Facebook considers Comment, Share and Like vital tools toward their goal of enabling consumers to engage in conversation within their platform. However, to date, Facebook has allowed Fan Page admins in the Pharna industry the ability to disable these features on a Fan Page. We now hear that the company is planning to remove the ability to disable these functions at some point this year (exact timing TBD). The Digital team has had discussions with the Facebook Pages team who have said that they have little say over the Comment/Share policy change, but are genuinely interested in finding a solution for pharmaceutical brands to continue using the Facebook platform. They have assured us that we will receive ample notice before the policy is implemented so we can work with our clients on any transition planning.
So what will this mean for us and our clients:
- Unbranded Fan Pages such as the CFvoice Facebook Page: The ability to comment will be turned back on, as there is no branded product mention on this page. We will not be able to disable the function.
- Brand Fan Pages such as the Novartis TOBI Facebook Page: There will be no impact; comments will continue to be disabled, since it is a branded product page and therefore Whitelisted.
So can we offer some suggestions to your clients:
- Create a Custom Wall, similar to the TOBI Facebook Custom Wall so that there are no comments on the page. For brand pages, both the ISI and PI is prominent on the page.
- Allow comments, and create a transparency statement on the page with clear “do’s and don’ts” and tell people that comments will be moderated and potentially deleted. However, this requires 24/7 moderation of the comments on the page.
- Allow comments, and create the “do’s and don’ts,” but also use the profanity filter and moderation block list to prevent product or treatment mentions in comments.