How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page?

cokepageAccording to PageData, the folks at Coca-Cola seem to have accomplished something pretty amazing on Facebook – the Coca-Cola fan page is the 2nd most popular Page on all of Facebook with over 3.3 million fans, second only to Barack Obama.

The only catch? The page wasn’t created by Coke, but by two Coke fans in Los Angeles, Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski. In a recent AdAge story, the two tell of how they were recently contacted by Coca-Cola and asked to partner with Coke to manage the Page in a move that showed a graceful approach to social media by the company.

It’s an increasingly common question for brands interesting in building their Facebook presence: What do I do if someone has already created a Facebook Page for my brand? Or in the case of big brands like Coke – hundreds of Pages?

There are a variety of options at your disposal, and how you choose to proceed is really up to you.

1. Ask Facebook to transfer control of the Page to you. Most brand managers who plan to actively invest in Facebook promotions want to control the destination Page, and Facebook’s policy on Pages is that they may only be controlled by the rightful brand owner. If you’ve found a Page for a brand that  you’re the rightful owner of, contact Facebook and they can transfer it to you once they can confirm your identity. However, of course, you’ll need to consider whether and how this should be communicated to the Page’s fan base – especially if there’s already a strong community in place.

2. Ask the Page owners to transfer control to you. For those brands concerned about alienating the fans that have invested their time in creating and building a Page – sometimes over a period of years – talking with the Page owners directly may be a more appropriate approach to try first. Facebook doesn’t make the contact information of Page owners publicly available, so you’ll have to either just post a message on the Page’s wall or ask Facebook for their contact info. From there, you can have a conversation with the Page creator about how to proceed.

3. Ask the Page owner to share control with you. In cases where the fan community has become very large and the brand isn’t incredibly perturbed by the way the Page owner is running things, a more innovative approach to sharing administrative responsibilities can work. In the Coca-Cola case, “Facebook made the decision to either close the page or let Coca-Cola take it over. Coca-Cola instead proposed an alternative: Let the creators keep the page but share it with a few of Coca-Cola’s senior interactive folks… Coke instead flew the guys down to Atlanta for a few days of meetings, a tour of the World of Coke museum and a visit to the company’s legendary archives.”

4. Ask Facebook to shut the Page down. If for some reason you just don’t want this Page to exist any more, brands can ask Facebook to shut it down. Facebook can either simply delete it or roll over the fans of that Page into another Page that you own. However, in this case especially, you should be careful to communicate this in such a way that it does not create a jarring or otherwise poor experience for the Page’s community.

5. Let the Page continue to exist, and start an “official” Page of your own. For those that don’t mind having “unofficial” Pages around, you’re always free to do nothing and let it ride. However, fans searching for your page may find the unofficial ones instead, which could be confusing and/or splinter your community. Facebook itself may notice that there are duplicate Pages and ask you if you’d like to consolidate them at some point.

Sponsored Post

Hands-On Social Media Training for Beginners


Social Media 101
In our Social Media 101 boot camp, you’ll determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on personal and professional goals. Starting May 13, you will learn the best practices for using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, along with complete personal profiles on each site. Register today!

Leave a Reply

43 Responses to “How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page?”

  1. Ethan says:

    What did Coke do with the remaining 100s?

  2. Tyler Smith says:

    Their profile picture sure does look good now! ;) – compliments of @TractionOKC

    We’ve had a similar situation with a client. We decided to post our own “official” page and try and befriend the other pages & groups to let them know there’s an official page in existence. They didn’t opt to immediately close their pages, but we can write on their wall anytime and that hits their fans that aren’t yet our fans.

    We were able to grow our page to more than 20 times the size of the others in just 3 weeks. Keep in mind, this is for a local Oklahoma City client.

  3. ¿Es bueno que la página en facebook de una marca la gestionen los fans y no la marca? — El blog de javier godoy says:

    [...] con ellos y les ha ofrecido colaboración en la gestión conjunta de la página, según cuenta Inside Facebook, que se pregunta sobre las distintas reacciones que una marca puede tener frene a este tipo de [...]

  4. Leanne Watson says:

    What an interesting article! Quite a dilemma I think and one that would need really careful consideration before acting.

    I think it’s really interesting the way Coke handled it, sounds like everyone is happy in that instance.

    And Tyler’s group seems to have managed it as well.
    Well done.

  5. links for 2009-03-19 | Ip's. says:

    [...] How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page? "It’s an increasingly common question for brands interesting in building their Facebook presence: What do I do if someone has already created a Facebook Page for my brand? Or in the case of big brands like Coke – hundreds of Pages? [...]

  6. LisaC says:

    Any additional tips on tracking down the Page creator?
    FB will not provide the contact info and the wall post asking for the owner turned up zero. I am happy to have FB pass along my contact info but that hasn’t gone anywhere either. Ideas?

  7. Noteworthy Tidbits About Facebook - News: Everything-e says:

    [...] asks "What do I do if someone has already created a Facebook Page for my brand?" He lists (and elaborates upon) the following options a business has in such a scenario: – Ask Facebook to transfer control of the [...]

  8. Stuart Glendinning Hall says:

    Thanks, just the answer I was looking for.

    Cheers,

    Stuart

  9. Noteworthy Tidbits About Facebook | GoSocial.us : Building Brands in Social Media and Online Marketing says:

    [...] asks "What do I do if someone has already created a Facebook Page for my brand?" He lists (and elaborates upon) the following options a business has in such a scenario: – Ask Facebook to transfer control of the [...]

  10. Cosa fare quando trovi la pagina fan della tua azienda creata da altre persone | Giovanni Cappellotto says:

    [...] inside Facebook social media [...]

  11. Why Business Needs To Get Social (via Forbes) | native says:

    [...] In passing, he mentions the impressive 3.5 million fans which Coca-Cola has gathered on their Facebook page. In fact, that page was started by two fans, unofficially and independently, before Coca-Cola caught on. [...]

  12. Page Squatting: The Next Challenge for Facebook Pages? says:

    [...] companies, or brands they like as a place to earnestly express their passion. Brand owners have to figure out how to respond, but usually, these cases are resolved smoothly and [...]

  13. Cybersquatting Goes Social « new media monthly says:

    [...] option has its potential pros and cons as Smith explains, but I feel like the last one will be the best option in many cases because it’s the one [...]

  14. links for 2009-04-29 | Mostly Marketing - Definitely Digital says:

    [...] How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page? (insidefacebook.com) [...]

  15. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Largest Unofficial Facebook Page Disappears says:

    [...] How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page?, we discussed the five options brands can take in handling unofficial [...]

  16. Aaron Pastor says:

    Any idea how to either share control or have the page transferred. Seems difficult since business pages are now linked to an individual’s profile… It would be great to hear if you have any insights on this.

  17. Twitter and Social Networks Usher in a New Era of Social CRM | PR2.0 says:

    [...] social web is one big stream that requires listening, empathy, and also engagement and response. InsideFacebook recently shared a great story of how brands can cultivate communities on Facebook [...]

  18. Rachel says:

    I’ve been trying to contact FB to get control of my brand’s fan page and have still not heard anything back yet. The page has thousands of fans, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to start another one. Anyone have any tips on getting in touch with someone from FB?

  19. How Do You Contact the Owner of a Facebook Page? says:

    [...] ranging from transferring the Page to your control to shutting the Page down altogether (see How Do You Treat a Fan Who Owns Your Facebook Page? for more details and options). Using the “Report Page” link on the bottom left corner [...]

  20. McDonald’s: More Than 1 Million Facebook Fans Served says:

    [...] its official Page. Facebook intends for Pages to be owned by companies themselves, so it has been helping various organizations do this [...]

  21. Notes from a wireframe world » Blog Archive » More than 1 million fans of Mac-e-D’s says:

    [...] close it’s nonofficial fan pages and fold them into it’s main page. It’s not the first time either. As that post points out their are a number of ways of making sure that you as the owner of the [...]

  22. Robert says:

    I tried to find the owner of an unauthorized page about our comedy group on Facebook, through a posting on the fan page, but he never answered and seemed to have abandoned Facebook. So I contacted Facebook to transfer control over the page to me. This was their answer:

    “For legal reasons, we’re not able to give other users access to unauthorized Facebook Pages or administrator information. Sorry for any inconvenience. However, if you’d like to create a Page [..] and respond with its web address (URL), we can transfer the fans from the unauthorized Page.”

    This is what I did and it worked really well.

  23. How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ | Online Internet SEO says:

    [...] image that Coca-Cola then reposted using the Share button (a great illustration of how Coca-Cola partnered with their raving fans who created the [...]

  24. How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ | Social Media Examiner says:

    [...] image that Coca-Cola then reposted using the Share button (a great illustration of how Coca-Cola partnered with their raving fans who created the [...]

  25. Ari Herzog: McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Among Early Online Marketing Adopters | India News Blog, Latest News From India, Latest Blogs From India says:

    [...] you were in the beverage manufacturer’s shoes and saw what they saw, how would you react to an unofficial Facebook page with fan statistics you would want for yourself? What would you do? If you were Arnold or [...]

  26. Ari Herzog: McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Among Early Online Marketing Adopters | Twitmerlin - News, Celebs Gossip, Social Media says:

    [...] you were in the beverage manufacturer’s shoes and saw what they saw, how would you react to an unofficial Facebook page with fan statistics you would want for yourself? What would you do? If you were Arnold or [...]

  27. Ari Herzog: McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Among Early Online Marketing Adopters | FuN LivINg Lifestyle says:

    [...] you were in the beverage manufacturer’s shoes and saw what they saw, how would you react to an unofficial Facebook page with fan statistics you would want for yourself? What would you do? If you were Arnold or [...]

  28. What is a facebook fan worth? « Bowe's Blog says:

    [...] Some brands have the luxury of fans building their fan presence on Facebook (for example the two Coca-Cola fans who built the initial coke presence on Facebook).  [...]

  29. Coca Cola Shares Social Media Strategy (Case) | AniBlurbs (Column) says:

    [...] only thing missing in this presentation is the way they handled the unofficial Facebook fan page. Coca Cola’s Facebook fan page had a staggering 3.3 million fans making it the biggest fan page [...]

  30. Marie says:

    Sounds interesting, but Facebook doesn’t reply to my message [your'e only allowed one!?] about a fan making a fanpage for me, not maintaining it and fans thinking that it is me. When that fanpage shows up on google it cleary says that people can interact with me, but they can’t.
    I have not found a way to contact facebook, which seems to be a problem for a lot of people.

  31. How should brands handle unofficial communities? | SmartBlog On Social Media says:

    [...] for supporting you too effectively — or you can do what Coca-Cola did last year and try to bring your fans into the fold. Having passionate fans is a gift; treat them as [...]

  32. Don Don says:

    Similar problem as Marie described. I actually found a way to contact Facebook, however, they choose not to respond. That’s despicable!

  33. DSM says:

    If I were coke, I would have CANNED both of them.

    There’s no way in hell I’d let 2 idiots who can’t READ directions, speak for or be involved with my corporation.

    There is a way to find admin names, but I’ll keep it to myself so I can spam those stupid admins without letting FB know that I KNOW how to find them.

    Quite simply, if you’re coke or any other large co. of course it’s going to be easier to contact FB because you have clout compared to a no name nobody who claims to be the real owner. And that’s where FB Fs up. Both in the stupidity of VERIFYING each page request, and in investigating fake ones. The latter could easily be prevented by the first step. AUTHENTICATE you idiots. You used to have a verification process, remember .edu addresses??? Each company has their own domain name as well. And the ones who don’t should be forced to make one or provide personal business tax information.

  34. Social Media za darmo: Nikon Polska – strzał we własne kolano « Skuteczny e-marketing says:

    [...] zasięgnęły opinii kogoś, kto lepiej rozumie media społecznościowe. Może wtedy usłyszeliby o przypadku fanpage Coca-Cola, który został stworzony przez fanów tego napoju właśnie. Gdy marketerzy Coca-Coli zobaczyli [...]

  35. How to better engage your Fan with Facebook (Source: Socialmediaexaminer.com) « I am a Bridge (Hugues Rey Blog) says:

    [...] image that Coca-Cola then reposted using the Share button (a great illustration of how Coca-Cola partnered with their raving fans who created the [...]

  36. Coca Cola – fani i dobry facebook marketing • Jacek Gadzinowski says:

    [...] 1 i 2 Dodaj [...]

  37. Stefanek says:

    Is there any working way of transfering ownership?

  38. Ellen says:

    I pretty much experience this dilemma right now. I’m trying to contact Facebook but their help center is making it impossible for me to find the right contact form.

    Can please somebody give me some advice!

    Many Thanks
    Ellen

  39. Lee says:

    Ellen, I am going through the exact same story. A fan created a page and it is now dormant, I have created a new “official” page, but people are still joining the old one.

    How do we contact Facebook, as they have made it virtually impossible.

    It is ridiculous!

  40. What do you do if someone has already created a Facebook fan page for your brand? - Quora says:

    [...] Darwell, I manage Facebook pages for clients There are a few options. Good information here: http://www.insidefacebook.com/20…Insert a dynamic date hereCannot add comment at this [...]

  41. Rohan Sharma says:

    Sir
    Plese Help me my facebook Account is Disabled for a few month i am meny email for Facebook help but my account is not re enable.
    i am Reuest u sir Plese my Facebook account is Re Enable

    Thanks
    ROhan Sharma

  42. How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ | Free Range Communications says:

    [...] image that Coca-Cola then reposted using the Share button (a great illustration of how Coca-Cola partnered with their raving fans who created the [...]

  43. Managing unofficial communities « Brand Reference says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/03/18/how-do-you-treat-a-fan-who-owns-your-facebook-page/ [...]

interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Consumer Social Media Manager

3D Systems
New York, NY

Digital & Social Media Manager

Beauty & Entertainment Company
Brooklyn, NY

Social Media Editor

OZY MEDIA, INC
New York, NY

Director of Public Relations and Social Media

Hospital for Special Surgery
New York, NY

DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Beauty & Entertainment Company
Los Angeles, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Also from Inside Network:   AppData - Facebook & iOS Application Stats   PageData - Engagement Data on Facebook Pages   Facebook Marketing Bible   Inside Network Research
 
home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | about | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | events | forums | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us