Facebook is rolling out all kinds of changes to Fan pages today… but it wouldn’t surprise me if the MOST interesting change flies under the radar for just a bit. What is the most interesting change? The one I’m seeing is that you can now buy an ad for an individual status update!
Here’s the screenshot I get when I click on the “promote” button:
For those of us following changes to Fan Pages, this really shouldn’t be a surprise (I actually mentioned this change when talking about the future of Facebook at a recent Leading RE conference in Vegas)… But here’s why it’s interesting.
When thinking about how to approach Facebook marketing, it’s all about Status Updates! I got some polite ribbing from the Roost guys at the same conference when I mentioned that agents should just roll their eyes at SEO and/or Tab “solutions” when on Facebook, but I’ll stick by my guns on this one. Don’t bother with any Facebook unless you’re planning on doing the hard work of generating status updates that will get people to interact. Anything else on Facebook is just work avoidance.
Why are status updates so important? This has to everything to do with Facebook’s recommendation engine, or as I like to call it, NEO. Again, I’m gonna stick by my guns on this one as as well and say that going forward networking engine optimization, or optimizing content for the social networking algorithms, is going to become a huge industry similar to SEO today. So, if you want to get an idea of why these “promoted posts” are such a big deal, it has everything to do with the ability to get more activity on your status updates… even if you have to pay for it!
I went ahead and bought an ad to point to a FB status update and was thrilled to see that by default, FB point ads at the “friends of fans.”
In my early exploration of NEO, I was calling the concept FOF Marketing because the social networks do such a great job helping people reach the “friend of friends, friends of fans and/or friends of followers”, so thought it was a bit catchy… However, I don’t think FOF tells the story behind the concept as well as NEO.