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October 12, 2012

Facebook's deleting fake profiles -- is your department one?

Here's how to make sure your department's Facebook presence doesn't get caught up in the Great Facebook Delete of 2012.

Facebook deleteFacebook is a great tool for your department to connect with audiences, but you need to do it the right way.  

As reported by CNN, CNET and others In August, Facebook warned it would begin deleting fake accounts -- those that look and feel like a person but often are a business, a fictitious name or even a pet.

A month later, evidence was in that the Facebook Delete of 2012 was underway.

Most UW-Superior departments using Facebook have set up their pages properly properly and have nothing to worry about. A few, however, are using accounts with a made-up name as their sole Facebook presence.

Here's why this approach is unwise:

  • When the account is deleted, your department loses contact with its only community of Facebook users.
  • Aside from Facebook's own policing efforts, a complaint by any user - a stranger, disgruntled person or competitor -- will cause the profile to be suspended or deleted.
  • Important Facebook tools, including advertising and analytics, are not available to those using made-up-name accounts. (This is important even if you don't advertise -- being able to see how your content is being used helps you be more effective on Facebook.)

Act now, before your profile is deleted. Move your Facebook community to a more stable, engaging and sustainable space.

Here's how to transition from a "Made Up Name" profile to a proper Page:

  1. Set up a new, proper Facebook page immediately (For help please see the UW-Superior Facebook guidelines, Facebook's page-set up instructions or University Relations.)
  2. Use the old profile, temporarily, to encourage "friends" to Like the new page.
  3. Start using the new Page just as you used the old profile to pose questions, respond to queries, share images and links, etc. You can even speak in the first person if you want.
  4. Delete the old profile (before Facebook does).

Feel free to contact University Relations with questions.

 

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