When you create a Facebook Page, Facebook asks you to choose a category. The page category shows up in Facebook’s search results, so it’s important to get it right.
Many people have had a nasty surprise when they discover that Facebook doesn’t (currently) allow you to change the category once the page has been created. The only way to change categories is by deleting your Page and starting a new one – and if your Page already has fans, that could be a big problem.
It’s also very important to know that the fields on the Info sub-page are different for each category. The “Local” top-level category only offers a very limited set of fields, which may make it difficult to describe your business the way you want to.
You can send visitors who are not yet Fans to a sub-page of your choice, so the first thing they see could be a Note which describes your company, or a custom sub-page created with FBML, Facebook’s markup language. So all is not lost if you choose the wrong category. But careful selection of the category in the first place is a good idea.
There are three top-level categories:
- Brand, Product or Organization
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
Within each main category are a number of sub-categories.
- Other Business
- Automotive Dealer/Vehicle Service
- Banking and Financial Service
- Convention Center and Sports Complex
- Event Planning Service
- Health and Beauty
- Home Service
- Library/Public Building
- Medical Service
- Professional Service
- Real Estate
- Religious Center
- Technology and Telecommunications Service
- Travel Service
- Public Transit
Brand, Product, or Organization
- Airline/Ship/Train Station
- Consumer Product
- Financial Service
- Food and Beverage
- Home Living
- Online Store
- Professional Service
- Religious Organization
- Rental Cars
- TV Show
- Technology Product/Service
- Company Overview
Artist, Band, or Public Figure
- Other Public Figure
- Government Official
- Sports Team
- Visual Artist
- Personal Information
- Personal Interests
It’s obviously best if your business fits neatly into a sub-category. As I mentioned, the fields available in the “Local” top-level category are very limited, with no text field available to describe your business properly.
The Product category offers a useful “Company Overview” field as well as a “Mission Statement” field. Why Facebook thinks that local businesses don’t need fields like this is a mystery. Of course, things do change and I’m sure that at some time in the future it’ll be possible to change the category for your Page on a whim!
As part of the major Page update scheduled for 11th March 2011, Facebook has added more categories, added more fields to some categories and most importantly, made it possible to change the category and page name (at least until you have more than 100 fans.)