Last month, Facebook requested a meeting with a select few digital leads in healthcare communications to discuss the direction of Facebook Pages and how they can best meet our client’s needs.
CCC’s digital lead, Ritesh Patel, has a close working relationship with Facebook so he was included in this select group and provided the following update:
As many of you know, we currently have the ability to disable comments on our branded and unbranded Facebook pages, in order to adhere to current FDA rules and regulations. Facebook considers comments to be a vital piece of its goal of enabling consumers to engage in conversation on their platform.
As such, the company is planning to remove the ability to disable these functions for unbranded pages at some point this year (exact timing TBD).
The Facebook team is genuinely interested in finding a solution for healthcare companies to continue using the Facebook platform in light of the new policies. We have been assured that we will receive ample notice before these changes are implemented so that we can properly inform our clients and take the appropriate measures.
The new policy will impact branded and unbranded Facebook pages in the following ways:
- Unbranded Facebook Pages: Comments will be turned back on, as there is no branded product mention on this page
- Branded Facebook Pages: No impact; comments can continue to be disabled, since it is a branded product page
In order to help our clients prepare for this change, here are some initial recommendations/options:
- Create a Custom Wall. For a great example of this, take a look at the Novartis TOBI Branded Facebook Page Custom Wall, Page Example Link. Comments are disabled and the Fair Balance is displayed prominently on the Wall. The downside is that Wall postings will not appear in user newsfeeds, and fans would have to visit the page itself to see updates.
- Create a Custom Wall, for which comments are placed in a moderated area (not viewable publicly) and a community manager must approve or reject them manually. The downside is that page postings will not appear in user newsfeeds and fans would have to visit the page itself to see updates; transparency and communication when comments are rejected are key.
- Allow comments and create a transparency/disclosure statement on the page with clear “do’s and don’ts,” noting that comments will be moderated and potentially deleted if they do not adhere to the guidelines; In addition, utilize the profanity filter and moderation block list to prevent product or treatment mentions in comments. Transparency and communication about when comments are deleted are key; this option sets up the potential of monitoring a page 24/7 as comments would first appear on the wall and need to be manually deleted; in addition, the profanity filter and moderation block list are not guaranteed to block all unwanted comments or treatment mentions.