Hey Dave! I want to link to a local restaurant in a status update post on Facebook, but when I try, I get other companies with the same name, but not the restaurant. How do I solve the problem?
The “@” shortcut for referencing people or other pages on Facebook worked really well when there were thousands of options, but now that there are a zillion people on Facebook and business pages on Facebook both, it can be quite frustrating – and all too common – to end up unable to find the right page in the list. It’s a namespace collision problem; if you’re looking to link to the page for the local Tony’s Pizza, well, there might be hundreds of matching business pages on Facebook, a service that encompasses users and business throughout the world.
But there’s a trick to getting this to work: Open up another tab and do a page search to find the company, then use its full name in your post to match the correct page. This is probably easier demonstrated than explained, so let’s check out a recent post I shared that referenced a favorite Eton Corporation product called the “blackout buddy”. I had an edited photo ready to go, so here’s how it went…
First off, poised and ready to drag and drop my image onto the status update post:
At this point I haven’t wrestled with the “@” notation to link to the company’s Facebook page yet, as you can see. To add an image, simply drag the image file onto the Web page over the status update input box. You’ll see a drop target that looks like this:
Once you let go of the drag-and-drop motion, the image will upload but only be shown in a small thumbnail, portraying visually that you can indeed add more images if you want:
Now let’s back up and link to the Eton business page on Facebook. Should be easy, right? Just add the “@” prefix so that instead of saying “Eton” it says “@Eton”. A menu pops up with potential matching pages:
Lots of matches with the letters ‘eton’ but none are the actual company in question. Frustrating! Now what?
Here’s where popping open another Web browser window or tab and doing a quick Facebook search can be quite useful. I search for ‘eton’ then choose “pages” from the options along the top and here’s what I get:
It’s the second listing that’s the match: I recognize the logo. If you’re not sure which is the right one, click on it to check the page itself. Find the right match, it’s much better for everyone 🙂
But now how do I reference the correct Eton, having ascertained that they are indeed on Facebook and what their official page name is? There are two approaches: You can click on the page and see the URL shown by Facebook (in this case it’s “https://www.facebook.com/EtonCorp/”) or you can just type in the exact name shown in the results.
When I do so – entering “Eton Corp” – you can see that the menu of possible page matches changes and indeed the right company page is shown:
That’s the ticket! I’ll go ahead and choose this page, then finish up my post with a few more words to explain what the product highlighted actually does:
And, finally, posted:
Notice that the “@” vanishes and the business page link is shown in blue, inviting people to click and check it out, as desired.
So that’s the trick. A bit tedious, but with Facebook as crazy popular as it is, the change of name collision and confusion is probably inevitable, however much AI they might try to add to the back end.