With so many people on Facebook, most of us spend a ton of time on the social networking site, connecting with friends and family, running business pages, setting up advertising and more.
But I’ve found that a lot of people don’t take advantage of one of the most basic tools that Facebook offers: vanity URLs.
Vanity URLs, or user names, are what takes your profile link from Facebook.com/123456790 to Facebook.com/yournamehere. It’s huge for personal profiles, because no matter how unique your name is, there are probably a few of you on the site, but even bigger for pages.
There was some buzz last year that Facebook had dropped its requirement that pages have a minimum of 25 fans to get their own URLs, but unfortunately, that rule has been reinstated.
So, a few tips.
1) Whether for your profile or your page, head to http://www.facebook.com/username/. You’ll be able to select a name and, if it’s available, assign it to your URL.
2) Choose carefully! You won’t be able to change your page name later*, even if your business name changes or you make a mistake. If you misspell something in your personal profile, you do have one chance to fix it, but that’s all.
*Techincally, if your page has fewer than 100 likes, you can usually change it. After that, you have to delete the page and start over if you really want a new name. NOT fun.
3) Select something short and sweet. Remember that you’ll be using this on business cards and you’ll likely be telling people about the page name. It’s easier to remember Facebook.com SLASH kwidrick than SLASH myfullmaidenandmarriednameplusyearofbirth.
4) Facebook events can’t yet have their own URLS (yuck) but groups can. It’s a little tricker, but here are the steps (spoiler alert: you need to set up a separate email for the group).
And with both your profile and your page (especially because we’ve all been pushed to the new Timeline and I hear Timeline is coming soon for pages), take a moment and fill out all of the information that you can. If you’re a page owner, be aware that some categories offer more info blocks than others. So make sure your page is properly categorized so you can take advantage.