co What Facebook Can Teach Us About Communication |

Two days ago Facebook announced in its developer forum that it was going to make businesses who planned to build fan pages first work through an ads account representative and be “authenticated”. You can read about it here.

Yesterday, however, the company decided to revert back to its old way of doing things and nixed the idea.

Facebook Fan Pages are actually good for business. Even without the custom landing tabs, but Facebook made a few strategic errors here with this move and I’d like to examine those to see what we can learn.

  • First, don’t make an announcement with such a huge impact in your developer’s forum. If it affects as many people as this obviously was going to affect then it deserves a more public outing.
  • Secondly, if you’re going to make a big decision like this then discuss it with your community of customers first. See if it’s something that they’ll approve of before you embarrass yourself.
  • Thirdly, any time you restrict a change to users of your site that have more of a good thing (ie. 10,000 fans) then remember that you are shutting out the little people. Before you do that, learn how your decision will affect those little people. If it doesn’t look good then don’t go through with your plans.
  • Finally, stick to your guns. If it truly was a good idea then you shouldn’t back down. If you do back down when the crying begins then it wasn’t a good idea. Think it through before you do it.

There are several ways Facebook could have lessened the impact of the news and maybe even kept some small business owners happy. Be sure that you have a good handle on how your changes will affect your audience. Don’t act until you do.