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November 06, 2012

Facebook Changes How Users Receive Marketing Messages from Pages

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

People, businesses and artists who use Facebook (News - Alert) as part of their marketing strategy have been upset about the lack of reach they’ve had with Facebook since it implemented recent changes. These algorithm changes were disruptive to anyone with a page, making it difficult for them to reach the news feed of anyone who has liked their page.

Although bands are the most upset about the algorithm changes, Facebook’s decision is one that makes sense for the preservation of the company, as we saw what happened when bands started dominating MySpace (News - Alert)

Rather than suffer a similar fate or alienate those who maintain pages, the company is working on a few simple features that will (mostly) satisfy all parties.

The first, “Get Notifications,” is a feature that will help people to receive notifications from the pages they care about – not the pages that they liked because a friend asked them to. Default settings leave notifications off, which can be changed at any time, but with a new option; users will be able to immediately turn notifications on when they like a page, if they so choose. 

That way, users will be able to get updates from Honey Boo Boo and pictures of the latest Lilly Pulitzer dresses, rather than the upstart business of an acquaintance they met one time at a party or a garage band down the street.

Facebook is also working on testing a “Page Feeds” feature, which will work like the familiar News Feed, but with updates from pages that users have liked, rather than from friends. Although Page Feeds is unlikely to receive the same number of impressions News Feeds did, it’s a strategic permission-based marketing tactic that will provide people with information when they want it, and not annoy them with it when they don’t. 

While some page reps are upset that they won’t receive the same number of impressions, it’s important to remember that the number of pages on Facebook has turned it into a scattershot marketing tool. And by letting people identify how important updates are to them, or by actively choosing to whom they are marketed, that core target group will be more receptive to marketing messages and more likely to take action and buy, attend, order or whatever the case may be.

Edited by Braden Becker
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