26 Sep 2011

How can the New Facebook Updates Help Your Business?

Social Media is about engagement and sharing. Many of the new Facebook updates give users the opportunity to share information in a different, more meaningful way and give admins greater tracking and analytics.

Facebook made sharing more viral by adding a drop down to the share button. You can share an item on your wall, directly to a friend’s wall, in a group or on a Page you administer. You can also send the shared item in a private message.

Pages now include “Friend Activity”. Clicking on this allows you to see how the people you are personally connected to interact with the page and notes when they reference the page.

Facebook is slowing rolling out “per post” in the Insights. The page admin can see what percentage of fans interacted with a particular post, as well as number of impressions. This gives page admins greater insight on what their fans like, engage with and react to.

It looks like notes will be going away with the new 5000 character limit as a status message. Along with that, the ability to auto post your Blog’s RSS into notes goes away as well. Compensate for that using the Networked Blogs application, which can be set to post your blog posts on your personal and business page.

On the personal profile side, along with the new profile timeline, a bunch of new open graph applications are coming that are referred to as “lifestyle” apps. These apps are designed to help your personal connections see, share, and experience things you love. Whether it is cooking, running, movies or music, Facebook claims to be giving you a “lightweight, serendipitous” experience. Spotify, for example, is social by design, as you listen to songs, the title and artist is posted to your profile. If one of your connections enjoys the same music you can listen “together”. While that may sound invasive on the surface, it offers new opportunities for marketing. As The Next Web States: “Facebook has made it possible to build a new class of apps and to rethink dozens of industries at the same time.”  And before you jump onto the “that’s a violation of my privacy” bandwagon, these Social / Open Graph applications are opted into knowing you will be sharing the information – there are no surprises.

Consider your industry… what “Social by Design” application can you see working? We may have to stretch our minds some as this goes well beyond “marketing in the usual way.” This allows us to market in real time. Applications will have to be engaging, viral, and most of all, useful. It’s not going to be enough to get people to like our pages any more. Once they like a brand, they need a reason to use it, share it and want to let their friends know about it. “Shares” will become the new “like”.

What do you think of the Facebook changes and how do you envision it impacting your industry?