How to build a secret Facebook page for your veterinary team

Use this step-by-step guide to build a secret Facebook page that improves your team's communication.
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Dec 01, 2013

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Do you wish you could communicate a policy change, schedule change, congratulate your team, single someone out for a job well done, and do this knowing your entire staff would see it? Do you wish you could have this forum with minimal time invested to set it up? Do you wish it cost you nothing other that that little bit of time for set up and monitoring? You can have all this through Facebook.

Facebook now boasts 1.11 billion, with a B, BILLION users every month as of May 1 this year, according to Yahoo news. NBCnews.com reports smartphone users check Facebook on average 14 times a day! I’m betting some of those 1.11 billion users work in your facility. I’m also betting that most of those Facebook users in your facility own smartphones.

Facebook has become part of our culture. Everyone shares everything. Some, it can be argued, share too much. Most of our facilities have Facebook pages and encourage our clients to “like” us. Those pages are a great link to the community. They are another way to get your “face” in front of them. Setting up a staff page is the next level of Facebook use. “But I don’t want Joe client to know about a policy change or that we are short staffed due to illness within the team. I don’t mind them seeing a job well done, but the other stuff should be private,” you’re thinking. I couldn’t agree more.

There are multiple security settings on Facebook. You can set your page to public, meaning everyone can look you up and see what is on your page, whether they are friends or not. Anything you post on the page can be seen. And when your friends comment on what they see, it shows up on your page and their wall. Your facility page should be public.

Then there is a setting where only friends can view your page’s contents, but people can look you up to send friend requests. Your personal page should be set to this level. Posts by you and on your wall are visible to others as well unless you increase the security setting of these as well--which is possible. Then there are “secret” pages. This secret setting is for groups to use as described above. Nothing shows up on your wall or the wall of group participants when they post or respond to a post. The group can’t be found through a search and people can’t ask to join it. They need to be invited.

The secret page is a valuable communication tool. We have been using our page for several years now. Initially there were a couple of hold outs, but it didn’t take long for them to join. They didn’t like being the last to know.

The page will keep track of how many people have seen a post, so there’s no excuse from a team member saying “I didn’t know.” You have a record of them viewing the post. If it’s an important posting and you see that someone has not viewed the post, it is easy to make a quick call to inform them. Easier than 15 to 30 calls for sure.

Rules and guidelines

1. The page should be used for communication.

2. Funny posts are permitted and encouraged but shouldn’t be off color.

3. Criticism is not permitted. Negativity is not permitted. Remember, praise in public (this is public for your team), criticize in private.

4. “Facebooking in sick” is not permitted. You still must call your direct supervisor.

Remember, you set the tone for what you want your page to look like inside. Nobody else will even see it. Your staff will enjoy receiving their communication tidbits in a format, and in a place, that they routinely visit. Will you still have to hold staff meetings? Yes of course, this communication does not take the place of every other communication your staff receives. But it is another useful tool. We currently use it to post weekly schedules, for team encouragement, and “brag on” sessions. It’s ideal to communicate these items.

Photos courtesy of Julie Mullins

Read on to find a step-by-step guide to create your own page.

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Under your own Facebook identity, under “groups” select “add group.”



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Name your group – “Your Clinic name Secret Group.”


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Set your privacy “Secret” – this is super important. Any other setting can be seen by others. With the “secret” setting only members see the group, who’s in it, and what members post.


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Then Invite members to the group. Let your team know at your staff meeting that you are creating this group, that they are to accept the invitation so you will be able to keep them updated.


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Then click on “create” and you have your own super secret staff page--an awesome communication tool! Believe me, your entire staff will love it.

Julie Mullins is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and lead trainer at Doggone Healthy in Calabash, N.C.