Maybe you’ve faced this dilemma.
You want your franchisees to use Facebook for their businesses. Furthermore, you want conversations on those Facebook pages, that is, you want the franchisee to communicate with customers and customers to communicate back.
But you fear abusive language: the nasty comments, the bad reviews, the hate mail, the spammers, the hackers, the haters.
So what do you do?
First, Consult Facebook’s Community Standards
Luckily, Facebook doesn’t want abusive language, either. Thus, in their community standards page, Facebook lists 11 types of content unacceptable to all users. In skeleton form, they are:
1. Violence and Threats.
3. Bullying and Harassment.
4. Hate Speech.
5. Graphic Content.
6. Nudity and Pornography.
7. Identity and Privacy.
8. Intellectual Property.
9. Regulated Goods.
10. Phishing and Spam.
Next, use Facebook’s standards to Create your Guidelines.
Preventing abusive language implies taking action before the abuse happens.
Thus, make universal guideline for all franchisees to include in their the “description” tabs on their pages. Not only does this warn customers not to abuse their freedom of speech, but it also provides a nice anchor if such abuse were to happen (“I deleted your comment because you didn’t follow the guidelines on the page”).
What should you include in this description?
- A Welcoming Message: Remember, your Facebook exists to talk with customers, not rebuke them. Thus, before you start setting guidelines, remind “friends” of their welcome. “We definitely love talking to customers. And we love when you talk with us, express opinions, and let us know how we’re doing.”
- Introduce the Standard: After your welcome, go ahead and start easing users into the guidelines. Begin explaining the standard you expect to uphold. “We want diverse opinions, but we also want a friendly environment.”
- List the Guidelines: So you’ve got your welcome sentence and your standard. Next, list those types of content that you will not allow on your page. You may want to mention Facebook’s standards here, but definitely include your own list on your page. “In accordance with Facebook’s community standards, we will delete comments that are…
- Thank the User: As you opened with a welcome, end with a thank you. “We appreciate all the user friendly content from our customers. Thank you!”
So an example message may be this:
We definitely value and encourage your interaction with us. Though we want diverse opinions, we don’t want an unfriendly environment. Thus, in accordance with the Facebook Community Standards, and our own guidelines, we ask that you refrain from posting any comments that are:
4. Misleading or Fraudulent.
What happens if users violate the guidelines?
They get booted. That’s what.
But no seriously. People can get into a lot of trouble for using abusive language.
Now, if the content is bad enough, you can report it to Facebook. Just go to this link and follow the steps.
Case Study: Jimmy John’s
Jimmy John’s, the franchised restaurant based out of Illinois, does an excellent good at this.
Jimmy John’s Facebook Page is a place for JJ fans to keep it real with Jimmy and with one another. JJ welcomes differing opinions – but not to the detriment or disturbance of the community and its individual members. It’s all about spreading the love!!! It would not be a part of JJ’s culture or the spirit of Facebook in general to prevent fans from interacting with this community. Unfortunately, there will inevitably be a few individuals who, from time to time, feel bad about themselves and find it easier to make others feel bad rather than to fix their own issues. It’s human nature and a very normal defense mechanism. The trick is to not take it personally, but when we see behavior threatening to the JJ FB Community or individuals within it, in accordance with Facebook’s Terms of Service, we will delete comments. If an individual’s disruptive behavior persists, then we may block that user from participating.
The deal is about keepin’ it real. We ask that you be respectful in your postings and comply with all Facebook terms and policies, including not posting comments, images or other types of content that are:
* Abusive, defamatory or obscene
* Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading
* In violation of a law or regulation, or another person’s intellectual property rights
* Linked to Web sites containing harmful or inappropriate content
Thanks for your passion and the love for my brand.
Peace, have fun and keep rockin’!
Don’t Let Abusive Language Stop You
In our research, we notice companies getting hung up on abusive language. “I can’t take the risk. Abusive language will make me look bad.” “I don’t want to deal with the spam.” “I’m too busy to maintain the accounts.”
But we encourage you to continue using social media, regardless of what happens.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.