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Fear of the Facebook "Fan"

May 4, 2011

Most organizations are gutless and spineless

Toronto, May 4, 2011 - Many organizations now have Facebook "Fan" pages where they can create a social media presence. Some of them have eye-catching functionality. Others are more focused on providing basic information about their product or service. In both cases, however, there is always a "Wall", where they post blog excerpts, new status messages, and other fascinating tidbits.

"The Wall is where the organization can communicate directly with their customers," says Randall Craig, social media expert and author of the Online PR and Social Media series and Social Media for Business. "The question is whether the company has opened up the Facebook wall for user comments or not." There are three philosophies:

Keep it closed: User feedback may turn out to be nasty or out of brand, or competitors will abuse the space, or they do not have adequate resources to monitor and respond to any questions.

Open free-for-all: The walls are open, but there is no allocation of resources to monitor and participate.

Open and connected: Since the conversation will happen somewhere on the social net anyway, why not host it, and respond to any issues that come up directly.

"Organizations should make listening to prospective and existing customers a top priority," says Randall Craig. "And if comments are negative, a direct and public response could mitigate the PR risk significantly. Companies that rationalize against openness are seen as afraid of what the marketplace has to say; they are gutless and spineless."

On the other swing of the pendulum, organizations that do not monitor at all forget that leaving their brand to chance is a huge – and expensive – risk. It is cheaper to allocate the proper resources in the first place.

Of course, there are some organizations that do not open their walls for good reasons. But a good reason several years ago is far less of a good reason today.

Adds Craig: "By listening instead of shouting, by floating ideas, and by asking for users' help, the organization empowers social media influencers to spread the good word, not the bad." This can build trust in an organization, and trust can lead to the elusive customer loyalty.

Since 1994, Randall Craig has been advising on web and social media strategy. He is the author of six books including the newly published Social Media for Business and the Online PR and Social Media series. For more information about Randall Craig visit


For more information contact:

Randall Craig
416.256.7773 x101 /

Carolyn Bergshoeff
416.256.7773 x 103 /

For more information contact:
Randall Craig
Phone: 416-256-7773 x101

Click here to view our Sources Listing:

Randall Craig, Social Media and Networking Expert


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