I was thrilled last week that I received a call from a school seeking some assistance about their recently established Facebook page. I wasn’t thrilled that they had an incident, but more that they had gone ahead and got their Facebook page up and running; that was the ‘thrilled’ bit. But I was also let’s say moderately thrilled that here was an opportunity to provide some learnings for all schools implementing a Facebook page. Here’s what happened.

The incident involved a parent that had an axe to grind and used the school’s Facebook page to vent their spleen. The school did the right thing with the administrator notified via email as soon as the wall post went live and subsequently deleting the post. The incident did raise a few issues. Firstly, the parent was able to write directly to the wall. It appears that the school hadn’t un-ticked all the boxes in the admin settings. Below are the best settings for a school starting out. This set-up means parents can only ‘comment’ on a school’s wall post. While this is important, it still doesn’t stop an aggrieved parent going off topic and using their commenting access to have-a-crack.

Given that the parent had clearly breached the Code of Conduct, the school could have not only deleted the post but also banned the parent from further access. When I asked them why they hadn’t done this, and it was clearly their intent to do so, they said the parent hadn’t ‘liked’ the page so therefore was not in the database to delete. The inevitable question then followed. “I thought you said at the Facebook PD that people can only comment on a page if they ‘like’ it first.” They were right. That’s exactly what I said….but. Only a day or so before the PD,  Facebook changed the ‘like’ process. Today, anyone can comment on your page and they don’t have to ‘like’ you to do so. However, you can still delete them.

Click on the link here Anyone can now comment it’ll show what is presented to an administrator when deleting a post and how to ban a user.

So what are the learnings from this incident?

Step 1: Set-up your facebook page as shown in the image above. Very conservative.

Step 2: Ensure your community has been made aware of your code of conduct.

Step 3: Understand that now someone doesn’t have to ‘like’ you to comment on your post.

Step 4: Keep going and forge ahead with your social media journey.

Step 5: Subscribe to the digital den and keep up to date with great tips for schools (and government) on social media.