A client recently raised several concerns about using Facebook for business. Specifically, she questioned using a Facebook page to promote her B2B blog. Her main concern was whether a disgruntled former employee could spam the page with negative comments that her clients would see. Of course, behind this worry lurked the possibility that competitors could also wreak havoc with a company’s reputation on its Facebook business page.
Facebook for Business
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have given the individual a better chance to be heard than ever before. While a boon for small businesses trying to reach a bigger audience, this ability can become a small business nightmare when one bad apple’s complaints go viral.
However, it is important to keep in mind that your business does not need a Facebook page or Twitter persona to become the subject of someone’s viral smear campaign. In fact, a strong social media presence helps protect your brand in two ways:
1. By attracting comments, your Facebook page can draw your attention to rising reputation crises.
2. Your social media audience can become allies in your efforts to defend your company’s good name.
Facebook Page Controls
Facebook provides several controls you can use to manage the posts on your page. You might choose not to let anyone but company page administrators post on your page. You may allow others to post on your page but require admin approval before said posts go live. You can establish spam filters to funnel posts and comments directly to spam based on particular words in the message, and you can always delete offensive posts after the fact to provide damage control. Finally, you can permanently ban a user from your page if the posts are defamatory or unrelated to your business.
Manage Facebook Page Permissions
You access most of these controls from the Manage Permissions option on the Edit Page drop-down menu located in the upper right of your Facebook page. Clicking on Manage Permissions brings up a page where you can set who is allowed to post, what level of profanity is permitted, and whether posts must be approved before they are public.
Removing Posts or Comments
Hovering over a post or comment on your Facebook business page will bring up a gray X in the upper right corner of the post. Click on that X to remove the post. Facebook uses the language Hide as Spam for this action, which may or may not describe the reason your company has chosen to suppress the post.
In order to block particular users from your page, click on See All in the New Likes pane on your Facebook page. This will bring up a list of all the people who like your page. You can click on the X to remove a user from your page, and you can also permanently block this user if you choose.
This power to remove comments and block users should be used carefully. Social media succeeds when a company leverages it to make new connections. Blocking people and refusing to address their concerns will simply encourage them to take their conversation elsewhere, most likely where your business has less control of the message and may find it harder to respond. Strive for openness on your Facebook business page where the interactions increase your company’s visibility and demonstrate commitment to your clients.
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