A Broadcast Only Facebook Wall is Just WRONG

It may seem a bit obvious to my marketing colleagues that setting up a one way, broadcast only Facebook Business page is a terrible mistake. In the past week I’ve spoken with 1 Fortune 100 company, 1 nationally known organization, and 2 small businesses about this very topic. I sit on the board of a small non-profit and one of my smart, professional members is advocating that we turn our page into a “Our Messages Only” page.

This discussion always focuses around CONTROL, and it’s always rooted in Fear. These are the things companies fear most:

1. Losing control of their message.
2. Being savagely, verbally attacked by an angry customer
3. PR firestorms that may occur if their employees don’t handle negative comments well.

If you haven’t read The Now Revolution, here are a few choice pieces of advice you must hear:

“What you don’t control – and have never controlled – is the response and reaction to what you do..”

The book has a lot of advise and is a guide book for understanding Social Media’s impact on your business. You should buy it. In the meantime, here’s a key piece you must understand:

“…these communication tools are already in play, already being used, already affecting your business, whether you’re actively using them or not.”

So, this is how it will work if your Facebook Business Page does not accept comments:

1. Those who visit you wanting to share their positive enthusiasm for your service will be frustrated in not being able to do so. They probably won’t return to your page.

2. Those wanting to complain will instantly interpret your controlled wall for exactly what it is: fear of honest criticism. They will then find other Social Media avenues to blast you. The only difference will be that YOU may not know about them and you won’t be able to respond.

A closed Facebook Business Page is a lose/lose proposition for you. What you need to do is the one thing that usually eradicates fear: Educate Yourself. And then Educate your employees – every single one of them – as to what your Social Media Policy is and how you will handle negative comments. Your company culture should dictate to them how you would handle any customer service issue… but that’s an entirely different blog post….

The success of Social Media has been all about interaction and engagement. If it’s going to work for your brand you need to allow it to be a two way channel.