Yesterday, Facebook announced a small but very exciting change to Facebook Pages. Pages, the profiles for companies, brands, and other “non-human users” are now able to tag each other’s pages in Facebook posts.
The change allows brands and publishers to amplify their Facebook post reach by tapping into another brand’s network. In its announcement, Facebook used sports blog Bleacher Report as an example. In a post, the publisher tagged Houston Rockets players James Harden and Dwight Howard. This post could then potentially appear in the news feed of users who like Harden or Howard’s pages, even if they don’t like the Bleacher Report’s page. This new feature means huge potential reach for organizations looking to organically grow their reach by tapping into other like-minded companies or brands’ networks.
There is a catch. Facebook is not rewarding brands and publishers that try to just exploit the new feature to get as much reach as possible. The algorithm is smart enough to discern what is a “natural overlap” and what is just posturing for visibility.
“It’s intuitive,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “Of you’re Gap and you want to tag Old Navy, that makes sense. If you’re one baseball team and you want to tag another baseball team, that makes sense.” In the above example, there is obviously a natural relationship between the Bleacher Report and people who follow Harden and Howard. All are sports related and reach an audience with the same interests.
Twitter, of course, has been allowing this sort of brand interaction for years. In fact, brand interaction on Twitter has become something of a must-do for larger brands, and played a huge part in this year’s real-time marketing during the Super Bowl. Brands sometimes “partner up” and tweet to each other to tap into each other’s followers.
Other times, it’s a shameless attempt to tap into a celebrity or really popular brand’s network.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook will not honor these shameless grabs for attention. If a brand or publishers tags a page whose following is unrelated to its own, the post will not be seen by the tagged page. Right now, Facebook isn’t alerting page administrators whether or not they have tagged an “irrelevant” page. The post just won’t be seen by the page that was tagged, or their network. Facebook’s spokesperson said that brands and publishers, like Facebook itself, need to be “intuitive” about whether ther is a potential overlap between the page they’re tagging and their own page.
When used correctly, this new feature could really be a positive, win-win for both brands and customers. Brands can tap into each other’s networks and consumers can discover new content within their interests.