Law Officer’s Facebook page has more fans now than our magazine’s circulation. That's amazing.
“When you talk about social media,” says Laurie Stevens, who organized the Smile Conference. “Cops think Facebook. It’s what most cops jump to.”
But it can also be dangerous.
When setting up a Facebook account, be sure to check your application settings. This will allow you to control your privacy settings. But be warned: Someone with bad intentions who wants to collect information on your members, they might be able to get it through your friends and family member’s pages.
Train as an agency on Facebook before adopting it. Delineate what you’re trying to get out of it. And don’t let anyone play games on it.
Games played once will affect your account forever. “What Simpsons character are you?” Ignore the temptation.
When entering usernames and other information in Facebook be careful. You can’t change some of it. If you misspell the name of your town, you might need to live with it.
“Facebook is a PR vehicle,” says Stevens. But an off-color remark left on your wall can be a black-eye for the organization.
Consider making fan pages for K9 units, officers, etc. This gets rid of some of the hassles of a personal page. People can follow these pages without commenting on them.
Groups vs. fan pages: a group is an association that has members; fans are aficionados.
To create a fan page, go to someone else’s fan page and in the lower left corner you should be able to “create a page like this.”