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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Facebook Community Pages & Your Social Marketing Plan

Well, there has been lots of buzz the last few weeks about changes being made on the social networking site Facebook...and reaction has been both critical and optimistic. The changes went live this week and it has left many wondering what it all means!

Just about the time businesses and on-line marketing gurus really got a good feel for using Facebook for business promotion, the new "Community Page" has been introduced. So what does that mean to your marketing plan? First, let's look at a quick run-down of how these pages function (at least as of this writing):

  1. Group Page - Created by a user and those that become group members may have various posting rights, as determined by the group administrator. Content may or may not generate stories in News Feeds of those who are members of the group. Content of the page is not indexed by search engines.
  2. Community Page - Created by Facebook and maintained by them, updating information & profile pictures using Wikipedia. Related posts from other people on Facebook may be displayed also. Content does not generate stories in News Feeds of those who "like" the page. Content on this page is indexed by search engines. As is stands right now, once the Community Page becomes very popular (a certain number of fans), it will become a community administered page which means everyone will have the ability to post on the page.
  3. Official Page - Created and maintained by authorized representative of a business, brand, celebrity or organization. Content is created by authorized user and it generates stories in News Feeds of those who "like" the page. Content on this page is indexed by search engines.

So the idea that Facebook is trying to get across through this change is that Group Pages are for interaction about specific subjects, Community Pages provide information about specific topics from Wikipedia (and potentially other sources) and Official Pages provide professional content from a business, brand, celebrity or organization.

In considering what this means for your social marketing plans, I suggest taking the wait and see approach for now. Things are literally changing by the minute as these new updates work through the Facebook system. Don't panic just yet about the impact of Community Pages but also, don't bury your head in the sand.

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