Are you ready for the new Facebook Pages?  Do you understand the rules?

By now, we all know the power of social media. A Facebook page is one of many “must have” tools for every business’ marketing toolbox. But just having a Facebook page isn’t enough. Business leaders and marketers have to know how to use them in a way that gets their companies’ pages noticed without offending their host in the process.

On Feb. 29, 2012, Facebook revised its Pages terms. Particularly if you’re new to Facebook Pages, get acquainted with the Data Use Policy, Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Community Standards before looking at the Pages terms. Facebook reserves the right to remove any page at its discretion, so it would be wise to avoid giving its monitors a reason to do so.

Naturally, only authorized representatives of your organisation should have access to your Facebook page. If you’re a small-business owner, and you decide to delegate management of your company’s Facebook page, make sure it’s delegated to someone whom you can trust to properly represent your company’s brand. Pages are public, so you don’t want someone posting content that is contrary to your company’s mission or vision or damaging its reputation.

When it comes to naming your Facebook Page, Facebook commands that:

  • The page names not consist solely of generic terms such as pizza or beer.
  • All page names must use proper, grammatically correct capitalisation and must not include all capitals, except acronyms.
  • Page names must not include character symbols, such as excessive punctuation and trademark designations.
  • Page names must not include superfluous descriptions or unnecessary qualifiers.

Another section of the new Pages terms that bears mentioning regards data collection. Facebook states:

“If you collect content and information directly from users, you will make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it, and you will provide notice about and obtain user consent for your use of the content and information that you collect. Regardless of how you obtain content and information from users, you are responsible for securing all necessary permissions to reuse their content and information.

“You will not collect users’ content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders or scrapers) without our permission.

Any data you obtain from us must comply with Section II of our Facebook Platform Policies.”

Adding a Facebook page to your list of marketing tools is a good idea. Just make sure you get off to good start by familiarizing yourself with all the rules, regulations and policies first. The last thing you want to do is alienate the monitors of, arguably, the most powerful social medium on the Web and limit the reach and effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign.