Chris Tomlinson: Brands becoming owned by consumers
Jul 23 2010 By Chris Tomlinson
It is often said that thanks to social media consumers now control brands.
Well in the case of a Facebook fan page this can literally be true.
In essence what is meant is that a brand’s image, reputation and ultimately success is now determined by online conversations between those that already know the brand and those yet to discover it.
Advocates of social media marketing will urge brands to “let go” and suggest that the more you let consumers manifest your story in their own language, the more social media success you will have.
But if you haven’t got round to setting up a Facebook fan page, someone else probably will have and your brand will be at their mercy.
Don’t go looking to Facebook to help remove unwanted groups and pages.
In my experience their support team seldom responds to emails and ironically the best way to get them to take action is to actually set up a Facebook campaign demanding it.
The technicalities of setting up a group or pages seems to change and gets more complicated every week.
The nuances between the different types of pages are subtle but crucially important, because pages can be very tricky to delete.
If you manage to get more than 25 ‘fans’ (now known as ‘likes’) you can have your own Facebook URL which can often usurp your own website in search engine rankings.
Who creates the page is critical.
If the user account that created the page is that of an ex- or disgruntled employee you will never know as their identify, by default, is hidden – it could even be owned by your competitors.
There is a button to “report” abusive pages – but don’t expect any prompt action from Facebook.
The only way to remove a page is to ask the creator to delete it.
More often than not pages are left with no known administrators (admins), leaving them to perpetually sail the Facebook Sea like the Mary Celeste being source of constant embarrassment to the related brand.
So it is a good idea for you to audit your Facebook properties and make sure that ultimately you are in control of them while still embracing this new era of consumer participation.