Facebook Content Optimization: The Difference Between Pals and Pages

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Given all the recent press about Facebook’s shares, it’s no secret that they are looking to make money. But it’s interesting to see what impact that has on the social network. One of the biggest areas where revenue goals are apparent is the difference between brand pages and personal profiles. Facebook has many tools to allow you to hide, ignore or see less from your friends. But when it comes to brands, it’s more black and white.

Take a look at your Facebook Newsfeed. Notice the same people and pages coming up a lot? That’s Facebook’s EdgeRank at work. Facebook calculates how often you interact with each person or page you are connected to, and, over time, weeds out the ones it thinks you are less interested in. You’re still friends with your old soccer buddy and you “like” the pizza joint down the street, but since you don’t comment or “like” any of their content, it’s not delivered to the Newsfeed.

You can even go a step further and organize your friends yourself. To see who Facebook thinks you might not be as friendly with, visit this page to organize your pals. This allows you to manually select (based on Facebook recommendations) from friends you may have outgrown.

No, they’ll never catch on. You can also hide them or certain stories right from the Newsfeed:

Hate a friend’s goofy photos or game play, but still want to see their sarcastic quips from Twitter? You can pick and choose what you see in your Newsfeed. Not so with brands. In the image below, notice that your only option with a brand page is hide, unless you want to report spam. Which users are doing, in addition to hiding more and more posts.

Time will tell if Facebook ups the ante and provides a more nuanced way to filter content from brand pages, but for now, marketers need to up their game. Combat “hides” with engaging, relevant content, and stay on topic. Users are more likely to report spam or post a negative comment on your page then simply “unlike” you. Get creative, but don’t stretch so far that you’re talking about something completely removed from your brand. Keep it on brand, and remember: personal profiles have the luxury of talking about anything and everything. Pages need to stay on topic.

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