If you’ve been on your business’ Facebook page over the last few days, you may have seen a large announcement stating “Gray Badges Will Be Removed October 29” at the top of your screen. Typically a big message with a red banner means something bad, right?
The truth is, there are certain things you need to be aware of to maintain best practices, but just because your badge is being removed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the world. In fact, you might not even see a change.
What Does the Badge Mean?
Unless you’re logged in to Facebook quite often, or are currently managing your own business page, there’s a chance that you didn’t even notice the gray badge. Located directly under your profile image, the gray badge was simply a way for Facebook to let users know that you’re business page was “verified.” The intention was to let the public know that the page they were visiting was, in fact, managed by someone within the business, or a representative of that business.
If you’ve ever searched for your business (and don’t have someone helping to clean up your online presence), you’ve probably come across a few “dummy profiles” that were just floating around on the internet. These dummy profiles, although not managed by anyone, can be filled with reviews and images that were not funneled through your business. The gray badge essentially acted just like the lock icon acted for SSL on websites; it helped people understand the Facebook page was legitimate. In order to get the gray badge, Facebook made business managers go through a verification process similar to something you’d see for Google My Business in which you have to verify via a phone call to the practice, or a document that shows your business name. In a nutshell, they were an important part of a business’ online presence.
Why Get Rid of Them?
In the wonderful world of online marketing, this is a question that gets asked daily. Why remove something that actually seems useful? And unfortunately, there’s no simple answer.
In the case of Facebook, public opinion matters, and the gray badges were apparently confusing for a large majority of users. If you’ve ever taken a look at a global brand or celebrity, you’ll notice that they have a blue verification badge that’s very similar to the gray one. Although they meant the same thing, they were for two different “levels” of business, and thus chaos (may have) ensued. Could gray mean that you’re a lesser business? Does blue mean you’re special? Instead of becoming a means to verify, the badge became a means of confusion, and thus Facebook has decided to nix it. Can we say we disagree? Not really. Just like a website, it’s all about the end user!
What Do I Do Now?
Now there’s a question we can solidly answer!
Although Facebook hasn’t really given any insight into exactly how to keep your page “verified,” they do offer up a few solutions on how to keep your page up-to-date and with maximum visibility. Though it’s not as easy as a simple verification call or document, here are a few tips:
- Make sure to add all of your business information (address, website, hours, phone number, etc.).
- Add a profile picture and cover photo.
- Solicit (valid) followers.
- Update categories to those relevant to your business.
But, at the end of the day, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (704) 887-5300 or request some more information to learn about how Practis can help you with your social media marketing strategy!