Queen Elizabeth II launched a new Facebook page last week in an attempt to engage with the public and this was met with excitement from the media as it was the first time the Royals have opened themselves up to the public.
Social Media is a good way for celebrities, companies and brands to engage with their fans or customers, with attitudes in Britain being quite low this seemed like a good step for the Queen to become more engaged with her public, informing them of what she does and how important the British Monarchy is. The Facebook page is set up as a public page where anyone can ‘like’ to recieve updates and view the pictures from recent events.
When you set up a page like this on Facebook you can set privacy options as to how active you want your fans to be, this setting on the British Monarchy page allows users to comment on the images and comments. This is recommended as it opens up conversation and gives you the chance to address particular issues that come up.
The British Monarchy page has nearly 214,000 fans, however within a day of the page going live it recieved a lot of abusive comments from anti-royalists and republicans. Within 24 hours a number of moderators had to be brought in to control the comments. Many people saw the social media page as an opportunity to voice their complaints about issues, such as the Fawklands Islands including cornish Nationalists.
A Palace spokesperson confirmed that moderators were needed to censor some abusive comments but also made an effort to get the point across that republican messages were not being targeted for removal. There are still comments that are not complimentary to the Royals, and also as a popular page some people have used it for spam which has not been deleted by the moderators.
In some of the comments real fans of the page have commented that they think it is a mistake to use Facebook in this way.
It was a brave move by the Royals to use social media, especially Facebook which can be opened up to abuse quite easily, the Royals have often been used as scapegoats for political problems or criticised for their wealth in traditional media. Social media gives people a voice so unlike newspapers where you have the voice of one journalist you are now open to attack from many people who may or may not have all the information. Now they have a team in place to manage the site things are being kept under control but it was naieve of them to think that the page would be recieved well by everyone.
Anyone that is in the public eye or is known to the masses needs to be careful about social media as having a Facebook presence does leave you open to criticism. This is where reputation management is needed, whether you are a personality, a brand or a company you need to be monitoring your online footprint and comments on Facebook as well as other forms of social media. Your SEO consultatnt can help you manage your social media and set up sentiment tracking to find out what people are saying about you, your company and your brand.