What Does Facebook Page Verification Mean for Your Brand?
It's been about 24 hours since Facebook announced that it would begin verifying pages and most of us in the Facebook marketing world are still trying to determine what this means for brands. Personally, I think this is one of the few additions Facebook has made recently that actually benefits the brands that receive verification. Here's why:
Improved Brand Credibility
Brand credibility is a constant struggle in the social space. With all of the scams that float around the Internet, it's a struggle that Community Management teams face every day. I can attest to that firsthand. You might be surprised how much a duplicated brand page with a thousand or fewer fans can damage your brand. Page verification is aimed at fixing this issue for brands. By offering instant credibility, much in the same way Twitter does, it allows you to separate yourself from anyone who might be trying to use your brand name maliciously.
An Opportunity to Reclaim Lost Impressions
Facebook doesn't like to talk about how duplicate pages affect your brand's performance on the platform, but I will. Duplicate pages could be costing you thousands of impressions without you ever knowing it. The fans of these pages may not see the updates of the duplicate page regularly enough to realize that it isn't the official page.
Also, the owners of duplicate pages are clever. They may even replicate your creative to make the two pages indistinguishable. Take a look at Selena Gomez for example.
Above you'll see Selena's newly verified page with roughly 43 million likes. Below you’ll find two examples of duplicate pages. While these pages are not malicious, they are a concern. The initial concern is the loss of about 5.5 million potential impressions. As it continues to get more difficult to generate impressions on Facebook, pages like these could be hurting your brand page's performance without you ever being aware. Verification will help eliminate the confusion for users who can't tell which page is official and which pages are just fan tributes.
Improved Social Search Presence
It appears as of right now that verified pages will always appear first in Graph Search. This is majorly beneficial for your brand as social search becomes part of Facebook marketing strategy.
Fan count and search relevance are still key as you can clearly see in the screen capture above, but the verification mark makes the first search selection stand out from the others.
A New Weapon in the Battle against Spam
Spam messaging on Facebook hurts the efforts of legitimate marketers. Like Spam email, and junk mail before that, these garbage messages cloud up the conversation and make it harder for us to tell our story. Verified pages could offer brands a way to break through the clutter created by spam messages.
It Won't Solve All Your Problems Though
Page verification is good for brands and it's definitely a step in the right direction for Facebook, but it isn't the cure all for your Facebook marketing woes. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Facebook Chooses Who Gets Verified
Currently they have selection criteria that they have not shared with the public. Essentially this means if your page doesn't have millions of fans and isn't in serious danger of being duplicated, you'll have to wait.
2. This Won't Stop Users from Creating Duplicate Pages
It is still necessary to conduct occasional searches for your brand on all of your social networks. Due diligence is the only way to ensure your brand is being portrayed the way you would like them to be in the social space.
3. It Doesn't Guarantee Increased Reach or Engagement
Will it make it easier for fans to find you? Yes. Will it make it easier to determine official brand pages? Yes. Is it a substitute for outstanding content and a solid paid, earned, owned strategy? Absolutely NOT.
So How Will My Facebook Marketing Strategy Change?
In short – it won't. Well, not right away at least. Verification will roll out slowly to brands as all Facebook updates do. Initially you'll only see selected brands with the verified mark, but Facebook has said it will eventually roll out to more brands that meet its verification criteria.
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