Continuning my simple how-to series, we have come to everyone’s favorite social media network Facebook. Some of you have already personalized your URL, some haven’t so read on.
Personalize what now?
This is neither brand new or a scoop but definitely a useful exercise. Facebook don’t advertise this but just like LinkedIn they allow you to personalize your public profile URL. Your URL is the actual web address of your profile. The folks at LinkedIn encourage you to do this on your profile, Facebook don’t for some reason. This could be because they have 500 million users compared to the mere 70 million at LinkedIn – just imagine how many disappointed John Smiths there will be out there.
Have a look at your Facebook profile right now. The URL that Facebook have assigned your profile is likely to look something like this: facebook.com/profile.php?id=7320a5453. One simple action lets you personalize the end bit and the number will be gone in favor of your name.
What’s the point of personalization?
There are a few points actually. The first would be that it looks better both on Facebook but also whenever you are giving out the URL. Think end of your email signature, your resume or other places where you’d actually spell it out.
The second would be seach engine optimization (SEO). By enabling your vanity URL, you are more likely to be picked up and ranked higher by Google, Bing and the rest when someone searches for your name.
Final reason is that it only takes 10 seconds so why the heck not I say.
How do you do it?
Simples! You log in to you Facebook account and then go to facebook.com/username and the options will appear before you:
Unless you have a fairly uncommon name like Henry's long lost brother here, you may find that your name combination has been taken. You will want your entire name to be part of the URL so try putting your initial, city or other keyword in there.
Can I change my (Fan) Page URL as well?
Indeed you can, it's on the same page facebook.com/username. The caveat here is that your Page has to have more than 30 fans (or likers?), which is a good kick up the rear to attract more fans today… Again, this one is set in stone (just like your Page name by the way) so be sure to get it right.
Bear in mind
When you set your URL, it’s set it stone and Facebook won’t change it for you. Don’t even try to contact their near non-existant customer service department.
Only ever set a city if you are likely to stick around for the foreseeable and only add keywords if they will be relevant to your business in the medium to long term. This is just like a web domain, it’s integral to get it right the first time. Let me know if you have any questions around this, always happy to help.
Have you set your Facebook vanity URL yet?