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New Facebook Features for Your Internet Marketing Campaigns

A few new things about the updated Facebook that you should know about

This week, there was an invite-only conference at Facebook HQ to roll out a few new features on the website. In usual Facebook fashion, they’ve made a lot of people angry with some of the new features, some of which irritate privacy issues yet again.

Mashable wrote a great article on 8 Quick Tips for Developing a Facebook Marketing Strategy, that I wanted to pull a few golden gems from:

Facebook Groups are the new thing to hate.

The main concern right now is that anyone can add anyone else to the new Facebook Groups, which are different than the old “groups”. For marketers, this is a golden opportunity. For regular people, this is a violation of their privacy.

According to Mashable, Facebook Groups are considered a “Shared Space”. Here are the features:

  • Every friend has control over a shared space.
  • Everyone can add mutual friends to the group.
  • Group chat is also being introduced, so you can chat with groups of friends.
  • Groups work like mailing lists — you can send and receive e-mail from your group and communicate with work friends or personal friends, etc.

The setback for users is that they have no choice over whether they’re added to a group, anyone can add them at any time and without their permission. The advantage for marketers is that… you can add anyone at any time and without their permission.

Use your own judgment when deciding if this really is the best idea for your company, and how you want to approach it with tact and sensitivity to the fact that you’re liable to irritate someone. Think of it this way – when you add people to your email list without their permission – how do they respond?

Community Pages will start to compete with you:

More or less, Facebook wants everything to be clickable. So when someone ads an interest to their profile, they want to make it link to something, even if their interest is “eating pizza off of the back of pygmy goats”. So what they’ve done is create “Community Pages” for these types of links.

They’re something like “tag” pages, or “keyword” pages. The page is created automatically and is populated by anything on facebook that uses that keyword, or keyword phrase.

The downside for marketers? As Mashable puts it, “It’s hard to spin community pages as a positive for brands, since they compete with official brand presences and can serve to promote negative comments in a forum where responses can’t be made. However, many now hope that consumers will quickly recognize that community pages aren’t serving their needs and so will focus their attention on the official brand Pages.”

Facebook is becoming search-friendly

This isn’t really new, but something noteworthy. As Mashable puts it, “For the moment, Google remains the place where consumers go to find things, but Facebook’s ability to capture eyeballs means that it should now be a primary focus for any online marketer.”

Mashable concludes, “It’s also worth noting that Facebook has chosen to embed Bing search results from the web alongside queries within the network. Marketers, take note: Facebook is positioning itself not only as a place for in-stream, friend recommendations, but as an all-purpose hub with both traditional and social search value.”

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