Most Franchises, retail chains, or multi-unit restaurant systems have multiple Facebook pages that are not under the control of the brand or the local operator.
Maybe that former night manager set one up a few years ago. It could be that a customer wanted to check in, but that location wasn’t on Facebook yet so she just created her own location page…complete with a logo from 1982. Perhaps a dismissed employee took revenge by creating a phony page with nasty images.
It’s typically not as malicious as that last example; we usually find pages that were set up then innocently forgotten when the staff member left and now no one remaining can access the page.
We also find, at some point, the CMO who is suddenly haunted by these ghost pages. He or she is terrified by the thought of a customer or stakeholder discovering this abandoned page and thinking poorly of the brand.
Have No Fear
My advice lately to such marketers has been simply: have no fear. Don’t worry about it. In some cases, you may be able convince to Facebook to take down some pages, but for most of these, you will hit a dead end.
The good news is that no one is looking at those pages! What many people still don’t realize is that unless someone is driving traffic to a page, no one really sees it anymore. Very few Facebook users look up pages just to see what’s new on them. If there’s no new content being posted, there’s no new content showing up on anyone’s newsfeed. And, let’s face it, our own newsfeed is all any of us notice!
That rogue page is not really a haunted house that a customer may see as they walk down your brand’s street. It’s more of a junk drawer in a house that no one will see from the sidewalk.
Focus on What You Can Control
Spend your resources – your time and ad dollars – on driving traffic to the pages or places that you want to people to see. Frequent posting of quality content and purchasing of ads coming from your “real” page will far outweigh any ugly, off-message, or duplicate page.