Thursday, July 8, 2010
Facebook community pages confuse Community Transit community. Confused?
Fans of our page on Facebook may have noticed other Community Transit-ish pages pop up within the past couple of months. It's not just Community Transit -- businesses from Coca-Cola to colleges face these new doppelgangers on the social networking site.
Back in April, Facebook launched a new "community page" structure. Now, when a user's info section lists an employer, a favorite band, or even a general activity like hiking, these listings link to separate community pages for each topic. These community pages draw their information from Wikipedia, as well as what other Facebook users are saying about that specific topic. So in addition to our official Facebook page, there are now two of these community pages listed for Community Transit. We didn't create and don't operate these other pages, which causes some confusion for our audience.
We created our Facebook page in October 2008, to connect with our customers and share information with them. Unfortunately, these new community pages don't offer any interaction opportunities for the brands they appear to represent. Just like here on our blog, our official Facebook page has a comment policy to ensure that posts follow basic civility. But many posts that show up on these community pages don't fit our official page's please-keep-it-nice policy, and we can't moderate because we don't own these pages.
Other organizations are experiencing the same frustration over community pages diluting their presence on Facebook and confusing their fans. Facebook indicates that their eventual goal is to merge these community pages with "official" pages, but to date we haven't seen that happen with ours. As of July 2, Facebook finally added some fine print to the bottom of the community pages that reads "Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic."
What we'd like you to know:
If you're interested in connecting with us on Facebook, we're featured at www.facebook.com/communitytransit. If you're not sure which page you're on, check the URL or look for our info box on the left side that welcomes you to the official Community Transit page on Facebook.
Community Transit doesn't endorse or operate any other pages on Facebook.
Just a tip on personal Facebook use: take a minute to review your privacy settings -- allowing "everyone" to see your status updates and wall posts means that what you post on your own profile (or to your friends) could be featured on any community page without your knowledge. If you don't want that to happen, keep your settings on "friends only," at a minimum.