Facebook Faux Pas

Following up from Emma Lawrence’s blog post about Facebook Timeline’s, I have seen this on Facebook today and thought I would share it.

One of the points that Emma made was how you should be sure not include calls to action in your cover image. Within my usual daily travels around Facebook I’ve seen a good number of New Zealand businesses that are using this space in this way, both encouraging people to click the like button as well as taking part in a competition.

I noticed today that the Facebook page of a well-known New Zealand venue with a substantial number of fans, had a very strong call to action as their cover photo. I know someone in their marketing department, so thought I’d give them a call with the heads up. The result of the conversation led me to come and write this blog in order to clear up two misconceptions.

Misconception 1: Out of sight but not out of mind
Here goes the first one. This is something I’ve heard more than a few times on my travels when advising people to change their behaviour on Facebook – ‘Because we’re small and so far away, being in New Zealand, Facebook don’t really police pages here.’

Don’t believe it. There are many cases of New Zealand companies who’s Facebook page has been shut down. Just today I saw that a page that popular student burger joint, Velvet Burger, who own two stores in Dunedin and one in Auckland, have lost its 9,500 fans because of a rule-breaking competition they ran. For a company that had such an active following and presence on Facebook, this must have come as quite a blow.

 

Misconception 2: It’s not my problem
Many businesses have agencies or external people that run their Facebook accounts for them. This was the case for the large venue I talked about earlier. Using an external consultant or agency to manage your social media presence can be a really positive step for many businesses, just be sure to remember however, if your Facebook page is going to be pulled, Facebook aren’t going to care that it was managed externally. Once its gone, its gone – so be careful in your selection of an agency or external social media coordinator.

2 Comments

  1. Gem Webb April 18, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    That is very serious stuff. U run a fanpage for an Ontario DMO that recently crossed 10,000. A huge success for all of the Grey Bruce area in Southern Ontario. Yet, I’m constantly trying to stay ahead of all these rules and policies. Even the new big sensation Pinterest has been slowed for adoption of our organization due to photo legalities of who owns what. Thanks for this reminder as I read the policies and make a conscious choice not to ever add any CALLS TO ACTION or to enter a contest. Share with me this, does recommending places by adding names like “Paddle the Saugeen River” count? I’m getting a little hazy on things and don’t want any issues. I’m almost thinking not to put any graphics or words at all as it isnt worth the agony it would cause to lose a page. Thoughts?

  2. James Hacon April 22, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Gem,

    Thanks for your comments, great to know that we have people reading the blog from all over the world.

    In terms of adding a line of text to your photo, this isn’t against the rules unless it is a call to action.

    You can check the rules out here; https://www.facebook.com/help?faq=%20276329115767498

    To get away with using words, think about powerful statements or quotes that you can use in conjunction with the image. Looking at the paddling map on your website, perhaps something like;
    ‘350 million years to make, a day to paddle’

    Just an idea. I’m sure you will come up with something great!

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