You may control your Facebook page, but you shouldn’t try to own it. Not if you really believe in the concept of social media, and want to provide your target audience with exactly what they want (and will therefor pay for).
As I have repeatedly said – and will say again – “It’s called social media for a reason.” But some business owners, or page administrators, see their page on Facebook as a sort of personal property. “It’s mine, and I’ll decide what’s posted here.” Okay – you don’t want someone promoting another company’s business on your page, I get it. Or starting flame wars (arguments). But I’ve seen companies take it way too far.
There’s a well-known restaurant in Toronto that technically allows people to post messages on their FB page, but within hours these posts are all deleted. It could be a question, or even a positive comment – they have someone who monitors the page and removes ALL posts that they themselves did not make. That’s doubly ridiculous – not allowing fan posts to remain, and paying some guy to sit around and actually remove them.
There are many, many places that also have a “no posting” setting on their pages – anyone who isn’t the administrator simply cannot post on the page. There’s another restaurant down the street from my house that has that option set on their page. One of their first posts was to tell people they didn’t want people to post on their page. Several months later, they posted for a dishwasher, and a few days later left a reply complaining that no-one had expressed interest in the job!
Here’s the thing: you want to encourage a camaraderie between your satisfied customers, a place where you can begin to develop a relationship with them. Imagine an old-time general store, where folks sat around the stove and talked about a bunch of stuff. This is the kind of environment you want to develop. You want to set up a place where your customers can like owners.
I train and teach karate. One night I was mopping the training floor, when a kid came out of the changing room and laughed at me. “You have to wash the floor!”
“No,” I said. “I GET to mop the floor. I feel like I own this facility, and I want it to be clean when you get here to train. When you come to love the place like I do, we can be co-owners. The real owner HAS to pay the rent, but I GET to clean up and stock the shelves.”
This kid looked at me like I was crazy, but 12 or so years later when he was running his own landscaping business, he approached me and reminded me of that conversation. “That’s how I want my employees to feel – like their responsibility is a privilege, not a burden.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” They will learn to trust you when they can know and like you. A great place for that to happen is on your FB biz page.
Be a director there, and not a dictator!
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3 things you can do to share ownership:
1) Ask questions – listen to and acknowledge the answers
2) Post a public policy about discussion, and remove posts/ban users only in extreme circumstances
3) It’s not so much about following your fans’ suggestions, it’s about readers feeling included when you ask for them