The Finer Details of Administering Facebook Pages, Part 1
by Heather Herr / February 22, 2011
Note: This blog entry is available in English only.
Update: On February 10, Facebook announced a new Facebook Pages format which mimics the update made to individual profiles a few months ago. As a Preferred Developer Consultant, we have learned that the new Pages will be rolled out site-wide in March. Prior to that time, Page admins can tour the new format and upgrade their Page(s) in advance of site-wide rollout. The author has updated the article from its initial launch to reflect changes included in the new Facebook Page format.
A quick Google search on administering Facebook Pages returns an overwhelming number of 101-type articles that explain why businesses should be engaged on the social network, make a stong case for leading with strategy, and provide broad stroke instructions for getting started. A few are really good, and we’ve highlighted our favorites below, but few resources provide guidance on the next step – the finer tactical details of execution.
Yet the tactical details of engaging on Facebook are still absolutely essential to day-to-day, in-the-trenches Page management. This is the place where a good social media manager or agency is worth its weight in gold. They know the rules, they know the work-arounds, and they know when to tell you something can’t (or shouldn’t) be done.
Terralever has been helping clients create and manage Facebook Pages since Facebook first introduced the platform. In some cases, we manage a brand Page as a collaborative effort with client-side community managers. In other cases, we train the client’s team so they can take lead on managing the page, then provide ongoing support. In all cases, we often field questions that dig into the finer nuances of Page management. These are “Can I do this?” and “Why does this happen this way?” questions. They emerge when new Page admins realize that the things that worked on their own profile don’t work on their Page, or don’t work in the same way.
Drawing on the questions we hear most frequently from new Page admins, I’m going to highlight some of functional nuances of engaging with users on Facebook Pages.
Accounts, Profiles and Pages
- Facebook terms restrict users to one account in their real name, and prohibit the creation of business and brand accounts.
- Creating an account results in an individual user profile.
- Business and brands who want to be on Facebook need to leverage Pages or one of the social network’s other social page products.
- Pages are administered by individuals who have a personal Facebook account.
- Account privacy settings control visibility of the content published on an individual users profile.
- Pages, and all Page content published using native Facebook applications, such as photos, video, notes and events, are public by default and are viewable by anyone with limited exception.
Tip: Facebook does not limit the number of admins per Page, but it is best to restrict access to only those who are actively responsible for managing day-to-day engagement or execute custom development on your Page.
Self versus Brand Posting
- Posts by admins will appear as if they are coming from the brand.
- Comments by admins, whether on posts by the brand or posts by others (people who have liked the Page), will appear as if they are coming from the brand.
- Likes on content will appear as coming from the individual. That means when I like something on Red Bull’s Page, even though I have admin privileges, it will read as “Heather Lynne Herr and thousands of other people liked this.”
Update: Likes appear as if they are coming from the brand. We noticed the change on January 26, barely a week after originally publishing this post.
- Facebook does not currently allow admins to toggle between posting as him/herself or posting as the brand, though it is something that virtually all Page admins are clamoring for. There are times when I’d like to be able to respond to content on the eHarmony Page as myself, and times when eHarmony might want to like a photo posted by one of their success couples.
Update: The new Facebook Pages format does allow admins to toggle between posting as him/herself and posting as the brand. The controls that enable this are found in the Page’s backend management dashboard and under the individual user’s Account Settings, and will be covered in more detail in a future post.
Tagging Individuals and Pages in Posts
- Facebook permits tagging in updates, a feature which creates a link to another destination on Facebook.
- Virtually any person, place, event, group or topic on Facebook can be tagged provided it has its own unique page.
- The ability to tag a person or page is dependent upon the admin’s relationship with the person or thing they want to tag.
- To tag an individual, the admin must be friends with the person they want to tag. This will create a link to that person’s profile.
- To tag a Page, Place Page or Community Page, the admin must have liked the page.
- Admins can tag events created by the Page even without having RSVP’ed.
- To tag an event not created to the Page, an admin must have RSVP’ed to the event. It does not matter what that RSVP is – it could be a “Not attending” – but an attending status must exist.
- Tags appear inline with the post text and do not automatically create attachments.
- A post that contains one or more tags can also include an attachment, and can be posted using the same techniques as any other link-based post.
Are you fatigued yet? It’s a lot of information, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. From other on-Page features, such as targeting posts and wall view filters, to backend page management and custom tabs, there is more to learn. Other Facebook products, such as Event Pages, Place Pages, Community Pages and Groups each offer their own unique set of opportunities and challenges.
The nuances of Facebook are not difficult to learn, but they are not always intuitive. As such, they can be a source of frustration for teams who are just getting started. They are discovered through constant engagement and testing on Facebook and through third-party applications.
As promised, a few of our favorite Facebook Page 101 resources:
- Social Media Examiner, Facebook 101 for Businesses: Your Complete Guide by Mari Smith – A guide on using Facebook for business that addresses both individual profiles and the Pages platform.
- Mashable, HOW TO: Set Up a Winning Facebook Page by Susan Payton – Covers initial page setup, customization through applications, and basic tips for promoting Pages.
- Facebook Help – A great resource whether you’re a beginner or a veteran.
From the author’s original post:
Was this helpful? Would you be interested in a series that dives into the functional and technical nuances of other Facebook features and products? If so, please leave us a comment telling us what you’re most interested in, and we’ll help you wade through Facebook’s finer details.