Unless you are a self-proclaimed Facebook geek, you may not have noticed one of the subtle changes the platform made recently. This change directly affects how proactive page managers need to be; as well as, how the average user interacts with the pages they follow.
Page Tagging: We all know the drill when it comes to tagging. If we tag a friend in a post or image, that it will appear on their timeline. Even if their security settings don’t allow it or if they deny the appearance on their timeline, it will still show up in your mutual friends’ news feeds. They will have to go through several steps to actually remove the tag permanently. The tagging of pages, however, has changed. While you can still tag the page, your post no longer will appear on the page’s timeline. Your rant or rave about a business, product, or celebrity will no longer be seen by other page followers or even the administrator of the page, for that matter. Your Facebook friends will still see the tag and be able to click on it to be directed to the page in question. But, isn’t the primary purpose of the tag to let the page know of your satisfaction or dissatisfaction? The only way to do this now is to post directly to the page’s timeline or by sending them a private message.
How does this subtle change affect how you interact with a page? More importantly, how will it affect how the page interacts with its followers? To page administrators, my recommendation would be to start using a hashtag in all your posts. Eventually, your followers will pick up on it and begin using it themselves. The use of a hashtag will make it easier to find mentions of your page in search. While you may not be able to comment on the post as the page, you will still be able to get a sense of how well your brand is faring on Facebook. The same holds true for the average Facebook user. As the use of hashtags becomes more prevalent you should be able to do a search if there is any question in your mind about a page or brand. Keep in mind that search results will be of those posts which have the “public” privacy setting from the original poster. You might never see all the mentions – good or bad – for a particular page.
Finally, on a more personal pet peeve note; it is my belief that this very subtle change is Facebook’s way of putting a stop to the “like, share & tag” promotions still running rampant on the site. These promotions are in direct violation of Facebook rules on promotions and contests. There are so many of them out there, that this may be one way to deter the pages from continuing them since they cannot see who is tagging the page. Again, that is only a personal opinion, not based on fact and, clearly, a topic for a future post.