Facebook proved again this week to be a top spot for people to express concerns, share complaints, and demand answers when issues arise. When runners encountered major delays while registering for the popular Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, PA, yesterday, the official Facebook page took quite a beating.
How did the team monitoring the page handle the surge of customer service issues? I’d say they did better than most:
Throughout the day, the admins explained the situation, responded to numerous comments left on the Wall, and shared updates about the registration process and website issues. I am also impressed no one is complaining that negative comments have been deleted or removed, which is a knee-jerk reaction many brands have when faced with a deluge of angry posts.
Though, I did encounter one area for improvement involving the default settings of the Facebook wall.
As I tried to register for the race, the site seemed unreasonably slow. Turning to the Facebook page for answers, I could not easily find the Broad Street Run’s administrator comments. I began to doubt whether organizers were using Facebook to provide updates. After sifting through hundreds of angry comments, I finally found info that the page had shared about the registration process. While trying to find official updates, I read a lot of the negative reactions to the race organizers. This left me wondering if I’d made the right decision in signing up for the run.
So, let’s recap:
- I tried signing up for the race and realized the site seemed very slow
- Wondering if others had similar issues with the registration process, I turned to social media and visited the Broad Street Run’s Facebook page looking for official notifications
- When I got to the page, the default view for the Wall featured many negative comments from other runners
- I could not easily locate official updates from the page owners
- I doubted that the Broad Street Team was even providing updates through its Facebook page
- Getting inundated with negative reactions to the race, I began to question my decision to register
With so many upset runners flooding the Wall, the team behind the Broad Street Run should have changed the default settings of the Facebook page so that people automatically saw only official status updates. This allows Facebook users (both fans and nonfans of the page) to quickly receive official information and stay informed, especially with how quickly updates disappear from the News Feed. Should anyone want to read comments from others, there is an option to switch the view to “Everyone:”
This is especially important to consider knowing that over 425 million Facebook users visit the site using a mobile device. Using the iPhone Facebook application, it is very tedious to scroll through Wall updates from both consumers and the page trying to find official news.
In both web browsers and mobile applications, if a page chooses to show its updates by default, only those posts that the page makes will appear unless someone manually switches the view back to “Everyone.”
Normally, I recommend brand pages default to comments from “Everyone” since Facebook is a community platform that thrives on engagement and conversations, but sometimes it is more important to provide updates to users rather than featuring the social conversation taking place on the Wall. In this case, sharing news about the registration process and status of the website should have taken precedence, especially when the page was doing a great job keeping people informed through consistent posts.
What do you think about how Broad Street Run’s Facebook page handled the issues yesterday? Would you have changed the default settings of the page?