Friday, March 6, 2009

What About the Changes on Facebook?

If you’ve missed it elsewhere, Facebook made changes on Wednesday that affect brand pages. When C. C. Chapman visited my class that evening we looked at the changes and wondered if the inability to moderate wall comments would scare away some brands. Caroline McCarthy had a good post on CNET yesterday that explains some of the issues.

You should check out some of the brand pages that you’re interested in. Target is one that gets Facebook and does interesting things. Check out their page and notice all the comments on the wall and look at their reviews page. All of us should "fan" (note that that's a behavior) a few good brand pages and watch what they do.

I noticed on my page that C.C. has updated the page for his agency, The Advance Group. The portfolio page represents the work of the agency and their boxes page shows the other ways you can follow this group of social media marketers.

No one is talking much about the effects on non-profits. In fact, I thought that non-profit pages were to remain under the Groups rubric. I checked out one of my favorites, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and it clearly has been converted. MSCPA is an organization with many passionate supporters, as you can see if you look at one of their pages. This is the wall page from their Angell Memorial Hospital. They will have people bring up issues from time to time, as people are currently discussing the closure of animal shelters as a result of the recession. These people are posting with sadness and understanding, but others could post in a more critical way.

It’s nice to look at this as a great way for consumers to contribute. Businesses and non-profits also have to look at the monitoring and response function. If you have your own page, you have to keep an eye on it. But you also need to be watching what people say about you on other pages.

It sounds to me like a serious set of feeds and filters for any business or non-profit that’s serious about its online reputation. When Facebook talks about filters, they are talking about personal Facebook pages and the way individuals can control their feeds, which is fine, but I doubt that it’s sufficient for businesses. There are some third-party Facebook tools out there, but a quick search didn’t reveal the kind of tool I have in mind.

I’ll keep looking. In the meantime, if you know of any monitoring tools specifically for Facebook, let me know!

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