With Facebook’s new iteration of Pages, social marketers are positioned to benefit from peer pressure. No, not the kind of peer pressure you’re probably thinking of. A different kind of peer pressure– a page-related peer pressure. Now, when users find themselves on a page for the first time, they’ll be greeted with (and all together the social marketers jump for joy):
So what does this mean for pages? It means that users will be able to make a meaningful connection to a page through their friends. Now, ‘Friend Activity’ has moved to center-stage on Facebook pages, rather than the side bar where previously it rested quietly above advertisements and sponsored stories. In addition, a friend’s recent post about the page is also displayed. Seeing a positive recommendation from a friend when browsing a page is the social equivalent of having a friend say, “Hey! You really need to check this out!” This ‘social’ peer pressure hopefully (for page owners) pushes new users to click the Holy Grail of Facebook– the ‘like’ button. With this, Facebook emphatically provides tangible evidence to back COO Sheryl Sandberg’s definition of social media as ‘word of mouth at scale’.
If you really think about what Facebook has done with this change to pages, it’s incredible. Take the picture above as an example, where my friend Christine posts about Starbucks and her desire to go there. I never knew she liked Starbucks because it has yet to come up in conversation between us– and it likely never would. Now, because of Facebook, Starbucks doesn’t have to wait for Christine to tell me herself (and positively influence me) about their brand– Facebook is doing the talking for her–by sharing her post with me and many more of her friends that land on the Starbucks page. This truly is, as Sandberg so perfectly defined, word of mouth at scale.
But wait before you jump for joy– yes, there is a catch (a catch, not the catch– for the baseball fans reading). While positive posts from friends will provide extraordinary positive value, negative posts from friends will provide an opposite and more extreme reaction from users. Would you dare ‘like’ a page after seeing a friend (hypothetically) post something like, “In bed sick. Food poisoning thanks to Mike’s Burger Bar.”? I think it’s safe to say you wouldn’t, and furthermore, you’d probably never go back to Mike’s– but let’s look at a real example.
Apparently Nike soccer shirts are performance-hindering rather than performance enhancing. I guess I won’t be going to Nike anytime soon to buy sportswear, nor will I be liking there page. Nike can thank my friend Cesar for that. Good news is that this is preventable, although it takes time and effort. Page owners can ‘hide’ negative posts so that fans and potential fans-to-be don’t see them. While it adds more to the social media ‘To-Do List’, it’s worth the hassle. Nothing will increase the bounce rate for your page more than negative posts (especially by friends). Don’t dwell on the downside though, as the added focus to ‘Friend Activity’ helps much more than it hurts.
Still adapting to the new Facebook pages? Check out Facebook’s introduction video to see other new features for pages (also linked above) and read Facebook’s Guides to Success.
Related articles: blog 1 (link), blog 2 (link), etc.