I received 17 emails, 4 phone calls, and about a billion IMs wanting to know what the Facebook page changes meant to businesses and publications who depended on their pages. For the last few days we’ve been playing around (yes, we dedicated 4 full-time people to exploring this – damn you Facebook) with the changes, finding the benefits and detrimental effects that this will have.
This article is not going to go into those.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who is handling your Facebook marketing), some of the things we found are not ready for public consumption. It’s not that we’re holding back. We simply want to make sure that the potentially huge benefits that we found are real and not something that will fade away with updates and changes to the changes to the changes.
What we will talk about is your brand. Thanks to the Facebook changes, it can leak all over the place now. This is a good thing. It’s potentially a great thing.
Being Your Business
Let’s put some of the other major changes aside. We’ll cover them later. The most important change (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) that Facebook made to pages was to give them similar posting privileges as profiles. This is huge.
Having the ability to post on other pages’ walls, to comment and share as your brand, is a game-changer. Every Facebook marketing strategy in existence must be re-written to include this major change. Why? Because the walls that were holding you back have now been torn down. You can be your page. You can express opinions and build a personality for your brand itself.
To understand where we are, we have to understand where we were. Your brand message was restricted to the follies of the Facebook algorithm before. Your message appeared on News Feeds of those who liked you, their friends if they were engaging with you, and your own wall itself. That’s it.
Now, you can spread the wings of your brand just about anywhere you want. While you still can’t post to profile walls, you can post as your page to any walls of pages that you like (as long as they don’t block you). Properly used, the applications and implications are tremendous.
There is a drawback. Spam. You know it will happen. With pages given this new power, you will need to constantly monitor your own walls to make sure that spam isn’t proliferated across them. Facebook will (if they haven’t already) put in countermeasures to this and start banning pages that are reported or blocked often, just as they do with profiles. However, the ease of creating pages will open doors to spammers like never before on Facebook.
For this reason, we are not going to jump the gun. Let’s assume that this beta/preview of the pages is a way for Facebook to isolate the loopholes the new system creates before full rollout in March. We will go into strategies once the dust clears and changes are made to the system, but in the meantime, here are some…
Quick Facebook Page Posting Tips
- Stay Relevant. When posting to other pages, fight the urge to over-post. Remember, if you are viewed as a spammer, you could lose your page altogether.
- Enhance the Conversations. The branding aspect of the change will make you want to post everywhere about everything. In this case, quality is much more important than quantity. A thoughtful, provocative comment left on a page will go much further than 10 weak comments.
- Go Bigger. Let’s say you’re a Ford dealer. You should be watching and commenting on posts on the Ford wall as well as the various brand and model pages that Ford has put up.
- Go Local. Using the Ford dealer example, remember that there is a world outside of your products. If you’re a local business, you should be watching and posting on walls of local interest such as newspapers, television stations, charities, and sports teams.
- Don’t Neglect Your Own Wall. One of the potential drawbacks is that we get so focused on spreading our brand and message that we forget to monitor and keep our own walls engaging.
- Like Pages Sparingly. Since pages now have the ability to like other pages, one of the drawbacks is that posts by the pages that you like can now appear in your page streams. The potential for noise is much higher now. Be very selective with who your page likes and be willing to unlike them if their posts dominate your stream.
- Converse… with Yourself. No, I don’t mean create artificial dialogues between multiple pages that you run in order to seem more interesting (I know it crossed your mind). What I do mean is that you can enhance your brand messages by having different departments or pages themselves talking to and about each other in a way that wasn’t easy before. Imagine, for example, if the Ford and Ford Explorer pages worked together to cross-brand different angles of the same message by posting on their own walls as well as each others’. Visitors to either will be able to follow the links to the other and improve the overall brand exposure of the whole.
Again, there are so many possible applications to these changes. Quell any urge to spam. Always take the high road, particularly in social media. However, do not let the high road stop your creativity. Be active and enticing, interesting and bold.
Watch for the changes to the changes to the changes that will be coming. Facebook is notorious for changing things quickly and without notice, so be mindful. Once things settle, we will post more of our findings. Some of them (if they stick) will change the way you handle your Facebook marketing forever.