Let me first reiterate that all opinions in this blog are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. With that said, I’d like to share some constructive criticism with Facebook about their client service to brands.
This isn’t a complaint about how Facebook rolls out massive platform changes that force brands to pivot and change their social media programs to accommodate. In fact, I think they did a much better job communicating Timeline than past launches.
And, I really think their new credo has wonderful potential for companies like mine. Facebook wants to encourage brands to be authentic, and create conversations with their fans.
However, I am frustrated with how Facebook itself interacts with brands.
We are essentially a potentially fan/customer of Facebook, and it’s clear to me they aren’t practicing what they’re preaching. Why do I say that? Read on.
I work at a company whose name is written all in caps – NVIDIA. That’s not an acronym. It’s just how it’s written.
We have been in the process of launching regional Facebook pages, and Facebook has a rule that prevents page owners from writing their page name all in caps. Well, in the past I had a very friendly client service rep at FB who would change these for me, and correct them so that our NVIDIA pages were all in caps. Now, I’m working with a rep who talks in circles, and essentially holds service at ransom until I can sign a contract for advertising with him. Here’s how a recent exchange with him, transpired:
- I first asked if he could correct the style of our name on one of NVIDIA’s regional fan pages
- He responds that Facebook doesn’t allow all caps
- I respond that they do, and the sales rep I had previously, changed for us in the past
- He responds, that Facebook is cracking down, so what once was is no longer
- I respond and say that there are many major brands that aren’t acronyms, but still all caps
- He asks me for examples
- I share a short list
- He doesn’t respond
- I follow up and ask about it
- And he says, your name is in caps, and points to our corporate page. Then he says “Now we can start on those advertising campaigns.” Well, this page was never in question. I originated our conversation about regional and new NVIDIA pages.
- I ask about the regional pages
- And he responds ” I only handle North America so unfortunately I can only work on that part of your business. Your European/Latin American offices will have to speak with someone there.”
- So, I ask for those FB contacts’ information
Now here is where I can’t even believe my eyes… are you ready for his response?
He responds: “The teams in Latin America and Europe are still fairly small like us and are primarily focused on clients that are making an investment in Facebook, unfortunately I don’t have a contact in this case.”
So essentially he is saying, No, I don’t have a contact for you until you shell out money.
Well Facebook, for a company that is encouraging brands to be authentic, you are sure doing everything you can to make it difficult for us. My brand is tied to our brand name. There are specific guidelines for how that brand name is to be conveyed. You’re telling me the only way I can convey it correctly is to spend ad dollars with you.
How can that be authentic? We’re trying to run a great, organic community program, without advertising. We have a limited team and are doing what we can to interact with fans. And you’re telling me that I can’t represent my brand, correctly without paying for it?
I am so frustrated with this practice. I know that Facebook is an important platform, but I really just wish they practiced the authenticity they preach.
If you have any comments or thoughts please share them with me in the comments below. Perhaps commiserating will help diminish the sting of this recent disappointment.