Facebook’s constant UI improvements are now taking on brand pages with a facelift. Gone is the binary functionality of the simple Like button on brand pages; instead, it’s been updated and strengthened with additional user choices. Upon liking a brand, users can now choose to receive notifications or add the brand to an interest list. Let’s dive into these two new features.
If a user chooses to “receive notifications” from the brand, then they’ll receive an update in their newsfeed every time the brand publishes a new post to its page. With this new feature, the idea of “close friends” has been extended to the brand/fan relationship. This is a huge move for brands, considering that Facebook had previously tuned down the frequency of brand posts into user news feeds in the latest iteration of the Edgerank algorithm. Many large brands, illustrated by a recent post by NBA team Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, are outraged by this move — but they just don’t get it! This new opt-in style subscription is actually a positive move for users and brands. Now, brands will know who their “brand advocates’ are and they won’t annoy other users that aren’t real fans and don’t want to see every brand update in their newsfeeds. Now brands can compile the user data from their real brand advocates and build much more detailed brand advocate personas. These personas are important marketing tools that enable organizations to reach the brand advocates of the future; it also helps create content that resonates the brand message more effectively throughout the market.
The second new feature to the Like button is the ability to add the brand to an “interest list.” A Facebook interest list is almost exactly like a Twitter list — it’s a publicly published list that other users can subscribe to and thus receive notifications from brands or users within the list. A user adding your brand to a list is a public declaration that this user is following your brand as a loyal fan. The ability for other users to follow their interest list provides even greater opportunities for brand reach. This may be one of the strongest references that Edgerank could use when calculating digital relevancy on Facebook.
True brand advocacy is built through real relationships rather than binary Likes. Communities like Facebook are an excellent method for fostering brand advocacy and spreading your brand by word of mouth throughout users’ personal networks and social channels.