Facebook and Twitter—despite of being similarly popular in Indonesia, are different. One of the obvious difference is the account format they provide for users, especially businesses or companies.
On Facebook, companies can set up their own FanPage as their “house”. Inside their FanPage, they can define their own “house rules” to advice fans on how they should interact with each other—and with the brand. “House rules” can vary for different companies/brands as long as it doesn’t collide with Facebook’s terms and conditions. Although there’s no guarantee that fans will follow this “House rules”, companies/brands will have the right to delete comments and even block fans if they do not follow the “House rules” being set; for instance: bullying other fans with nasty words, raising sensitive issues about religion, spamming the FanPage wall, etc.
Twitter doesn’t provide a ‘house’ like Facebook. On Twitter, companies/brands use the same account format as everyone else. Brands can block other users’ tweets, but they can’t delete or steer any tweets about them that is being produced by other Twitter users.
Several weeks ago, Fitness First Indonesia (@FitnessFirstInd)—one of Indonesia’s well-known fitness center posted a series of #regulation tweets (read from bottom to top).
They might want to set their “Twitter house rules” that should be followed by their followers. But that’s not the way Twitter works. It only triggered Twitter users to attack the brand and respond to it negatively.
Fitness First Indonesia’s case showed us the importance of understanding the different characteristics of different communication channels before jumping into it. Developing a clear and firm “House rules” is good, especially for Facebook Fan Page. However “House rules” might not be suitable for other social media channels, such as Twitter. You can’t regulate or steer what are the things that can or can’t be tweeted by Twitter users to you. What you can do is to set a clear and comprehensive social media guidelines to ensure that they can provide the best response for various kind of tweets addressed to them, whether it’s in a positive or negative tone.