Understanding Unofficial & Unclaimed Pages

By Melissa Grindel

Social media can be a great tool for small business marketing – it’s relatively low cost with the unique advantage of connecting with a consumer base in a more personalized way. Many social media platforms make distinctions between business social media and personal user profiles. These types of account divisions support end users in different ways, such as business specific fields, website links, open hours, consumer reviews, etc.

But these business benefits aren’t entirely altruistic. The business division in social media is a great opportunity for platforms to collect paid ad revenue as well. To encourage and nurture that end goal, many social media platforms have devised ways to create individual businesses pages without needing the businesses owner’s assistance (or permission). These Unofficial or Unclaimed Pages can at times cause more harm than good for the companies they represent. Below outlines the three most common types of unofficial pages, what businesses should consider about these pages, and resources on contacting each platform. 



Yelp.com is a site which publishes crowd-sourced reviews about businesses. Yelp users can submit a review of a business using one to five star rating scale and leave commentary about their experience. To leave a review, Yelp users will search for a business name in a certain area location – “Orlando, FL” for example. If the business is not included in the search results, Yelp offers the consumer an opportunity to add the business to their platform. To do so, the consumer only needs the business name, address, and a business type category.

In this way, many Yelp pages are created and reflect a label of “Unclaimed”. Unclaimed pages appear in search engine searches and allow other Yelp users to leave reviews. A “Claimed” business page is one that has been claimed by the owner or representative of the business through Yelp’s verification process. Whether a page is Claimed or Unclaimed, other consumers can leave reviews, and complaints, on these pages at any time. 

Business owners can opt to claim various Yelp pages associated with their business as they are discovered over time. Yelp outlines that it is free to claim a business page, but many features of the page (such as adding a business logo) often come with additional costs. Additionally, there is no way to have a page deleted or taken down by the Yelp platform. Businesses only have the ability to claim a page and subsequently mark the business as closed, which may be inaccurate if the business is indeed still open.

To “Claim” a Yelp Business Page, click here – Yelp for Business


Facebook Business Pages

Facebook is a unique platform that makes a distinction between a Personal Facebook Profiles and Facebook Business Pages. Facebook users must have a Personal Facebook Profile to create a Facebook Business Page. Each has a unique URL and specific fields that are offered. This is the primary way Facebook Business Pages are created.

However, there is another way in which a Facebook Business Page is created – through the tagging of a business, which is known as a Check-in. These Unofficial Pages are created because people on Facebook have shown interest in this place or business by "tagging" or checking into a particular location on a personal post at one time. It's not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with the named business.

Beyond the creation of these Check-in pages, everyday users have the opportunity to Edit Page info over time, including: a business’s category, phone number, website, and contact email. Check-in pages have some distinct features for identification:

  • The page will have an “Unofficial Page” label.
  • There may be a grey location icon in lieu of a profile photo.
  • The page may have little to no followers.

Facebook does not have much literature available in their Help Center on Unofficial Pages. This is likely because it is a feature not fully support by the New Pages Experience template. Unfortunately, these pages cannot be easily claimed by businesses and Facebook support may take months to respond to a support ticket. Users may reach out to Facebook support via the below pages to attempt to resolve these pages:

Report an infringement of trademark (to request the page be taken down)

Report an issue accessing a page (to claim the page and become an administrator)



LinkedIn creates Listing Pages to help members and companies build their presence on LinkedIn. Current employees may claim the Listing Page to continue building an organization’s presence on LinkedIn. All Listing Pages have a banner indicating that it was created by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Listing Pages are primarily created by individual LinkedIn users who have listed a particular business as an employer but did not list the actual official company business page. Additionally, LinkedIn may obtain information to create Listing Pages from a variety of sources, including publicly available information, licensed data from third parties, and data collected via APIs.

To “Claim” a LinkedIn Listing Page click here – Claim a LinkedIn Listing Page



Social media platforms can vary greatly in how they are used and how accounts are made. Large businesses with many locations may find tracking & claiming these “platform generated” pages taxing on time and company resources. It’s also important to note that claiming ownership of a page is generally at the discretion of the social media platform – this means likely waiting months for a response from their customer support team and potentially receiving a denial. With this information in mind, regulated business should evaluate what policies and procedures would best apply for their institution. Check out our related article That’s Not My Page! Social Media Made for You, But Not by You.