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Using Facebook’s new features for PR and marketing

Social media has become ingrained into our connected lives and it continues to grow and change at a rapid pace.

Photo courtesy of benstein via Flickr

Facebook has recently rolled out a few new features, including the Subscribe button, updated Friends Lists and the Ticker, which provide marketers with new opportunities. Here are a few tips on what to do with them…

The ‘Subscribe’ Button – The subscribe button for personal profiles allows you to adjust how much and what types of activity you see from friends such as photo posts, game updates and status updates. It also allows you to follow the public updates of people on Facebook that you aren’t friends with. This includes celebrities, artists, journalists and other public figures. You can also opt-in to share your public updates with people who don’t know but might be interested in you.  Ultimately, Facebook is trying to make it easier for you to choose exactly what you see in your News Feed and hear from people you’re interested in but don’t know.

Marketing/PR Takeaway:  Make sure you are making the content you on social networks publicly available. Also, optimize your posts and updates with appropriate keywords for your business to help searchers find you.

Smart Lists – The new Smart Lists help you manage your friends. They are created and updated based on profile information your friends have in common with you. You can also add or remove friends manually to make the lists even more accurate.

Marketing/PR Takeaway:  You can use Smart Lists to segment lists by influencers, clients, etc. and share relevant information to those particular friends.  It also makes it easier to see what is going on with the people who are important to growing your business.

The Ticker – This is displayed in the top right corner of Facebook and follows you throughout Facebook, whether you’re on your News Feed or another user’s profile. It shows you similar stories to what is in your News Feed, but displays these updates instantly. The idea is that you’ll be able to quickly identity, jump in and comment on a story as the conversation is happening.

Marketing/PR Takeaway: There’s an emphasis on personalization. As a marketer you need to make sure your posts in social media are relevant and personal for your target audience.

Pamela Vaughan, an inbound marketer at HubSpot, said on their blog, “Facebook’s changes also emphasize the shift toward a more personalized web. Personalization in marketing means more targeted and personalized messaging, which can lead to the ability to better convert prospects into customers.”

She added, “The fact that Facebook is testing new segmentation features might mean that more robust personalization is in its future. This could be extremely valuable to marketers. Imagine if you could use modify which Facebook posts certain fans of your business Page could see? Theoretically, you could segment your fans into specific groups based on interest or demographic, and then tailor Facebook posts to just those fans. This could be a quite a powerful Facebook marketing tactic!”

Stay tuned for a post by Brandon Anderson about what was announced at f8 and how that will affect PR pros and marketers.

Tags : social media

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