What’s Your Vanity URL?

You can customize the link people use to get to your Facebook page or profile. It’s called a vanity URL which is a custom link that takes people directly to you on Facebook. This makes it much easier to communicate your Facebook presence in other materials both online and offline.

When you first set up your Facebook presence, you’ll get an URL that looks something like this:

 

Just in case it’s hard to read, here’s the long link to reach Booth Bullies on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Booth-Bullies-Entertainment/127454587324489

You can share that but it’s a long, messy URL that can be easily messed up when people copy and paste it. It’s also pretty much impossible to typeset and no one will remember if you promote it on a business card, banners, flyers or other print materials.

By setting the vanity URL, you’ll get something like:

My vanity URL reads, http://www.facebook.com/BeachcomberCommunications.

In fact, Facebook recently bought fb.com so I could put www.fb.com/BeachcomberCommunications on my materials to make it even shorter. Either way, its much easier to typeset and much easier to remember the custom version.

To set your vanity URL, check to see if you have 25 fans (the minimum required to get a vanity URL) and then go to www.facebook.com/Username. Be cautious as you can set the username for both your Profile and any Pages you administer from this page.


 

As you can see, my profile vanity URL was set as www.facebook.com/CrockerAngela. Once an URL is set, it can’t be changed so pick it wisely. All the pages you administer will appear in the drop down menu and you can select the page you want to name. If you only have one page, that’s all that will appear in the menu.

Before setting the URL, Facebook will check to make sure it’s available. If it’s not, you’ll need to try another option – that’s how I ended up with “CrockerAngela”. Facebook will ask you to confirm and reconfirm before setting your vanity URL forever. Please check your spelling and spacing carefully!

While the vanity URL is set forever, you can change the name of your page while you have less than 100 “likes”. That’s how I changed the name of my page from “Beachcomber Communications” to “Beachcomber Communications with Angela Crocker”.  You can do this from the Basic Information tab when you “edit page”.

Should I Play Pages Gone Wild?

You meet all sorts of interesting folks through social media. About a year ago, I met Lori Randall Stratdman from Social Media Design. Lori’s based in Georgia (I think) and we’ve had many merry conversations on Facebook and Twitter. She writes for Social Media Examiner, is speaking at BlogWorld and has fun through social media every day. Recently, I got an invitation from Lori to attend a virtual event called Pages Gone Wild and I hestitated to participate. But why?

The premise of Pages Gone Wild is to quickly grow the number of people who “like” a Facebook page. Participants are required to “like” the pages of all other participants. Those who like all the participating pages by April 29 willl be featured in an epic blog post that will go out to 100,000 readers. With close to 400 people participating (so far) and significant visibility on offer, why would I hesitate?

I have always spoken openly about my desire for quality relationships over quantity relationships. I want people to interact with people and build relationships that go beyond just the click of a “like” button.  But in order to find the quality relationships I’m looking for I need a quantity of people to get to know, right?  With this program, will the folks dropping by be interested in my content or just seeking exposure through the event?  The truth is it will be some of each.  And it’s very likely that many participants will “unlike” my page after the event but that’s ok if I meet some great new folks.

Today, I had a look at the list of participating pages and there’s some really interesting work being shared. Check these out:

 Most of these pages are brands similar to my clients – heart centred entrepreneurs, commmunity organizations and business owners exploring social media to build an online community. I know my page would be a useful resource to them and there’s much I can learn from their examples not to mention their content. So, this morning, I’ve decided to join the fray and like a LOT of new pages. If you’re a Pages Gone Wild page owner please say hello in the comments. I’d love to get better acquainted.

What to do? How to Unhide a True Friend in Facebook

Oops! You’ve just blocked or hidden a true friend on Facebook. What to do?

First, understand the difference. Did you hide them from the newsfeed or did you block them from their profile page? Both can be fixed but you need to know what you’ve done before you can fix it.

To hide someone, you start by clicking the little “x” next to a status update in the newsfeed and then select “Hide all by Bonnie”, as in the illustration.

To block someone, visit their profile page and look at the bottom of the left hand column. Click on “Report/Block This Person”.

If you’re not sure what you’ve done, try both methods described below to find your friend again.

To unhide someone, navigate to your newsfeed and click on the little triangle next to “Most Recent”. This will drop down a menu that looks something like this:

At the bottom of the list click “Edit Options”. This will pop up a screen that lists all the people and applications you’ve hidden. In this example, you can see I’ve hidden “Bonnie Sainsbury” and 127 apps. (I’ve just hidden Bonnie temporarily to illustrate how this works!).

To unhide a Friend or an application click on the “x” next to their name. Be sure to click save to have your changes take effect.

To unblock someone is a little different. Click on the “Account” button in the top right hand corner of Facebook. Then select privacy settings.

Now, get out your reading glasses and look towards the bottom of the page for a little red symbol and the headline Block Lists. Click on “Edit your lists”.

From this screen you can both block and unblock users. Any friends you’ve blocked will appear in a list under the Name and Email boxes. In the illustration, you’ll see the name Titia Jetten. (Again, just a temporary block to illustrate this lesson!). Click “unblock” next to the friend’s name to finish the task.