More Facebook Changes!

by Christi on September 16, 2011

So, I wrote on Wednesday morning about some of Facebook’s recent changes. Of course, Wednesday afternoon, they rolled out some really game-changing changes that have created a lot of buzz. The big change is the subscribe button. We’ll get to that, but first let’s look at a couple of the other changes that they have made that I like:

  1. You no longer have to have 25 fans for your page to get a vanity URL. Now, you can put up your page and get your vanity URL all at once. This makes it easier for businesses to immediately start promoting their page. If you don’t have your vanity URL yet, just go to facebook.com/username and get it.
  2. The navigation is fixed at the top right of the page. In the past, to go from profile to news feed and to account settings, you had to scroll to the top to get to the navigation. Now it is fixed to stay at the top. Just a little added convenience. I think I would like to see that for the links at the bottom of the page as well. What do you think?

Now for the biggie: the SUBSCRIBE button. According to the Facebook blog, you can use the subscribe button to do three things.

  1. Choose What You See in News FeedYou’re already getting your friends’ posts in News Feed. With the Subscribed button, you can choose how much you see from them:
    • All updates: Everything your friend posts
    • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
    • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

    You can also decide what types of updates you see. For example, you could see just photos from one friend, no stories about games from another, and nothing at all from someone else.

  2. Subscribe to Interesting PeopleThe Subscribe button also lets you hear from interesting people you’re not friends with—like journalists, artists and political figures.If you see a Subscribe button on your favorite blogger’s profile, this means you can subscribe. Just click the button to get their public updates right in your News Feed.
  3. Get Your Own SubscribersIf you’d like to share your public updates with more than just friends, you can get a Subscribe button on your profile, too. People who subscribe to you will get posts you set as “Public” in their News Feeds. This is an entirely optional feature – you need to opt in.To let people subscribe, go to the Subscriptions Page and click Allow Subscribers.

    Once you allow subscribers, you can decide who can comment and what notifications you get. You’ll also see a Subscribers tab on your profile, where you can see who subscribes to you.

So, the subscribe button allows you to follow and be followed in a way that is similar to Twitter. Of course, as a business, you still need to have a business page (not a profile – that is still a no-no). But the subscribe button presents some interesting opportunities and challenges for the way people in business use their profile.

If you are using your profile to build relationships and engage with people who may be in your target market, the subscribe button can open your profile up to a whole new set of people. Of course, you will need to control what is public on your posts. The challenge is that people can selectively choose not to see what you are saying. Now you have to really put the best inbound marketing practices in to place. Remember, inbound marketing is not about interrupting people or jumping up and down to get their attention. It is about creating interesting content that solves a problem for your customer and then being there when they are looking for you.

Looks like it is time to put out a 2nd edition of the Facebook for Business 101 eBook. It also looks like business now, more than ever need to embrace inbound marketing to continue to grow.

 

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