Facebook Fan Pages vs. Community Pages

On April 1st, Facebook rolled out a new feature – Community Pages. Visually identical to Fan Pages, they are “reserved” for Facebook users that want to create a presence for a topic or cause – like “Can this Onion Ring get more Fans than Steven Harper“. What is more is that once a Community Page attains a certain number of followers, the user that created the page loses control over it, all the fans become administrators. On the other hand, as you may know, Fan Pages are for Brands to establish a Facebook presence to interact with their fans. The administrative control always stays with the brand.

As most Facebook initiatives this could go either way – fail miserably or great success. In the case of great success, you will need to pay attention to what is being said by users outside of your Fan Pages (actually you should already be paying attention). It’s easy for a user to create a Community Page that goes against a specific brand. They can now completely bypass your Fan Page. It’s not sure if Facebook will help brands with slanderous Community Pages

Five things to keep in mind:

  1. You will need to be more vigilant about what is being said outside of Fan Pages because the conversation could be happening elsewhere
  2. Even if a favourable Community Page exists, a slanderous group can easily take over by increasing the fan base
  3. Because only Facebook users can comment on a page, you will need to determine how to react to slanderous Community Pages – is it a PR rep, a director, a VP. Keep in mind that the person who answers needs a real profile, fake profiles with a few friends might only add fuel to the fire…
  4. Because Fan Pages and Community Pages look identical, you will have to work even harder at attracting new fans to the fan page
  5. On the flip side, this could be a great way for you to delegate some control to your fans – the fact that they are admins of your page shows great confidence

What do you think? Community Pages, hit or miss? Are you going to use them?

Photo credit: woodleywonderworks