Here’s how to safeguard your business page from being affected if your Facebook account ever gets locked.
(I had to learn the hard way!)
If any of you noticed that I was absent from Facebook the first week of April, here’s why:
Long story short – I noticed some fraudulent charges on my credit card, claiming to be Facebook, so I sent a short message to Facebook Support just to make them aware of the issue in case it was happening to anyone else. As a result, I was automatically locked out of Facebook “as a security precaution,” even after sending in a photo to prove my identity. This also meant that I had no access to my Facebook business page, which was the most frustrating part. As a small business owner, I use Facebook for my business in many ways: I get tons of inquiries & referrals via Facebook messages, I run Facebook Ad campaigns, and I am a member of a few networking groups that solely communicate via Facebook (we have group discussions, post information about meeting locations & times, share job referrals, ask & answer business-related questions, etc). I have put years and years of work into building up my Facebook presence, gaining over 1K followers and tons of 5 star reviews, and it would’ve been so heartbreaking to lose it all.
My boyfriend came up with the genius idea to contact NBC’s Better Get Baquero, and they actually got back to me! They interviewed me for a story and ended up solving my problem!
Being completely blocked out of Facebook for a week taught me a few valuable lessons:
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Social media is a wonderful tool for us as small business owners, but at the drop of a dime, it could all be taken away from us. Make sure you don’t solely rely on one site to market your business. Copy your content to multiple different channels: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, your blog, website, etc. (I like to vary the content slightly on each channel, so that people have an incentive to follow you on all of them. For instance, if you record the exact same stories on your Instagram & Snapchat, people might get annoyed with the repetition and unfollow you on one of them!) If you are a “solopreneur” and you’re the only admin on your business Facebook page, you could also consider making a family member an admin as well so you still have a way to access & take over the page if your personal account gets locked. *
2. Backup everything. Even things that you wouldn’t normally think to backup. Ask yourself, “If I were to lose my Facebook, what would I miss most about it, or what would I need in order to start fresh?” After I finally got my Facebook back, the first thing I did was go to my personal Facebook page, went to the Friends tab, loaded all of my friends, and saved that whole page as a PDF. This way, if I ever had to start completely fresh and start a new account, I would know what people to friend request. I also went to my Facebook business page, loaded all of the posts I made for months & months & months, and printed that as a PDF as well. Thankfully, since you can back-date your posts, if I ever had to start a fresh business page, I would copy & paste my old posts so that it wouldn’t look like I was a brand new, unestablished business.
3. When you feel like a little fish in a big pond, find someone with a voice bigger than yours. This is where NBC’s Better Get Baquero team comes in. I felt like all of my messages to Facebook were being disregarded because I was just one of one billion users on their site and my issue was not a priority to them, even after days and days of hopelessly trying. When the amazing people at NBC contacted Facebook for me, my issue was solved that SAME DAY, most likely because Facebook didn’t want to risk getting bad publicity on a major news station. If you find yourself stuck in an issue similar to mine, try reaching out to someone with more “street cred” than you. Even sending a formal letter from a lawyer on your behalf might be enough to get their attention.
This whole situation also really made me understand the value of small business, as opposed to large, face-less organizations like Facebook. When you have an issue (especially something that you aren’t at fault for), there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to reach a human to explain your situation to, only to get automated replies that essentially say, “You’re on your own, sorry not sorry.” 😑 Computers & robots are advanced in many ways, but sometimes a human is better at answering your problems. My guess is that my whole issue started because Facebook has certain algorithms in place that detected the word “scammer” in my initial message, which is what caused my account to get frozen without a second thought to prevent any possible future security breaches. In this case, their system caused a completely innocent user to unfairly lose access to their account.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Lynda Baquero and NBC’s Better Get Baquero team. After exhausting every possible solution I could think of, I was feeling seriously hopeless that I would ever get back into my account. The second I heard back from the producers at BGB, I instantly felt relief that I was going to be heard and saw the light at the end of the tunnel that this was going to be fixed afterall – and I am so thankful I was right!
* UPDATE 7/31/17: Since this story aired, Facebook has come up with a new system to get users back into locked accounts by using “Trusted Contacts“:
Sign up below to download the step-by-step guide for setting this up: