As B2B companies create Facebook Pages, in addition to creating a content strategy and an engagement strategy, which are processes for what to post and how to engage with comments, they need to develop a process for dealing with a crisis. The SXSW Interactive Session, How Brands Respond to Facebook Attacks, addressed this issue with examples and advice from the panelists.
Bryan Person, Social Media Evangelist, Liveworld (@BryanPerson)
Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist, Intel (@Ekaterina)
Laura Thomas, Senior Digital Consultant, Dell (@LPT)
Michael Lazerow, CEO, Buddy Media (@Lazerow)
The session begin with a summary of the Nestle Facebook attack by Greenpeace, which encouraged backers to post negative messages on the Nestle Page using an altered logo in their profile pictures. Nestle did not respond well, but ultimately responded by changing their policy of sourcing palm oil.
Dell on Facebook
Dell has seen an overwhelming amount of negative posts on the Dell Page on Facebook. They organized a team comprised of people from customer service, social media and public relations departments to respond. There have been over 5,000 customers that have posted customer service issues on the Dell Facebook Page, and 98% expressed negative feelings toward the brand. After the customer service issues were resolved, 36% expressed positive comments publicly.
Intel on Facebook
Intel was prepared with a crisis plan and a crisis team, along with a listening tool in place that gave indication that something was coming. The connections between the listening team and the Facebook management team were not clearly defined as part of the process. Technology companies source products from around the world. People started to rally around mining in the Congo. There was a series of similar posts that were repeated on the Page. They appeared to be spam and were deleted as duplicates. More started appearing and the Intel team realized it was a coordinated attacked.
The team got together with customer service, pr, web team and legal department in the room. The team reviewed several options, and based their decision on what was appropriate for the community members. Rather than answering on the Facebook Page, Intel referred people to the Corporate Responsibility blog. They also turned off the ability for fans to post, and posted on the Page that they were doing this. After a three-hour period of answering questions on the blog, they allow fans to post on the Page again. The negative comments re-appeared and Intel continued at act in accordance with their Page rules and the comments died down. The listening team is now in sync with Page manager as a result of event.
Page Management Tips
- Make sure you have a policy to respond, because inaction can be defined negatively. Put technology tools in place before an attack, so you can be alerted on your cell phone.
- If you start a Facebook Page, make sure you allow fans to post, but make sure you are prepared.
- Watch for patterns on the Page. An intern cannot properly manage a Page. A good manager know the fans, how active they are and what kinds of things they post.
- Provide a commenting policy on the Page, but it does not need to be legalese. Setting these ground rules allows you to manage a Page according to these rules. You can even post that you can have deleted a comment due to profanity.
- Comply with Facebook terms and conditions and add your own house rules. Intel’s Facebook House Rules are described as the good, the bad, but not the ugly. They keep positive and negative comments, but remove things that violate the rules.
- Because of what is exposed through Facebook, a company is going to come down, just like governments. Consider running a real firedrill on an unpublished page where only admins can see the Page.
- If you have to actively rally your fans to respond to posts on the wall, they probably won’t. The best fans will respond on their own.
- An attack on a Page can influence how often Page shows up in newsfeed. With the changes to the algorithm, extra activity increases the popularity of a Page. It also brings lurkers out to post.
Are there other tips that you can share if you have handled an attack or highly negative comments on your company’s Facebook Page?