So what is a vanity URL? – a shortened, descriptive URL (sometimes referred to as a domain) that points to a related item indicated within the URL. Typically companies use vanity URLs to point the user to a specific product page. A vanity URL is simply an easy to remember URL used to promote a product, event or service.
A Vanity URL on Facebook is basically a link to your Facebook page with your company name in it. A Facebook Vanity URL helps reinforce brands and help drive more traffic through easy to remember company Facebook page addresses.
So how do you get one?
It’s easy. Obviously, the first thing you must have is a fan page. This can not be your personal Facebook, it has to be one set up specifically for your business.
The catch is you must have at least 25 “likes” on your page. This is a big improvement from when those with fan pages need 1000 or 100 “likes” to quality for a vanity URL. If you try to request one without having 25 “likes” you will receive a message stating “ you are not eligible for a username at this time”. Don’t give up if you see this message – just engage your existing fans and friends again!
So lets get into how you set this up once you have reached the “Like” requirement:
Go to: http://www.facebook.com/username/
Next to Page Name select the page you wish to create the vanity name for and then enter the name you would like to use.
If the vanity name is available this message will appear:
Unfortunately, in some cases the vanity name you request may not be available, even if it is your brand name. Facebook warns you that when selecting a vanity URL, attempting to use a trademarked name will results in a loss of that alias. However, for small to mid sized retailers who don’t have a trademarked bran name, there is always a chance someone has already used your name in their vanity URL.
Even if your brand name is available, I would advise you to think carefully about this decision. You can only create this custom URL once – it cannot be changed once it is created.
Well, one benefit would be that this is a free, easy way to increase brand awareness and branding on Facebook.
Another benefit is convenience. You no longer have to put a lengthy Facebook URL on your marketing material or website – now you can simply put www.facebook.com/yourname
It will also be easier for people to search for your company within facebook – I’m not saying everyone is lazy ( well I kind of am) but it is a lot easier to allow them to type in this simple URL into their browser, rather than go to facebook and search for you there.
It can also help SEO since the brand name will be in the URL as well, which will make it more relevant for a brand search – For example, facebook.com/exclusiveconcepts will help improve its rank in search results for exclusive concepts, which is good for brand/reputation management as you’d have more control over what is on the first page for your brand (rather than negative reviews, etc).