Why I hate Facebook (& what YOU need to do to protect YOUR Business Page)

by Naomi Clark on January 7, 2018

So, imagine it’s about 2011 or 2012, following 7 years of enjoying sharing inane quizzes to your ‘Wall’, looking up and subsequently remembering why you left old schoolfriend (and partners) in the past, leaving a few daft comments and giggles whilst scrolling and shock-horror realising it’s now several hours later and you’ve spent your whole afternoon LOVING up the Facebook. We’ve all done it. It’s so lovely to connect with people from your childhood or share photos of a fun occasion  – but it can eat up time, can’t it?

Now visualise you have decided to use this resource for something productive, so you create a Facebook ‘Page’ for your small business that is one step up from your personal ‘Profile’. You select a photo and a name, and invite all your ‘Friends’ to join your exciting new ‘Page’. You don’t have a big enough company to employ Social Media advisors and and you can negotiate your way thru the user-friendly prompts to set up and run your page and connect it to your other platforms yourself . You update once or twice daily with relevant snippets, keep an eye on your ‘Engagement Insights’ (and those of your competitors once you realise Facebook is happy to share that info with you!) you post pictures of your Events, perhaps recipes, memes and quotes you find inspiring, and watch your ‘Page Likes’ and visits increase satisfyingly. It’s all good, what a wonderful community Facebook is, and best of all it’s FREE!

Fast forward another 5 or 6 years – your Facebook Page has not only become like a valuable scrapbook of every single work event, Retreat, Workshop, Promotion, and HUB for of all those who enjoy what your offering is.  Any updates to do with your business are immediately added to Facebook – ‘Check the Facebook Page’ trips off the tongue in response to many queries where ‘it’s on the Website’ used to be. It’s quick, easy, instantly updatable. You’ve even actually spent real money in ‘Boosting’ your Advertisements thru Facebook Advertising. In fact, most new enquiries come to you via Facebook messages. Sometimes you don’t like it, but it is necessary, available and convenient. No longer is it just fun. It’s your LIVELIHOOD. 

So imagine you go to update your Page or one of your Pages one day with perhaps a new opening time or to announce a new promotion – but the Admin that you use to run the Page is suddenly locked out! There is a slightly threatening new message from ‘Facebook’ itself that your account has come to their attention for possibly using a name that was not the real full name and would you please supply a photo or scan of documents used to ‘Identify Yourself to Facebook’ from the list the provided –  either Birth Certificate, Driving Licence, Marriage Certificate etc.

This is what happened to me at the beginning of December.

You may have seen my Pages, or even ‘Liked’ them on Facebook…

 

 

 

 

 

I was running 3 pages for my 3 interconnected businesses, Naomi Clark Yoga, Hot Yoga Eastbourne, and more recently, Hot Yoga Lewes. They aren’t big businesses. As you know, I teach yoga and although I have a wonderful and close community of Yoga Students in Pop Up Studios and on Retreats, a few Studios and Teachers who I coach online, and I visit Studios in this country and abroad to run Workshops. It’s a small and humble business totalling less than a few thousand followers on Facebook. Nevertheless, I relied on Facebook to communicate instantly with those people; should a class have to be cancelled, one added, a cover teacher or a new retreat, this is most of my Students’ first port of call for being informed about it. Only half actually read the Newsletters and many aren’t active on Instagram or Twitter. 

The issue was that my Admin profile was not run under the name Naomi Clark – in the hope of managing my online time better, I had long set aside my original account after finding myself repeatedly idling hours scrolling thru other people’s photographs, arguing with late night Trolls, exchanging mindless comments with colleagues, tittering at silly ‘Shares’  – and so had set up an clean and new ‘Admin’ Account which is needed to run a Page, under my nickname of Nomes.

Of course, no official document featured my nickname – so having immediately submitting my passport and driving licence, medical ID card and credit card to Facebook (how are they even storing and disposing of this information safely anyways?) I waited what I thought might be a 24 hours or at worst few days for one of their employees to process it and let me back in to update. Or at least come back and query my nickname. Or let me temporarily in to change my nickname to my formal name. Or message me back with some questions asking for more proof of who I was. Or maybe email me to tell me I was never getting my Pages back. Or…something??

Nothing doing. Despite messaging support and the Facebook Help Centre nearly 50 times, being shunted from Business Pages support to Profile support on the Community Page, reading Forums, watching YouTube ‘How to’ tutorials, speaking with Social Media agencies, tweeting Facebook, sometimes spending up to 7 hours a day trying to get back into my account – after 3 weeks, I was still getting the same wall. And the writing on the wall said this….

 

 

Now I have learnt that if I had a backup Admin account, i.e. another person, or two with their own independent Profiles added to my Page then I would have been able to quickly get back in. Or had I used my own name (I didn’t want to – I didn’t want to be scrolling Facebook all day being distracted, or offend my friends and students by not responding to Friends Requests) then I wouldn’t have been targeted by Facebook as an imposter. I have also learnt that Facebook has no customer service, no response team, no support, no number, no email, no WAY to make yourself heard. Because despite pouring hours and hours of your personal life or business hours, energy, time and ad dollar, going round in circles trying to reclaim your own identity, Facebook is not here for you. YOU, in fact, are here to support THEM. 

I’ve lost my Facebook mojo. And I’m not alone. 

If you are running a Facebook Page or using ANY name that is not exactly as your official ID, without having the backup of 3 friends or additional Admin, you are at serious risk of losing years of photos, contacts, history, business relationships and information. Imagine going to the front door of your business or home & seeing a notice on the door saying that you will never be able to get back in again, to go away and just start up again somewhere else, thank you for your patience. It’s actually more than a little bit traumatising.

 You then will not even be able to get back into Facebook to sort it out. You will have to set up a brand new clear account, the doing of which will duplicate and override your existing email and phone number superseding the original account as void anyway – ARRGGHHH!!!!

I have over 100 new messages (it’s January, the busiest time for Yoga Studios) on the old Pages that I receive alerts on, but cannot read and respond to – so please don’t be offended if I have not got back to your message. I have now given up trying to access those old accounts – but sadly cannot even delete them so un-updateable information about the Hot Yoga Studios Lewes & Eastbourne shall be floating about forever more…

I’m not panicking about it all now tho, the sense of loss has faded. There is about 67% acceptance and even about 2% of me can talk about it with a shrug and a smile. I learnt something. Back up back up back up, and that, once again, everything is impermanent – even Facebook.

I have to trust that if people REALLY want to come to my yoga classes, they will track down the details by other methods.

Good Article Here on Using the Law & a Notary to Get Your Facebook Business Access Back https://www.savvysocial.media/2016/07/13/locked-case-study-restoring-facebook-page/

 

Update  – Last week, my brother managed to get me in on my Naomi Clark Yoga Page using one of my old accounts, so fortunately something in this tragedy was salvaged. Although I hate Facebook for not being fun anymore and diddling me out of my time and money (I will never buy Facebook ads again),  I feel great about my yoga community and friends, so here are my new pages which you can give a ‘Like’ to (there are currently less than 20 Likes on each so…uh….it feels brand new, right? (Insert crying face emoji here) 

New Hot Yoga Eastbourne Page Here

 

New Hot Yoga Lewes Page Here 

 

Annoyingly now, Facebook, after their Robot-people had denied me access to my own information, are now endlessly spamming me to ‘Boost’ my new pages as they have no interaction on them. Yes, ya cheeky Zucker, you got my business contacts, you got all my ID, you refuse to accept I am who I say I am, NOW you want me to spend money with you? I think not.

Meanwhile  – if you ‘Friend Request’ me on Naomi Clark, I’m sorry I won’t respond. That profile is just for Admin Purposes. You can call me tho, let’s go for Tea and catchup in the real time, without Facebook controlling who we are and what we do!

(And yes, I do realise the irony of being about to share this post on Facebook…)

Namaste! 

 

Naomi x

 

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