What impact would arriving at work one morning to find you can no longer access your business’s Facebook account have on you? Suddenly you can no longer post to your business audience and those thousands of followers you have spent years building up are lost to you.
Or worse still your account is taken over by hackers who lock you out and post inappropriate content under your corporate branding. If the thought of this makes you feel slightly ill, there is good reason - it DOES actually happen. In fact, at IT Basecamp we know of two instances in the last two months where local clients have lost access to their own Facebook business page.
And in Facebook-land, getting support to sort out any issue is not a straightforward process. There are avenues to contact Facebook support, but the truth is you are at the mercy of the process. Being the behemoth that Facebook is, its capacity to deal with all the support requests it receives is limited and this has been exacerbated by covid. The result is your request for review can go completely unanswered. Or you find yourself blocked from initiating a support request about being blocked from your account … because you have lost access to your account and therefore cannot verify yourself as the owner to submit the support ticket!
All-in-all an extremely frustrating, time-consuming, stressful experience that is much better avoided in the first place. There are two main reasons you can find yourself blocked from your own business’s Facebook page and some simple steps you can take to protect yourself before it happens to you …
This is no less frustrating nor easier to fix than being hacked. If Facebook determines your account has violated policies it has the control to simply disable your account. Depending on the offense, and whether it is deemed a repeated violation, the ban can be for a certain period of time or it can be permanent. Your ability to reverse this decision very much relies on whether you can gain access to Facebook support in a timely manner. And to add insult to injury, Facebook is using AI to scan and assess content for these ‘violations’, yet AI is far from perfect. So it is entirely possible you could face your account being suspended on the basis of a mistake or misunderstanding.
Firstly, make sure you have more than one full admin on your account. In the most recent case of a disabled account we have seen, it was the client’s personal Facebook account that was suspended by Facebook. But this personal Facebook user was the sole admin on the business Facebook page. So instantly access was lost to the business page. A month of work trying to contact Facebook support about the problem failed and at the end of the month Facebook automatically deleted both the user account and the business page … along with ten years of work building up a following of 40,000 users! A second admin on the business page might have provided the ability to contact support which was denied by the one admin user being suspended.
Secondly, make sure you are aware of Facebook policies to ensure you don’t create an inadvertent violation. The most important documents to read are Facebook’s:
Like it or not social media accounts are part of your identity and need to be protected. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the best way to secure your Facebook account (and any online account for that matter!). With 2FA turned on a hacker cannot access your account even if they manage to get hold of your password. In addition to a password, a code delivered to your phone is required for successful sign-in.
When setting up 2FA on your Facebook account make sure to complete the whole setup process. Once you have turned on this higher level of security you need to make sure you have alternate methods to prove your own identity to gain access to your account in the event you lose your phone. Fill in the backup phone/email numbers and create and download a batch of recovery codes to store somewhere safe. The recovery codes will allow you access to your account if for some reason security authentication fails.