How Do Facebook’s Opt-In Notifications, Pages Feed Affect Brands?

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook set the marketing world abuzz when it began testing two features: opt-in notifications for page updates (so users can be pinged whenever a page they have chosen posts) and a separate pages feed (where users can see all posts from all pages they’ve liked). Jason Weaver, CEO of Shoutlet, a social media marketing service that works with top consumer brands, told AllFacebook recently that he thinks this is a chance for companies to re-establish connections with fans.

Although it’s not a perfect solution, Weaver said these improvements are a step in the right direction, adding that he follows several brands on Facebook, but he’s only passionate about a handful of them. Others were just likes from promotions, or brands that he wants to check in on every now and then. Through the notifications feature, users who want to receive all updates from the hometown bakery or every promotion from a major retailer can finally see them without having to manually visit the page.

Weaver said he was excited when news broke about these developments, as pages can now get more of their posts in front of fans, but he acknowledges that not all fans want to see every single post from every page they’ve liked. These new features allow users to pick the brands they really care about:

The one thing that brands also have to consider, in defense of the fans, is that I only want to see content that is not disruptive to my user experience and that’s relevant and engaging. Both Facebook and Google are trying to master those for a while. When I saw the news come out for the notifications and the page feeds and the interest lists, which is something I had been using for a while, I thought it had brought back that opportunity to have that one-on-one connection between brand and fan. It kind of forced the opportunity onto the fan to determine which ones they wanted to stay connected with more actively. As a brand, it’s a good opportunity, as well, to find out the quality of your fans versus the quantity of your fans.

Weaver has also blogged about this topic, writing that these changes shift control to where users want it: in their hands. While it also allows more fans to see posts, there’s another inherent challenge for brands: it could force companies to market a little more creatively, in an effort to turn a regular fan into one who opts in for notifications. They can get better feedback to see what really prompts users to like, comment, and share.

Readers: Do you think this helps pages reach more fans, or is it a band-aid to cover a bigger problem?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.