Tips: Adding places via Facebook

by Zoe Manderson
how to

How it works

Alpaca uses the Facebook API to be able to pull through content from Facebook business pages.

By adding places using the Facebook search, your guide can automatically pull in place content from a Facebook page – a cover image, description, opening hours, and social links. Please note that the data that is pulled is dependent on what the Facebook business page owner has populated themselves.

Take note that while the listing will look blank in the editor. If added correctly via the Facebook search function, the available content will automatically pull in and display on the front end.


There are multiple search results for the location I want to add. Which one do I choose?

Sometimes the search results may show multiple search results for one place (both Facebook pages and places, and places that are similarly named). We recommend that you are guided by both the address beneath the place name and also the number of check-ins and likes on the right side of the result to select the right option (the presence of the likes and check-ins is also another sign you are pulling from Facebook).

In this example, searching for Auction Rooms (a cafe in North Melbourne) will bring up several results. We can see from the addresses beneath the names, some of these locations are incorrect.

If we ignore those, we are left with several that are located in Melbourne/North Melbourne, and so it is best to select the place that has the most complete and correct address (in this case, 103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne) and the most check-ins and likes (31,161 & 6,104).

Also take the opportunity when selecting from the search results to check that the map has placed the “pin” or marker in the correct location.

What if there is no image coming through from Facebook? 

You can upload a custom photo if no photo comes through from Facebook or the image being automatically pulled through is less than desirable. Alternatively, you could reach out to the business and encourage them to add a cover image to their Facebook page.

Why is the business not coming up in the drop down search when I know they have a Facebook page? 

We only show the results for Facebook pages that have a map location added to their Facebook page. Without this information we cannot get the location to plot on your guide. A business can add their ‘Map Location’ in the ‘About Us’ section. On their public profile, the map will then appear in the left hand side panel.

If they have a Map Location but are still not appearing in the list, instead try to paste their Facebook URL (eg. into the search bar and click search. Providing FB the direct link will get you a more accurate result.

After I have selected the listing, I can see the location on the map isn’t correct.

Be careful to take note of the map location when you add from Facebook, as sometimes the location may not be correct or may be out-of-date. In some circumstances you may see that the marker is in the middle of the ocean! This usually means that the business has added a map to their profile, but hasn’t properly entered the map location, and therefore it defaults to LAT LONG 0 (which is in the ocean). Unfortunately you cannot amend the location from Alpaca, as it is not out data. You will either need to contact the business and get them to fix it, or you will have to manually enter the business/place.

If a business updates their Facebook page, how long does it take to update within Alpaca?

Approx. 48 hours.

How long does it take for changes on Facebook business pages to show up on the map?

There are 2 different “updates” that regularly happen to your Locale.

One is when updates are made within Alpaca, and that update happens twice a day during the weekdays.

The second one is if data is updated within Facebook. Updated data from Facebook comes through to Alpaca every few days hours. This isn’t an update we can manually refresh, it’s just part of our API. These changes should appear updated within 3-4 days of being updated within Facebook.

If it appears as though updates still aren’t coming through in that time, let us know.

Why do some listings have more details than others (eg. some have opening hours listed, others do not)?

If the business has not added this information to their Facebook page, we cannot display it. We recommend reaching out to the business and advising them to update their Facebook page with as much information as possible.

If you can’t find a Facebook page for the listing you’re searching, try manually adding it. Take a look at the Tips for Adding Manual Listings.