Facebook comments have, for a long time, been used for engagement between consumers and advertisers or brands. Now, it seems that many advertisers are considering these comments to be a form of advertisement for their businesses. When people visit a Facebook page, they don’t simply read posts and view images, but they pay attention to the comments that people are leaving on these posts and images. Because people have always been able to write whatever they want in comments, there new role as advertisements for businesses could mean trouble. However, there has come a way to prevent disaster through comments, according to The Sydney Morning Herald of Sydney, Australia and WebProNews.
In the SMH, media writer Julian Lee wrote,
“In a move that could change the nature of the social networking site forever, companies could be fined or publicly shamed for the comments that appear on their Facebook ”brand” pages. Last month the advertising industry watchdog issued a judgment in which it said comments made by ”fans” of a vodka brand’s Facebook page were ads and must therefore comply with industry self-regulatory codes and therefore consumer protection laws.”
Based on Julian’s writing, it appears that there are those out there making an effort to crack down on explicit or offensive comments on business pages. At least, that’s what has started taking place across the globe.
In an article by writer Josh Wolford of WebProNews, he states that companies will have to be increasingly vigilant with their page and post comments as they grow as a source of advertisement. The more people start basing their opinions and making decisions about businesses based on comment advertisements, the more important it is to weed out the bad comments and leave the good, especially since it is possible that companies will become liable for claims that commenters make on their own.
It isn’t quite a form of reputation management, although comments are also being considered as reviews by many consumers. The comments in question are those that speak of products and services in certain ways, some of which come from those who are not completely aware of the true facts. Therefore, false advertising is falling out of the hands of businesses, and consumer comments can potentially cause trouble. An example that WPN provided was as follows:
“Let’s say someone left a comment saying that Taco Bell’s beefy 5-layer burrito is the most healthy fast food item out there, and that he lost weight and stayed in shape by eating six a day – Taco Bell would be responsible for removing the comment because it is false advertising.”
Since comments are often posted in numbers upwards of a thousand per day on big name brands, it will not be easy to find the ones that are really doing damage and take care of them. It is for that reason that companies will need to start paying more attention to the false advertising taking place in their comments alongside managing their own names on Facebook.