Web Design & SEO


Web Design & SEO

The Problem With Facebook Business Pages

A Facebook business page can be a great way of promoting your services to new and existing customers online.

It has several features that are similar to a website like being able to upload your own images and videos, send and receive messages, etc.

In some ways it is a mini website, so it’s easy to see the appeal for sole traders and self employed business owners just starting out.

A few clicks, a couple of images uploaded, and bang – your business is online.

Sort of.

I don’t wish to rain on anyone’s parade, nor to put you off having one altogether, but there are a lot of differences between a Facebook business page and a real website.

Today I want to draw your attention to one of them; a problem that probably doesn’t occur to most people until it’s too late.

And if you are relying on a Facebook business page to run your online presence, it’s definitely a risk you need to consider.

You don’t own anything

We think of it as ‘our’ Facebook page, but, in reality, ‘your’ Facebook page is really Facebook’s Facebook page.

To Facebook you are a user – not a customer. And this isn’t just semantics; It’s an important distinction that makes a big difference.

Perhaps understandably, most people don’t give this kind of thing much thought… until they have a problem, like our client Michael.

One day, months ago, Michael suddenly found he couldn’t log in to his Facebook account, and when he tried to recover his password using the ‘forgot password’ tool, he saw his primary email had been changed to one he didn’t recognise. Wait, what?

Yes – unfortunately, his account had been hacked (everyone thinks only big targets like large companies and famous peple get hacked, but, trust us, it can and does happen to anyone).

To cut a long, frustrating story short, Mike eventually was able to regain access to his Facebook account but it wasn’t easy. He went through an automated process that took him round in circles. Only weeks later, after hours on YouTube and googling the issue, did he find an alternate way to verify his account by scanning and uploading his driving license, and, finally get back in.

“Ok”, you might be thinking, “so there was a bit of inconvenience”. But now the problem is solved, right? Well, no, it’s not. Not really.

Our client got back into his Facebook account, but not his Facebook business page.

Is there anybody out there?

He’s still locked out of that, because whoever hacked his account removed his admin rights to his page, and he can’t reinstate himself because you can’t claim admin rights to a page.

It could be straightened out easily, but the problem is that when something like this happens you can’t speak to anyone at Facebook about it (- this is why you see so many dead, abandoned pages and duplicate pages on Facebook).

It’s unthinkable in any other situation that you could lose access to your account and the company responsible would be unreachable.

Picture if someone got in to your Netflix account, changed your email and password so you couldn’t use it anymore, and when you emailed Netflix to ask what was going on you got an auto-reply like this:

“Sorry, this is not an issue we can assist you with. You may wish to read this support article. Please do not reply to this email as this inbox is unmonitored”.

It might sound like a joke but it’s not – it’s a warning. That is what it’s like when you lose access to your Facebook business page through no fault of your own.

Been running your page for years and built up hundreds of followers? Too bad.
Entire customer list stored in the chat history? Not any more.
Can’t reply to new enquiries? Sorry.

Luckily Mike isn’t reliant on his Facebook page. But it got me thinking about all the small businesses who are.

If you’re using your Facebook page to handle all your online promotion, to communicate with your clients, to collect all your reviews, to store all your showcase images/videos, and more, think what would happen if you permanently lost access to it.

It would be a MASSIVE issue.

Of course, being hacked and kicked off your page is a worst case scenario. The fundamental issue, though, is a lack of control, and this manifests in many ways.

At any time Facebook can change their ‘algorithm’ that determines whether your customers see your posts, or the terms and conditions governing how the service works.

And that is not some theoretical ‘maybe’ thing – it’s something that happens all the time and will continue to happen in future.

Without warning, your page visibility can drop dramatically, or key capabilities that you depend on could be changed or removed altogether. And if/when this happens, there is basically nothing you can do.

Does this mean to say I think you shouldn’t have a Facebook business page? Not at all.

By all means, if you have ideas for content – and can keep up with posting it regularly – Facebook could be a really great marketing tool for your business.

(Regularly is the key word here because nothing looks worse than a dead Facebook page that last posted 2 years ago, but that’s a whole other topic…)

The point is not to rely on Facebook. Don’t depend on things you can’t control to run major elements of your day-to-day business, because we’ve seen what can happen.

With your own website the great thing is that you control it and everything that goes on it.

You can then use social media as tools to funnel people to your own website, where they take the next step you want them to take (i.e. getting in touch or signing up). That’s the smart way to do things.

Just remember – when a customer messages your Facebook page, Facebook owns that interaction. When someone emails your business email, they’re your customer.

If you do things through your own website, the whole show doesn’t grind to a halt when one service has a problem.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that as a web design company we think you should have a great website for your business.

Well, pardon us, but of course we do.

But we also don’t want to you run into issues with your Facebook page, even if you do use it against our recommendations in place of a website! We don’t want you or your business to suffer.

So, to finish, here are our top tips to give yourself the best chance of avoiding any nasty problems:

Facebook Security Tips

1 – Keep all your contact details up to date

A lot of people change their email or phone number and let it lapse, with their old contact details remaining on Facebook. Don’t, because you will need access to these details to reset passwords and/or regain access to a hacked account. Once your account is compromised, it’s too late to update them.

2 – Set up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication is a security measure where you are sent a temporary access code whenever Facebook detects a login attempt from an unrecognised device or location. It slightly decreases convenience if you frequently change device, but greatly improves security. Strongly recommended.

3 – Use a strong password

We all want to make our passwords strong, and we would, it’s just hard to remember things like i6{cM9<)2!.

Here is a simple tip to increase the strength of your passwords – use a pass phrase instead. A pass phrase is longer than a pass word, and much harder to crack.

For example, the password glasgow is extremely weak and can easily be broken.

It would be substantially stronger if it were glasgowisthebest.

You know how password generators love special characters? There’s good reason for that. Our password would be stronger still reformulated as glasgow’sthebest.

It would be stronger again if we capitalise the start of each word: Glasgow’sTheBest

That’s pretty good, but we could make this even more secure, yet still memorable, by adding numbers. For example, I’ll add the year I moved to Glasgow:


Now we have a strong password that’s still easy to remember. Yes, it’s longer to type than glasgow, but that is the nature of security. It’s your call where to balance convenience/memorability with hard-to-crack-ness.

PS You can check the strength of your password, and try out some ideas to make it stronger, here

PPS Try out our demo passwords and notice the ‘time to crack’ report to see how security is improved with each step.

4 – Appoint more than one page admin

Always make sure another person (someone you can trust) is also an admin of your page, so that they can still log in if something happens to your account. You could also create a dummy second Facebook account purely for recovery purposes, that sits dormant with a really strong password until needed.

5 – Don’t use shared WIFI

If you need to use internet on the go, there are two options – 1) use your smartphone’s 4G (using mobile hotspot or ‘tethering’ if you’re using a laptop), or 2) connect through a VPN (virtual private network) if you need to use a public wifi network. We would recommend you never connect unsecured to a public network.

Got a question?

If you have a question about this topic, or anything else to do with websites, SEO and digital marketing, feel free to send us a message

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About the author

About the author

Christy Bannerman is a web designer based in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., with a passion for helping small businesses stand out and grow their business online. He runs The Works Web Design, a company that brings premium website and marketing services to small businesses at an affordable cost.

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About the author

Picture of Christy Bannerman

Christy Bannerman

Christy is a website designer based in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. with a passion for helping small businesses stand out and grow their business online. He runs The Works Web Design, a company on a mission to bring premium web design and digital marketing to small businesses at an affordable cost.