ATTN Nonprofits: Do Not Create Facebook Community Pages!
PLEASE NOTE :: Community Pages are not the same as Official Facebook Pages, formerly Facebook Fan Pages. Also, this article used to be entitled “Any nonprofits out there experimenting with Facebook Community Pages?”, but I changed it because I do not think nonprofits should be experimenting with Community Pages.
4/30 UPDATE :: There is lot more information coming out about Facebook Community Pages:
While Community Pages seem to be competing with “Official Pages” in search results, that’s not what I find most troublesome. I am more disturbed by the fact that Facebook will not announce the number of when a “Page” is prompted to become a Community Page. All Facebook says is that it occurs when a Page “becomes popular”. I know of a small nonprofit that was prompted at 118 Likes and another at 50 Likes. Most Facebook bloggers expected the number to be 10,00o.
Not releasing the number empowers Facebook to downgrade any Page they want if it can not be authenticated. There was absolutely no reason for the Pages with 50 and 188 Likes to be prompted. They are small public libraries. Both libraries did not think they needed to authenticate and ignored the emails from Facebook since Pages and Community Pages look exactly the same. But as we know now, they are not the same. Status Updates from Community Pages do not get News Feed exposure. I have informed them to indeed authenticate. Will keep you posted.
If your nonprofit is being asked to authenticate, please let me know in a comment below. THANKS.
4/23 UPDATE :: For all the buzz about Facebook and its marketing power, the reality is 90% of the power of a Facebook Page (now called Official Pages) is in the Status Update. According to Facebook, the Status Updates of Community Pages will not show up in the News Feeds:
“Community Pages are built around topics, causes or experiences. Official Pages are maintained by authorized representatives of a business, brand, celebrity, or organization, and they can create and share content about the entities that they represent. Community Pages, on the other hand, won’t generate stories in your News Feed, and won’t be maintained by a single author.”
There is so much conflicting information out there right now about Community Pages and absolute confusion about the Authentication Process for [formerly Fan] Pages. Until Facebook clarifies how exactly this new tool works, I wouldn’t invest any time or resources in building a community using Community Pages. Stick to Official Pages and Groups.
I was just getting ready to add “Create a Facebook Page for a campaign in addition to your organization’s Facebook Page” to my Facebook Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations when I read that Facebook had launched “Community Pages”. I have yet to see one live, but they are Facebook’s response to a growing trend on Facebook where individuals launch and run Facebook Pages like:
Facebook clearly wants Facebook Pages to be for brands (businesses, nonprofits, schools) and Community Pages for causes and campaigns. Admins for Pages have complete control over their Page, while when the Community Page reaches a certain number of supporters, the “administration will be handed over to the Facebook community. In other words, Community Pages become a whole lot like a wiki once they reach a certain threshold.”
Very interesting and three questions immediately come to mind:
1) What’s the magic number of when a Community Page is handed over to the Facebook Community?
2) What happens to current Facebook Pages that are campaigns that reach that magic number – are they then converted to Community Pages? I did find that both of the two pages listed above no longer show up in Facebook searches. I had to use Google to find them. But the Pages themselves are still fully functional including News Feed activity. ANSWER: Facebook requires you to authenticate/authorize the Page. If you can’t, your Page becomes a Community Page.
3) How do the Community Pages function before and after the magic number? ANSWER: Status Updates no longer show up in the Feeds.
I like the idea and anxious to see what a Community Page administered by the Facebook community looks and functions like. Have any nonprofits out there created a Community Page yet? Such as Save the Whales. Stop Global Warming. Take Back the Night. Support the Ratification of the START Treaty. Spay and Neuter Your Pet. If so, please list your Community Page below and I’ll track it, watch it, and report it.