Facebook test

What does it do?

Checks whether the website has a Facebook page, Facebook group, or personal Facebook profile. Compares any Facebook presence against other websites.

Example results

Facebook test

Why is it important?

  • Facebook is the most visited website in the world. Over 1 billion people use Facebook each month, and this figure is growing.
  • Creating an effective Facebook page gives a website a free marketing channel to build up a following, and communicate with their followers.
  • Facebook makes it easier for people to share their liking of your organisation with their friends.

How is it measured?

Sitebeam checks the Facebook address(es) specified for the website. Normally Sitebeam will find if a website has a Facebook page by checking the homepage of the website when you first add it, but not all websites link to their Facebook pages.

The Facebook web address is checked and classified as one of the following:

  • A Facebook Page
  • A Facebook Group
  • A Facebook Profile

Only Facebook Pages are appropriate for the vast majority of websites. They have no limit on the number of followers, follow the standard “Like” convention and appear in the news feed of people who Like them. They can also have professional web addresses, like www.facebook.com/silktide.

Facebook Groups are largely a vestige from an earlier time, are limited to 5,000 followers and are highly discouraged by Facebook, except for private groups of individuals organising an activity.

Facebook Profiles are for individuals and Facebook will ban any profiles which are not for an individual that they find (e.g. if you create a profile for a business). They require people to request to be your friend, are limited to 5,000 friends.

The score for Facebook Groups and Profiles is always low, as these are discouraged. The score for a Facebook Page is based on how many followers the Page has.

Potential problems

Facebook page is not linked to

Sitebeam can only test a Facebook page that the website links to, on a page that Sitebeam tests. If multiple Facebook links are found on a single page, they are all ignored – only a link to a single Facebook page counts.

Some websites have a Facebook page but don’t link to it. This is clearly bad practice, as the primary means for people following a Facebook page is to reach it from your website.

If you know a website has a Facebook page you can add it manually under Site Settings, or on the first screen when you create the website. If you don’t know, remember that it wasn’t clearly linked to – it isn’t easy to find a Facebook page that isn’t linked to from that organisations own website.

Facebook page is linked to, but Sitebeam doesn’t see it

Check whether the Facebook page can be viewed by people who aren’t logged in to Facebook:

  • Make sure you are logged out of Facebook.
  • Try to view the Facebook page.
  • If Facebook instead asks you to login, that page is only visible to logged in Facebook users. As a result, Sitebeam can’t see it. There’s no way around this other than to make that page publicly visible.

A Facebook page is found, but the site doesn’t actually have one

Go to Site Settings, click Edit under Detect automatically for Facebook, and enter a  (hyphen or dash) in the Facebook page(s) field.  That will tell Sitebeam that there isn’t actually a Facebook page associated with this site.  Run the report again to update the results.

How to improve this score

  • Ensure you have a fully configured Facebook Page for your organisation (e.g. with an appropriate image, contact details etc).
  • If you have a Facebook Group or Profile, you will need a new Page, and to ask your followers to move to that.
  • Ensure that every page in your website links to your Facebook page. Most often, this is done in the footer of every page in your website.
  • Once you have 25 followers, ensure you choose an appropriate, professional Facebook web address. You can only do this once, so choose carefully. For example: facebook.com/silktide
  • Add links to your Facebook page in your company email signatures, e-newsletters and other relevant material.
  • Ensure your Facebook page is up-to-date and worth following. This means including information that people who are genuinely interested in your organisation would care about. It does not mean spamming marketing messages.

How to use this test effectively

This test is a simple but effective way of comparing the Facebook presence of one site against their peers.

Don’t assume that your websites must always score a perfect 10 for this test. See Perfectionist fallacy.

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