By Peter Olson: Over the past few years I have assisted a number of police departments in the creation and design of their various social media pages. Usually this includes adding custom tabs to the facebook menu or a more professional designed background for twitter or youtube. One thing I have noticed on over half of the police departments on facebook is that they still have not “officially” claimed a facebook page name.
Simply titling your police department facebook page is not claiming the name. I have seen a number of departments with hundreds or thousands of fans who still have a url that looks something like this: facebook.com/smith-police-department/903239081112221111. If you don’t have facebook.com/smithpolice the chances are you have not claimed your name.
There are two reasons you might want to claim your name:
1. Once someone claims the name it is no longer available. So you will have to use another variation of the name you want. This can make it more difficult for people to find you depending on the name you choose. If you happen to be from a city with a popular name across the country and you are the last to claim the name, you might wind up with something that looks nothing like the name of your department.
2. It makes it much easier to direct people to your page. Instead of that long URL you can use the simple one which is shorter and looks nicer in emails, on posters, etc…
Ok, so here is how you do it. It is quite easy!
1. Log in as the page admin
2. Go to edit page
IMPORTANT!! DO NOT CLAIM THE PAGE NAME AS YOUR NAME!!!!
This has happened at least twice to admin who have not claimed their own personal name yet. So they ended up with their personal facebook name being facebook.com/smithpolice instead of that being the page name. Not only do you not want your personal name to be that of the police department but now the name is also not available. I also recommend claiming your own name before claiming the page name so you can’t make a mistake.
Any questions, send us an email and we will give you a hand!