Google “my Facebook Fan Page disappeared,” and you’ll see a long list of frustrated, aggravated, infuriated people—some of whom have accumulated thousands of fans—perplexed as to why their Fan Pages, and months of valuable content, are long gone.
It happened to me, as I explained here. And it can happen to you.
You may not have the same happy ending I did, but don’t give up without trying to get your Fan Page back. I’ll explain several things you can do. But first, a little history.
When My Nightmare Began
In November, I noticed that activity on my Fan Page had fizzled. Yet the statistics on my Page were telling me that there were several dozen “impressions” but 0% response to most of the Notes and other content I posted.
With more than 2,500 Fans, my Notes and other content should have had several hundred impressions. I should have paid closer attention to the stats, or Facebook Insights.
Frustrated, I kept posting, hoping to wake the dead. But nobody was commenting.
When subscribers to my ezine, The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week, clicked on the Facebook icon to visit my Fan page, they reported that they ended up on their Facebook Home page, or they got an error message. In other words, I could see my Fan Page and post, but no one else could see it.
Finally, in January, after filling out three Bug Reports on Facebook but receiving no reply, I went on an all-out crusade for help. I posted my dilemma on Twitter and LinkedIn and got lots of feedback and suggestions. I followed most of the advice, but nothing worked.
Several of my followers and connections said the same thing happened to them, but they couldn’t find their Pages. So they started new ones, or abandoned Facebook altogether, something I wasn’t willing to do.
Twitter to the Rescue!
Then, the real power of social networking kicked in, just like it’s supposed to. One of my connections, Krishna De of Dublin, Ireland, posted this:
@DaveKerpen is social media expert Dave Kerpen, of Likeable Media, a full-service PR agency specializing in social media and word-of-mouth marketing. He’s connected to Krishna, saw her post, and sent me this:
Dave doesn’t know me. But when I emailed him and explained the problem, he asked me to make him the administrator of my Fan Page so he could log in and investigate. I wouldn’t have done this unless someone on Twitter recommended him, like Krishna had.
A few hours later, Dave solved the problem. My Settings were configured so that only people in the Philippines were able to view the Fan Page. My assistant and I double-checked those settings at least 10 times, but we must have overlooked this.
Now, everyone could see the Fan Page, and I was back in business.
If This Happens to You…
Log into your account and call up your page. On the upper left side, under the Page’s photo, click on “Edit Page.” In the upper left corner, click on “Manage Permissions.”
The two red arrows in this screenshot show the first two places you should look. Make sure the Page Visibility box that says “Only admins can view this page” is not checked. Also, see if there are any country restrictions. If so, delete them, and that should solve the problem.
If You Can’t Find Your Page
But what if you can’t find your page at all? Here are five tips:
- If you don’t mind waiting for Faceboook to reply, fill out a Bug Report. Facebook expert Mari Smith has compiled a helpful directory of 120+ forms that will help you reach the right person, and she updates the list. Dave says filling out a bug report “only takes 15 minutes, so it could be worth it.”
- If you have a relationship with someone who works for Facebook, contact that person directly.
- Try connecting with someone inside the company on LinkedIn or Twitter. One of my LinkedIn connections reported doing this, and the employee solved her problem immediately. You can also use Twellow, the Twitter Yellow Pages. I explain more about Twellow here.
- Appeal for help on the social media sites, like I did. Don’t forget about Quora, the hot new site where experts are tripping over each to answer questions.
If someone reaches out to you and suggests you make them an administrator of your Fan Page, but you don’t know them, should you?
Dave recommends caution but says, “I don’t know if you had anything to lose at that point. Even if you didn’t trust me, it might have been worth the risk.”
The Best Solution
He offers what I think is the best solution, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time to wait and you’re willing to pay to get the problem solved quickly so you don’t spend months worrying about it, like I did.
5. “Talk to an agency that has a relationship with Facebook to get some help,” he said. That’s what major brands do when they have problems with their Fan Pages. Many agencies have contact information for Facebook that the rest of us don’t have.
Dave, by the way, is the author of the forthcoming book, Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand and be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks).
If you’re lucky enough to find your page, or if can’t and you simply create a new one, make up for lost time. See 12 More Ways to Avoid Missed Opportunities on the New & Improved Facebook.
Let’s hear your story about missing Fan Pages. Do you have any tips to add to the ones I’ve discussed here? Or have you abandoned Facebook?