Facebook’s Latest Feature: Mentioned In

Facebook has officially announced a new element of the news feed that they’ve been experimenting with for awhile: “Showing Stories About Topics You Like.” Facebook now places a strong emphasis on displaying content that has been tagged with Pages that you already like.

Facebook used the following example:

Fans of Dwight Howard, but not necessarily of the Bleacher Report, would see this object. Again, Facebook has been experimenting with this type of news feed distribution for awhile. However, typically when Facebook takes the time to make announcements such as this we see drastic changes in the data.

What Can You Expect?

We expect to see additional exposure for Pages that are being tagged more frequently through objects similar to the one above. While the Dwight Howard Page isn’t controlling the message in this object, they are getting additional exposure.

Brands that are talking about popular objects should get more exposure due to “piggybacking” off of popular content. We believe that if multiple brands attempt to piggyback off of one tagged Page, the larger and more engaging Page will get the space in the news feed.

We’ve seen in the past an example of this flow by taken advantage by spammers:

In the example above, the Make Your NBA Jersey Page tagged the NBA in their post. This object, which is filled with links to sell fake jerseys, was displayed to fans of the NBA. We’re hoping that Facebook is using more aggressive spam prevention tactics to reduce the likelihood of this occurring.

How a Brand Can Take Advantage

There are two ways of looking at this change. First is from the perspective of the brand being talked about. In Facebook’s example this would be Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard’s Page is the Content Originator. They have the benefit of drawing additional exposure without even posting to their Page. Dwight Howard’s Page is creating original content and contributing to the internet, which in turn results in in-bound social links. Facebook is taking a step to reward being a Content Originator. This means brands should continue to focus on contributing value and asking for tags when your content is talked about.

The other perspective is to examine the Bleacher Report Page. They posted a link to hot content and tagged the sources. Facebook rewarded them with additional exposure to fans that are not their own, but Dwight Howard’s. Facebook most likely uses an algorithm to determine which Page would be shown if multiple are talking about the same piece of content. Our bet would be that the larger and more engaging Page would be preferred. This Page is experiencing “free” Viral Reach in this example.

Brands should tag Pages that they’re talking about if they want a better shot at additional Viral Reach. As always, Facebook disdains spammers—this recommendation should not be used with that intent. Surely we will see many Pages with dozens of tags for each post, and we do not recommend this approach. We suggest using tags only when it makes sense.

Conclusion

We expect that brands who are Content Originators will benefit the most from this change. This type of change will favor brands that are making noise and causing other brands to talk about it.

Brands that talk about other Page’s content: we encourage you to tag them in the content as well—this may provide additional Viral Reach for your Page.

6 Comments on “Facebook’s Latest Feature: Mentioned In

  1. Hi EdgeRankChecker,

    Very interesting article. However, it does seem like now that Facebook has again removed this feature. I don’t seem to be able to tag other pages, people (being people or pages I liked/am friends with or not).

    Any thoughts about this change? Is it because of spammers?

    Cheers,
    Joakim

    • Chad Wittman

      We’re still able to tag Pages, are you sure this is the case?

      • Hi!

        I have been trying to tag pages lately but have not been successful. My thoughts are that perhaps this is a beta feature available only to some pages, just like some accounts gain access to certain new features while others don’t.

        Just to sync my experience with yours – step by step, how are you tagging a page?

        Cheers,
        Joakim

        • Chad Wittman

          For me, this is what worked:

          1) Go to EdgeRank Checker Page
          2) Begin typing @PostAcume
          3) Facebook auto-suggests PostAcumen

          Screenshot: http://screencast.com/t/VfWjUUwyAc0

          • Hi, thank you. I managed to get it to work. I had forgot to switch to “post as page”. :)

            Anyway, I was curious what your thoughts are on how Facebook will react to people abusing this feature. How do you think they will tweak this feature in order to punish abusers?

          • Chad Wittman

            Good question. My answer is that I’m not sure yet. My best guess is that they simply watch Negative Feedback, specifically Spam reports. Facebook has done a pretty decent job with spam considering the volume they’re up against.

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