Leveraging New Facebook Tools and Page Functionality

Katie Harbath, Facebook’s associate manager for policy and UW-Madison alumna, visited campus on Thursday to talk to campus social media leaders about social campaigns. A few highlights:

Facebook pages now show engagement as well as likes.
Historically,Facebook displayed the number of fans who had liked a page. However, Facebook News Feed algorithms value fans’ engagement with content over a page’s number of likes. Thus, the new emphasis on fan engagement (“# are talking about this”) should help steer new page admins in the right direction — toward fan engagement.

Facebook Insights will soon show shares by point of origin.
Have you ever wondered how a fan of your page initially became a fan? Fan page Insights will soon tell you whether users’ like originated from your page, your website, etc.

Customizable Open Graph tags will allow admins to customize the like button beyond “like” or “recommend.”
Fans will be able to interact with a brand or organization in more specific ways. Example: “John donated to Your Organization,” rather than “John likes Your Organization.”

Facebook Registration Plugin takes event registration functionality beyond the limitations of Facebook Events.
If you’re in any way involved in event planning, the Registration Plugin could become a viable alternative to custom event registration forms or Eventbrite-like products. Attendees can choose whether to use certain email addresses (e.g., Yahoo, Google) or their Facebook information to register. I’ll be interested to see whether any colleges or universities adopt this functionality for prospective student applications.

I’ll close with a quote from Harbath: “Each Facebook like drives 4 to 5 additional people to visit your page.” And that is exactly why we have to keep the innovation and customized content coming.