Many of you have inquired how to deal with “unofficial” Facebook pages and groups or inappropriate use of your logo. This becomes especially stressful when your boss asks you to “deal with them.” Before you jump to action, please consider the following:
- Social media is a “democratic” environment providing anybody with the ability to become an author. You won’t always like or agree with comments posted on Facebook.
- You cannot shut down groups and pages that center around your brand unless they are impersonating you and infringing on trademark/copyright law.
- Facebook’s Community Pages automatically add your organization’s logo from your wikipedia entry.
Things you can do:
- Report the page as a duplicate page (look for the link on the left margin) but there is no guarantee when Facebook will take it down.
- Authenticate your official page: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=authenticate_page
- In the case of inappropriate use of logo, you can submit a copyright infringement claim using this form: http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php?copyright_notice=1
- Better yet is to friend the administrator of the group or page. They could become powerful allies and sometimes even be relieved not to have to maintain the page any longer.
- Take a look at your wikipedia entry.
In general, you should be aware of “other pages” related to your organization (we will provide you with such list on May 24’s kick-off event). Keep an eye on them and try to identify frequent users (you might be able to contact them directly). You might find out that these pages or groups do not pose a threat to your organization after all.
Also, keep in mind that community pages do not generate a news feed (unlike your page) and have less features that a regular page. Groups also have limited functionality compared to a regular Facebook page. This means that they do not have the power to reach as many users as you can with a Facebook page.
To conclude, do your due diligence by reporting the issue with Facebook and by posting appropriate community and use of logo guidelines. However, it is best to focus more energy on building a good page for your organization and ramp up its “likes” instead of trying to shut down every related page and/or group that pop up on Facebook. Nonetheless, since this is an issue of concern to many brands, I will let you know of any new developments that can help you deal with these issues more efficiently.
Branding and unofficial pages read here: http://owni.eu/2010/07/09/unofficial-facebook-pages-brands-vs-fans/
Four ways to protect your brand on Facebook: http://patrickpowers.net/2011/01/four-ways-to-protect-your-brand-on-facebook/
Why Facebook Community Pages are not a big deal for brands…eventually by John Bell from Ogilvy 360: http://johnbell.typepad.com/weblog/2010/05/why-facebook-community-pages-are-no-big-deal-for-brandseventually.html