What I’d like to see changed on Facebook Pages – Part 2

Facebook logoA continued look at missing features and functionality that seriously impair my library’s ability to effectively manage our organizational Facebook Page and our relationship with Fans.

See Part 1 if you missed it.

The Ability to Post or Comment Throughout Facebook as an Organization

Another critical feature that I would like to see Facebook implement for Pages is the ability for Page administrators to post or comment on other Facebook Pages, Profiles, or Group walls as an actual organization. Currently, when a Page administrator posts or comments elsewhere on Facebook, the wall post or comment automatically shows up as being tied to the individual Profile for that particular administrator. That oversight completely undermines organizational brand identity.

When Pollak Library conducted a recent campus-wide survey regarding library hours, I publicized the survey by cross-posting the link on the wall of our campus Facebook Page. Despite being an administrator of the library Page, and despite our library Page being tied to the campus Page as an official Fan, the post came through as a personal post by me. Page administrators should be able to post or comment on other Page walls as an organization.

Not being able to post or comment as an organizational Page takes away from the official identity of an organization that chooses to engage “off-Page” with other Facebook users. Seeing the library name and page photo, instead of my name and personal Profile photo, would have added more legitimacy to the post I made on behalf of the library. Most Facebook users associated with the campus recognize Pollak Library; they probably don’t know me, unless they are fellow coworkers and colleagues. And whether or not students and our larger campus community do recognize me — Colleen Greene, Facebook user — is irrelevant; official posts to other walls on behalf of my organization — Pollak Library — should appear as belonging to Pollak Library the Facebook Page.

Again, it’s all about “branding” — the whole point behind Facebook Pages.

The Ability to Comment on Our Own Page as an Individual User

Now, after climbing high up on that soap box about the ability to post and comment as a Facebook Page (aka “brand”), I have to also acknowledge and point out that, sometimes, Facebook Page administrators also want to be able to retain their individual identity. Once a Facebook user is assigned to a particular Page as an Administrator, that user can no longer comment or post to his/her own Facebook Page as an individual Facebook user… their posts and comments only show us as being authored by the Facebook Page. It is not possible for a Page administrator to post as himself or herself.

I have not yet come across a situation where I considered it best to comment on our library Facebook Page as myself — Colleen Greene, Systems Librarian — instead of as our organizational brand — Pollak Library — but I know some of my colleagues are not happy with this restriction. Our subject specialist librarians, who staff the reference desk and make a strong effort to build relationships with their faculty and students, sometimes want to be able to comment as themselves to one of our Page posts. Upstate New York librarian Bridget made the same argument herself today on my Part 1 blog post. I cannot disagree with these arguments. We librarians take our customer service seriously.

The Ability for Page Administrators to Choose

So, I guess what I really want out of Facebook for Page administrators is flexibility. In my ideal world, Page administrators would see some sort of interface, when posting or commenting on other Pages as well as their own organizational Page, that would allow them to choose between publishing that post or comment on behalf of “the organization” (aka “brand”) or publishing that post or comment as an individual user (aka “Profile”).

Is that too much to ask of Facebook? Really?

The Ability to Identify Which Administrator Posted What

And, while I am on this subject… how about the ability to identify which Page administrator (each of whom has an individual Facebook account) posted what? Pollak Library has five administrators assigned to our Facebook Page, but none of us can identify — from the administrative interface — which of us five published a particular post or comment on behalf of our organization. Instead, I ask them.

Our end users — Fans — should not be able to make this distinction if an administrator posts as the organization, but it would be helpful to other Page administrators to be able to identify the individual administrator.

There’s Still More

I am not done… stay tuned for Part 3 of changes I want to see to Facebook Pages.

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