Right now I find myself amazed at how brash, if not outright rude, people can be to Facebook Page admins. Does the filter and gloss of a pretty page make people think there isn’t a real person behind it?
I’ve read enough “customers suck” forums to hope I never behave badly to people who are just trying to do their jobs, and more than likely have nothing to do with whatever special snowflake complaint that crops up.
Here’s what I received in a private Facebook Page message from someone’s mother. Admittedly of the milder variety, it still struck me as rather ridiculous. Pertinent details have been changed, but not the grammar:
“[My daughter] wrote to you months ago about her life with her father. So many people were interested for her book coming out. I send you a link and you are not posting it! Very surprised!”
As a friend put it, this is along the lines of “Endorse my product! You are bad for not giving me free press!”
That’s how I saw it, at any rate; there are both assumptions and presumptions in that message. But what was I bringing to the message from my side?
How I Responded
I took a breath. I won’t pretend to be anything less than human when it comes to knee-jerk reactions, and I needed to be aware of my own precipitating factors–how I was coloring the message based on previous experiences–and not do or say anything brash in turn.
Then I turned to my usual due diligence. This particular Page has over 4,500 fans. I see all notifications that come in and respond to each one in some form. I even recalled something, not quite sure what, about a daughter’s life with her father.
So I searched through both the private messages and then all the way back to July of last year on fan postings on our Wall, and could not find anything from either of these worthy souls.
I wrote back a politely-worded note that encouraged her to post the link again to our Wall. I assured her that I would personally appreciate it.
I received both a thanks, and the link to post on my own (and I don’t think this is one I’ve seen before). An accompanying message said, “Now it’s up to you guys to post it and not just in the corner of the wall page.”
It’s true about how Timeline has sidelined fan engagement and become a bane in the existence of Page admins everywhere, but sometimes you get spam in that engagement. And yes, it IS up to us to post something, or not.
Perhaps cheekily, I responded to her with a link to our website, an invitation to share it with her friends, and to let me know what they think!
What Is a Brand’s Position on Facebook, Anyway?
I’ve noticed, and I probably do it myself, that people tend to think if a brand posts about a product or service, that brand therefore endorses that product or service wholeheartedly. We have to be careful to add a codicil along the lines of “We just thought this was interesting and are passing it on; no endorsement,” lest we run into trouble.
In the meantime, whatever we do, we have to do it with a smile!
Pay Attention to the Person Behind the Curtain
Do you think of brand Facebook pages as “faceless” or do you actively recall there’s a person behind them? Are people more likely to speak their minds online (or off) when they can’t see or don’t know who they’re talking to?
And are Facebook business pages all about free press, anyway?