Managing social media pages
Did you hear the one about the lucky Irish person who won a new Mercedes by simply liking a Facebook page? You might not have but it’s worth looking at the spoof competition run by Denis Mahony Motors on Friday 30th March as there are some important lessons in social media management to be learned.
The day happened to be 30th March and the moderator of the Denis Mahony Motors Facebook page announced to the page’s 10,000 Facebook fans that anyone who liked their page over the previous week would be entered into a competition for a new Mercedes. Great! The problem arose when they announced later that day that the competition was indeed an April Fools Joke.
Never mind that the “joke” was a day early, the revelation was met with a torrent of vitriolic abuse from “fans” that would make even Eamon Dunphy blush. Interestingly, the page’s fan count dropped from 10,000 to 5,000 in the space of an hour or two.
Undoubtedly, the idea to announce a competition that turned out to be nothing more than a joke was a mistake. The moderator of the page does however have to be given some kudos for their subsequent management of the page and communication with the page’s followers.
While the fall in fans was regrettable, as was the stream of abuse that accompanied it, the communication from the Denis Mahony Motors page did start to repair the damage. The message on April 1st from the group states “Thanks to everyone who entered this competition and apologies about the confusion over the premature April fools competition. It was done in a light hearted manner and certainly wasn’t our intention to upset anyone. We meant it as a fun idea but obviously we didn’t get it 100% right. As a result, we have taken all your comments on board, both good and bad, and as of next week we will run a series of competitions and giveaways on this page with everything from concert tickets to restaurant vouchers to sports tickets up for grabs.” The number of fans has recovered and currently stands at 7,305.
An increasing number of clients are seeking advice on how best to moderate their social media interaction. Having worked on a wide range of social media campaigns for clients, we regularly put together guidelines and briefings on how to manage this moderation. Some of the basic rules of thumb include:
- Remember that you are always representing the company.
- Be professional, polite and respectful of customers, suppliers, partners and competitors.
- In your posts and discussions, be sensitive, constructive and think about the consequences of what you want to say before you post it.
- If the commenter is a well known negative commenter or ‘troll’, it is usually best not to respond directly, but this must be considered on its merits.
If the comments are recent but of a positive or neutral nature, no response is necessary.