When we were conducting the research for our recent Social Media Sectors report, one thing we found very difficult was classifying when a page or group was ‘official’, and when it was created by a fan. In some cases ‘official’ pages are being created by employees of the company without corporate backing or approval, which makes the diffentiation very difficult. In other cases pages ARE being made by officially represented people, but look so unprofessional that you’d be amazed they were.
Well, it appears that Facebook are cracking down on people creating false ‘offical’ pages, according to some recent news posted on the AllFacebook blog. The blog cites a couple of examples of users being either banned or reprimanded for creating branded pages for companies that they had no connection with. The good news is that in one of those cases (Ralph Lauren) the brand reacted very wisely and rewarded the creator of the page with a $200 gift voucher for his troubles – big brands take note!
I’ve seen a couple of examples of this in action myself – you wouldn’t know it from the publicity, but the Chris Moyles Radio 1 fan page was originally created by a fan, who handed over control to the Radio 1 team when they approached him. A couple of brands that we work with are also the subject of unofficial ‘offical’ brand pages, though in my experience Facebook has always been very quick to fix this for us.
If you are a big brand considering creating a Facebook or other Social Network fan page, my advice is this – don’t punish your fans for being more on-the-ball than you, reward them! And if you need help with getting an unofficial page taken down, contact Facebook direct – or ask your Social Media Agency to do it for you.Tweet