A few weeks ago I started a Facebook page and I must say that the entire process of doing so was an incredibly easy one.
At every stage along the way there where prompts reminding me of what needed to be done and even suggestions as to how to do them more easily.
Yet, whilst the mechanics of if have been remarkably easy, by far and away, the hardest part of starting up a Facebook page has been finding the right ways to express what it is exactly, you want your page to achieve.
In my case, I wanted to create a page that focused on the female experience of living with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism.
Which in itself sounds fairly straight forward but in actual fact has proven to be far more difficult than I had at first thought.
So simply having an idea, whether it be specific or not, as to what you’d like your page to be about, still leaves you only half way there and this is because, even though you may have a clear concept of what it is you’d like to discuss, share or achieve on your page, others may have very different ideas as to how they perceive or wish to interact with your page.
For instance, even though my page is dedicated to primarily expressing and exploring the experiences of women with Asperger’s, it has been joined by several people who are either the parents of daughters with Asperger’s Syndrome or the partners of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.
This is fine by me and for the most part I applaud parents for being open enough to listen too and learn from, where relevant, the experiences of women who have been in their children’s shoes, but, there are times when either I myself, or someone else, will share a post or a comment, that whilst not designed to hurt the feelings of non-Asperger’s women or parents, never the less, becomes perceived as doing so.
In such cases, the negative comments made by those who feel slighted, often effectively shuts down any and all further discussion surrounding whatever the topic of the post may have been.
This remains an issue that I am unsure how to confront, as even those people who run Facebook pages that have taken the time to make it very clear that they are designed first and foremost for a specific purpose, still find themselves in the predicament of having to try and clear up other people’s misconceptions of their comments or posts.
It seems that no matter what you do you can never please everyone, yet I’m still far from convinced that this fact alone means that one should settle for the potential of offending everyone either.
Another issue that has become somewhat of a quandary to me is the way in which “likes” for particular posts are being both attributed and distributed by Facebook.
For instance, running a much smaller page on Facebook I’ve found that often the bigger pages will pick up on one of my posts and “share” it on their own pages.
Now I don’t mind this happening at all, after all the aim is to spread awareness, and when it first began happening I thought it was a good thing as it was providing my page with exposure.
However this turns out to be less the case because in the process of the bigger pages doing so, the “likes” for whatever post they’ve chosen to “share” end up becoming attributed to their page’s alone.
This means that although it’s may be my post, from my page, that people may be “liking”, the fact that it is being distributed on a larger page means that those “likes” never make it back to or become attributed to, my page.
Normally this wouldn’t be so much of a problem, however, the way in which Facebook chooses to promote ‘not for profit pages’ makes it so, as the capacity of any such page to reach new members , depends entirely upon the amount of “likes” it receives.
The more “likes” a page receives, the bigger the page becomes and the size of the page decides how high up on the list of recommended pages, it will appear on Facebook.
The higher up the list a page appears, the more likely it is that it will continue to attract new members and therefore grow.
So, under this system, if bigger pages continue to be the sole beneficiaries of the “likes” they receive for “sharing” smaller pages posts, then effectively the bigger pages will continue to boom and the smaller pages will continue to remain just that, small.
This to me sets up a kind of dog eat dog system of promotion, which is something to bear in mind and be prepared for, if you are thinking of starting up a Facebook Page.
So although Facebook makes it incredibly easy to start your own Facebook Page, these are just some of the issues associated with starting up and running a Facebook page that you need to be aware of.
In the end, whether or not you choose to start-up a Facebook page, may well all come down to a matter of deciding what it is you want to achieve and whether or not that goal can best be achieved via Facebook.