Date: Monday, April 18, 2011
Facebook recently launched a "Use Facebook as Page" feature that allows page administrators to assume the identity of their page when interacting with Facebook. This allows you to Like, post, and comment throughout the site as your page. Prior to this change, only users could post and comment on the walls of other pages.
Judicious use of this feature can help you establish relationships and build rapport with community groups and organizations on a whole new level. Consider the following hypothetical scenarios:
• Your crime prevention officer just finished a presentation to the local apartment managers association, which also happens to have a Facebook page. You "like" the apartment managers' association page, and post a comment thanking them for the invitation to speak and providing a link back to crime prevention tips on your agency's site.
• You're about to embark on a recruitment and hiring drive. The local university has a solid criminal justice program and an active Facebook page. You "like" the page and post a message encouraging interested students to attend an upcoming information session.
• The local newspaper recently printed an article criticizing your department's use of red light cameras and posted a link on its Facebook page. Like the page and post a message defending the department's use of the cameras, citing research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
I started to use this feature myself to spread the Discover Policing gospel to (what I perceive to be...) other interested sites. Here's me (disguised as Discover Policing) posting on the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program page:
*Note that the prerequisite to posting on another page is to first "like" the receiving page.
While this level of interaction on Facebook takes time, it can really foster a dialogue with the community and further humanize the department.