Will Facebook community pages upset the brand apple cart?
A little over a week ago, Facebook unveiled a couple new features, one of which could have a potentially significant impact on how brands participate on the world’s largest social network.
Facebook announced on its Facebook blog April 19 that while community pages are still in beta, “our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic.”
That’s quite a statement. And the impact to brand fan pages could be significant.
Also, consider that, as it stands right now, you can’t technically add content to these pages. Sure, they pick up posts with certain keywords, but you can’t post to the wall directly, you can’t add photos and you can’t add video. It’s merely an aggregated site (again, for now).
These pages are really meant to be a community resource. With these pages, brands have even less control than they do with their fan pages. In fact, right now, you could make a pretty solid argument that as a brand you have absolutely no control. That could change down the road, but for now, that’s where we stand.
So, if you’re running a brand “fan” page on Facebook, what can do you?
* Make sure your Wikipedia listing is up-to-date. One thing Facebook did when it created this initial slew of community pages is they took the content for the “Info” tab straight from Wikipedia. So, make sure you check your listing and do your best to ensure it’s accurate and up-to-date. Updating your Wikipedia page needs to be handled with care, too, so make sure you’re following the right processes and not using flowery marketing language in your listing (the Wikipedia editors are always watching).
* Monitor your community page. Make sure you’re taking regular peeks at your page to review what people are saying about your brand (or topic important to your brand). Yes, you may notice some comments that may not be positive for your brand. But, use those comments constructively. As with your “fan” page, use that feedback to improve our product, service or process. Better yet, use this new aggregation of content around topics and concepts that are important to your brand as a way to connect with and reach new fans, champions and potential customers on the platform.
* Remember, even though you can’t post to the community page, you can add content. Every community page is merely an aggregated site. And, with no wall tab, you can’t post content directly to the page. But you can still add content, technically. Just be sure to tag a post to your site with the community page keyword/title tag and it will show up in the feed. Not quite the same as a “fan” page, but you can add content (for now) in this way
* Sign up to help. Right now, no one has admin rights for these community pages. But, that could change down the road. And, it seems Facebook might want your help anyway. In fact, they’re explicitly asking for it right on most (if not all) community pages. So, why not sign up and wait to hear how you can contribute down the line. If you have a vested interested in the concept, topic of brand name, I don’t see why you wouldn’t do this.