Updated January 23, 2016
After rebranding and merging two Facebook Pages, others asked me how I did it. Facebook changes constantly, but I did this a while back, and these are the steps I took. I hope you find it helpful.
A few years ago I started thinking long-term about my online goals. After blogging, writing an ebook (referral link), dabbling in other projects and dreaming about new ideas, I decided to rebrand.
I wanted to create one Facebook Page from which I could do everything instead of separate Pages for each project.
I knew one of the biggest challenges of a rebrand would be switching my Facebook Page from “Blogging with Amy” to Amy Lynn Andrews. I’ll just say, Facebook doesn’t make this sort of thing super simple.
Reasons to merge Facebook Pages
This predicament is not mine alone. Many others have wanted to merge their Facebook Pages. Here are some of the reasons an online publisher might want to do it. They:
- Landed a book deal and needed an author page, and didn’t want it to be buried in their main blog.
- Started other projects that didn’t have anything to do with their main blog or site.
- Felt like their main blog had run its course, or they had lost interest.
- Became interested in new and different topics they wanted to explore.
- Took on very professional roles and their domain name didn’t portray the professionalism they desired.
- Realized their site name didn’t accurately describe the types of readers they were attracting or wanted to attract.
- Were regretful they didn’t put more thought into their name when they started.
The quickest ways to merged Facebook Pages
These options are quick and worth a try to start. Unfortunately, these options aren’t always straightforward as I’ll explain in a minute.
Fast Option 1: Follow Facebook’s instructions on their help page here.
Fast Option 2: Know someone in Facebook who can push your request through.
Fast Option 3: Andrea mentioned she recently rebranded and was able to get her Facebook Page name changed by providing legal documentation.
How I merged my Facebook Pages
At the time I was merging my Pages, none of the above options worked for me. So, I had to do it the slow way, meaning, I had to navigate my way through a bunch of questions which I’ve spelled out below.
I hope my process will help you determine what your options are.
Things you should know about merging Pages on Facebook
First, let’s go over some things that are good to know. Where appropriate, I’ve included the way these points influenced my own process.
1. Your Page name is different than your Page username and can only be changed once. The username is what gets included in the URL. For example, in my Page’s URL (www.facebook.com/AmyLynnAndrews), the “AmyLynnAndrews” is my username. You may only change your username once and you may only change it if the username you want is available (obviously). Here’s how to change your Facebook Page username.
In my case, I had already claimed the username AmyLynnAndrews even though I wasn’t really using it. The upshot was, I couldn’t just go into my BloggingWithAmy account and try to switch to AmyLynnAndrews. Of course it was me who already owned it, but going through the steps to change my username simply resulted in “that name is already taken.” That’s the way it goes I guess. By the way, usernames are not transferrable.
2. It’s unclear whether or not you can delete a Page and then reclaim the username on another Page. Do this at your own risk!
I thought this might be my solution. I could delete my ALA Page, thereby releasing the username and making it available, right? Then I would use my one-time username change option on my BWA Page and choose the (now free) ALA username. It sounded like a plan, but then I got nervous about letting it go. What would happen if I couldn’t reclaim it for some reason? I figured it was unlikely that the username would be available immediately. And then I read something indicating Facebook does not release previously used usernames (although I can’t find the link now–argh). In the end, I didn’t want to risk it.
Update: Janel mentioned she did this and it took 30 days for the name to be released. (Thanks, Janel!)
3. You may not be able to change your Page name easily once if you have a certain number of Likes. At one time, only Pages with less than 200 Likes was able to change their Page name. It’s unclear if this is still the case. This is how to change your Facebook Page name.
At the time, I had over 200 Likes on my BWA Page so this wasn’t an option for me. Besides, changing the Page name still wouldn’t change my Page’s URL from www.facebook.com/BloggingWithAmy to www.facebook.com/AmyLynnAndrews and I really wanted the latter.
When you merge two Pages, the smaller one will be absorbed into the bigger one. You can’t do it the other way around.
Update 1/29/2014: It looks like this may have changed, but it’s not precisely spelled out. I suggest giving it a try.
For me, I had nearly 6000 Likes on BWA and virtually none on ALA so this was out.
5. You will lose all data, photos, updates, etc. on the Page that goes away. Make sure you download all the information you want to keep.
6. You can only merge two Pages that “represent the same thing and have similar names.” So, if you have two Pages sharing vastly different information, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to merge them.
This was one risk for me. I wasn’t sure what was meant by “represent the same thing” and I didn’t know how similar the Page names needed to be in order to be eligible for merging. I was hoping the “Amy” was good enough.
7. Sidenote: If you have a personal Profile, you can turn it into a Page. This might be an option for some. Here’s how to convert your personal profile to a Page.
In my case, it was a tough call
In the end, because none of the solutions above worked for me, I decided to start building my ALA Page from scratch.
I must tell you, it was HARD going from almost 6000 Likes on my BWA Page to almost zero on my ALA Page. But, I figured, better to do it sooner than later. A lot of this online publishing stuff is just about persistence anyway. 🙂
So, I pretty much started over. I started building my new Page just like I did the other. Slow and steady is how it’s done, that’s all I can tell you.
Here are some of the practical things I did to hasten the process, many of which are just good, old-fashioned “how to build your Facebook Page” tips:
1. I tried to post useful information. I was keenly aware of my Facebook Insights (Facebook stats) and what readers were responding to.
2. I did my best to interact in the comments.
3. I put up an “I’ve moved” cover image on my BWA Page.
4. I started sharing the posts I was putting on my ALA Page on my BWA Page. I did this after remembering the bit about the Pages needed to have the same information (see #6 above),
5. I asked BWA followers to move. Occasionally I would mention on my Blogging with Amy Page that I moved and I asked people to follow me there instead.
6. Then I started telling them how to move. I posted specific instructions about how they could move with me in status updates like this:
Wondering where my updates are? My Page has moved to Amy Lynn Andrews. <–Hover and click Like to follow me there!
Many did. Slowly the numbers started to grow.
Finally, after many months, my Likes on Amy Lynn Andrews overtook my Likes on Blogging with Amy.
7. I requested my Pages to be merged. At this point, I filled out the Request to Merge Pages form once again. I was a little skeptical because the options mentioned on their DIY merge Pages instructions weren’t showing up for me and so I wondered if that was an indication I wasn’t eligible.
But much to my surprise, a couple of days after filling out the form, bam! BWA was gone and I suddenly had a couple extra thousand Likes on my Amy Lynn Andrews Page since the unique Likes on BWA were absorbed into ALA. Yay!