be added to Primary Page's check-ins and page likes/followers.
If you want to have a copy of Merged Page's posts, photos, videos and page info you can request a download of these from Facebook before you start the merge process. Go to Merge Page's Settings > General > Download Page.
Now that we have identified the two pages in the process let's make sure the following are true:
You are an Admin for Primary Page and Merged Page.
Both Primary Page and Merged Page have the exact same address (check the About tab).
Neither Primary Page or Merged Page is the primary page for a Facebook Business Manager account.
This part was the most problematic for me early on before I figured out how to work with Facebook's rules. Next you'll need to change the name of Merged Page to more closely match that of Primary Page:
Go to Merged Page's About tab and edit the page name to something closer to Primary Page. I recommend changing it to The Primary Page, for example.
The name change may take an hour or up to three days. I typically saw the page name change within two hours of the request. Facebook sent a notification when it was approved or denied.
Don't be surprised if your name change request is denied. This is fine and shouldn't be a problem. Click on the name change denial request (or go to Merged Page's settings > General > Page Support Inbox) and select Appeal above Facebook's denial message. Write a clear, polite response to Facebook explaining why the name change is relevant. I didn't mention anything about wanting to merge the pages that exist. In some cases Merged Page was actually an offshoot campaign and I explained that it was really The Primary Page, I was simply correcting a marketing error.
Now you are ready to merge the two pages:
Go to Primary Page's settings > General > Merge Pages > Merge Duplicate Pages.
Facebook will have you re-enter your password as a security measure.
Select Primary Page and Merged Page in the drop down area below "Choose the two Pages you'd like to merge:" and then click Continue. At that point, Facebook will either give you an error message or have you select the page you want to keep. Select Primary Page. Various error messages I've seen include:
"These Pages can't be merged because either Primary Page or Merged Page is the Primary Page for a Business Manager Account." Problematic, but this can be resolved. I had to assign the smallest page I own (no followers, I only use it for testing) in Business Manager as the primary page until the merge was complete then I reassigned Primary Page as just that, the primary page.
"These Pages can't be merged because there is already a pending request to merge Primary Page." Oh boy do I hate this one. I got this the first time I tried to merge two pages so I was pretty sure this error was unfounded. Other social media managers I've talked to think it pops up when you try to merge the pages right after a name change is processed for one of the pages in the merge request. Regardless of the cause, you can wait a week for the error to possible resolve itself (this happened to my request) then try again or you can fill out a request form to the Technical Team. Sending all the good vibes your way on this one.
"These Pages can’t be merged because the Page names aren’t similar." This was the one I ran into the most at first before I figure out the page name trick where I simply rename Merged Page to "The Primary Page" before merging.
"These Pages can’t be merged because the page is unpublished." Check that both pages are published in the page's settings > General > Page Visibility. It could be that one of the pages has been inactive for too long and Facebook automatically unpublished it. Make it published and try again
A few more tips and tricks before you go:
Consider pinning a post to Merged Page encouraging people to go follow Primary Page before you change the page name or go about merging. Explain that Primary Page is just that, the primary page to stay up-to-date for your organization.
Notifications are sent out to Merged Page when the name is changed and the page is merged. Be ready to answer questions.
If you just became an admin for Merged Page, you'll want to wait a week or two to request the merge.
The more page followers you have, the friendlier and more responsive Facebook is towards you. It's just the way of the social world. When I merge pages with less than 10k followers, the merge process can take weeks (in one case it actually took seven months since one of the pages had less than 1K followers). When I merge pages with over 20k followers, I can do the whole process in less than two days.
Facebook has a lovely little threat on the page where you request the merge. If you are truly merging two pages that should be merged, this shouldn't concern you. I mention it because you should be merging pages to benefit people who want to keep updated with your organization, not just to puff up your follower counts. Make sure you have the right intentions when you go about merging pages. Facebook says:
The Pages you merge must represent the same thing and have similar names. If you try to merge Pages that aren't similar, the Pages may be permanently unpublished.
I'm not always a big fan of Facebook, but merging pages is feature not found on any other social platform. It's one of the few truly great gifts Facebook has given to marketers. So please follow the rules and don't give them an excuse to "retire" the merging feature.
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