Here’s a question I get asked often by organization managers considering getting more active in social media — Facebook in particular.
One best practice when it comes to Facebook Pages is to set the default setting so that visitors are looking at posts not only by the page owner but also by fans.
But: “What do we do when people start posting a whole bunch of stuff to our Wall?” asks the boss.
Excellent question. By and large, most organizations will get innocuous notes from fans. But for organizations with a cause that some may find controversial, or that are for some other reason possible targets of attention, may attract less desirable kinds of posts. What do you do? Just delete them from the Page? Engage?
New DC-local journalism startup TBD.com (with which the local blog I co-lead, Rockville Central, is associated) is one such organization. It’s a news outlet. People are attracted to it, as a way of promoting their own causes or bringing up their own issues.
TBD.com is committed to engaging with audiences, though — and not hiding behind an organizational wall. How they are handling their Facebook Page is a good case example of a classy move.
Recently, someone who says they are a veteran (I believe it, but can’t verify) left numerous notes and posted document scans about spraying Agent Orange in Guam. It’s a serious issue, but the tone is also more intense than most organizations might want to get behind.
Rather than just delete the posts, TBD.com Page admins wrote this:
Thanks for sharing the docs. We generally only cover local DC/VA/MD area news, but I made sure to copy down all your info here. I’m removing the repeat posts from the page, but keeping record.
Not only is the poster now more likely to be a friend and see TBD.com as honest brokers — so are other people. Here’s a tangible demonstration of the commitment to two-way.
Here it is in situ:
Well done, guys.