Friday, November 30, 2012

Facebook Notifications: A Page Owner’s Guide

Facebook has made a lot of changes over the last 6 months but none has caused more angst to page owners than the changes they have made to their Edgerank algorithm, which affects what posts people see in their stream.

To combat the outcry from businesses and community groups who don’t like the thought of their fans missing out on important posts, Facebook have introduced notifications for pages.

This works similar to your profile’s “close friends” option, where you receive a little red notification each and every time a close friend posts something.

The tricky part for businesses on Facebook is to get their fans to opt in to receiving notifications from them - not always an easy ask.

There are two main places a fan can sign up for notifications from your page:

1. Via your Page, and
2. Via your Hover Box

The Hover Box is the informational rectangle you see when you hover over the name of a business (or person for that matter).

If someone likes your page from this information box, they have the option of clicking the “Get Notification” option. Similarly, they can do the same thing on your page itself.

Many page owners have taken to their walls, showing their fans how they can keep getting all their posts and asking them to sign up for this new notification option.

The Obvious Problem
While this is a solid strategy, the problem is that a lot of their fans won’t see this post due to the very reason they are posting it – Facebook has limited their organic reach.

One Solution
Due to this, it might be a good strategy to make a one-off spend on promoting the post so it gets maximum reach. Although there’s still no guarantee that all your fans will see it or that if they do, they will do anything about it.

To maximize the impact of this post include an image showing your fans exactly how to sign up for this notification feature. Feel free to use the one below, or create your own.

Respect & Great Content
If you do get your fans to receive notifications when you post, you need to respect this and follow these simple rules:

  • Create a posting schedule and stick to it – this will allow your fans to know when and how often you post
  • Don’t post too often or you will run the risk of annoying your fans with too many notifications (1 to 3 times per day is a recommended maximum)
  • Post high quality content that your fans will find useful
  • Attract only your Ideal Customer as fans 
  • Weed out any fans that aren’t in your niche

Other Ways
Facebook is adding new features all the time, and a few of the more recent ones may help reach all of your fans.

Interest Lists
Facebook has also recently introduced Interest Lists, which allows a person to add a page or person they find interesting.

While this does not show all of a page’s posts, it does show the most recent 2 or 3 posts from any page or person in the list. If they check the list every day, this shouldn’t be a problem, unless a page posts more frequently.

Interest Lists is an interesting feature and is another (limited) way fans can keep track of their favourite pages. Although they will need to click on each list to see the posts, and they may forget to do this even if they do set one up.

Pages Feed
Finally, Facebook have also added what they are calling Pages Feed, which will allow you to see only content from the pages you like.

This does not however affect their main feed at all and will not boost the appearance of page’s posts on their feed, but it does give the user a prompt to check their favour pages.

Have you started asking your fans to get notifications from your page, and have you had much success? 

Russell Allert's passion is to help people achieve their dreams. Baked Social Media's main goal is to help small business owners grow their businesses online using social media.

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