November 15, 2010
They may be slow adopters but the British Monarchy finally joined 500 million people across the world last week and signed up to Facebook. Instead of having a personal profile, the Royal Family set up a Facebook page for people to ‘like’ and keep abreast of official engagements.
However, with such a high profile public presence, they are bound to invite very public criticism and comments from adversaries. Already boasting more than 200,000 fans, the Royals’ comms team have been kept busy trying to moderate the comments.
The page has been set so fans are restricted from posting on the main wall but still have the ability to comment on updates and uploads. While this isn’t usually recommended for brands, this is a sensible decision by the Queen’s team as the wall would be bombarded with comments from people (and spammers!) if this was live which would distract from the updates that are being posted by the team.
Attention has been on the negative comments that have been posted that harp back to the same arguments and debates that surround the Royal Family. For example, Jason Higginbotham wrote: “Take all their possessions as they belong to the country, sell all their assets to help reduce the national debt. Abolish the monarchy and all its powers, real and ceremonial.” The Princess Diana vs. Duchess of Cornwall debate came up again when a photo album of the Duchess was posted. One fan said: “Let’s put pressure on the monarchy to create an album for Diana on this profile!!!” Another said: “why she has an album and Princess Diana doesn’t? Is there UNLIKE button (sic)?”As with all public profiles on Facebook, the British Monarchy has said it will remove any offensive comments.
So far, the Queen’s presence on Facebook is a good example of how manage a your brand on Facebook.
Keep a steely eye open as there’s bound to be another another Royal controversy in the next few months. Now the Queen is signed up to all major social networking sites, it’ll be interesting to see if these estates will be incorporated into crisis communication strategies and used by the Palace team as a way to connect directly with the public in these circumstances.
- Queen’s Facebook page becomes forum for monarchy debate (guardian.co.uk)
- The British Monarchy to join Facebook (cnn.com)
- The Queen’s Facebook page allows royal subjects to vent feelings (guardian.co.uk)