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6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(‘s Fan Page): Facebook’s News Feed Change Gives Brands a Chance

Online MarketingSocial Media

For months now, brands have watched their Company Page organic reach levels fall drastically as Facebook tinkered with its News Feed algorithm. These changes made it much harder for brands to appear in users’ News Feeds, or to stay visible there for long. Many social media marketers cried foul, accusing Facebook of putting Company Pages at a disadvantage so that they would have to invest more in Facebook Advertising. However, it seems like Facebook is trying to restore a little visibility to brands with its newest News Feed change, Page Tagging.

Now, when a brand tags a Page or person within a post, users who like the tagged Page will see the update on their News Feeds – even if they haven’t liked or followed the Page doing the tagging. Combined with the Trending Topics sidebar introduced in January, Page Tagging is Facebook’s attempt to serve users with relevant content that is interesting to them, and potentially introduce them to new Pages that they would genuinely enjoy but would not have discovered on their own.

This change presents an opportunity and a challenge to brands. On one hand, it’s a great chance to put content in front of a relevant yet never before tapped audience. Sports teams and franchises have been employing this feature particularly well, by tagging their individual players’ Pages, or the page of the league to which they belong.

However, the unregulated nature of tagging is opening the door to spammers, who want to highjack legitimate Pages’ audiences. Small Pages can simply tag large, popular Pages that they are related to, or only tenuously so; Search Engine Watch gives the example of an affiliate hockey jersey site tagging a specific hockey team’s Page in their post in order to attract fans of that team and its Page. There are no practical solutions to this problem yet; reporting a post as spam could backfire, since many of these posts have legitimate content and might not be recognized as “spam”, and requiring an approval process for tagging would slow down a system that performs best when moving in real time.

Facebook is working to serve the most relevant stories to users; the company has stated that one of the criteria that it uses when ranking posts is the amount of interaction with it – likes, comments, and shares help determine whether it is a relevant post or not. So it seems that the best way to get your content in front of new audiences at Facebook is to create meaningful, interesting posts and fostering engagement with them. Sound familiar?

While Page Tagging might seem like a quick fix, no social media campaign will be successful without a good strategy. Need help making yours? Our Social Media team can help you identify your audience online and engage with them – see how we do it with our step by step process.