(SocialPie’s 5/28/2010 newsletter, sign up here)
Facebook Community Pages give you a jump on the competition.
Over the last month Facebook has made several major changes to their platform. Community pages are an addition. They are a whole new type of Facebook Page. No one owns them. Let’s take a look at how you can use them to improve your business.
How it Works
Community Pages are based around activities people have in common. Examples are “cleaning,” “real estate,” “realtor“, “wine and cheese,” even one for “gynecology.” (Go look, the photo is pretty funny.) The information on Community Pages are collections of status updates from other Facebook users around the activity. Facebook searches all user status updates for key words associated with an activity. They then add the posts to a stream on the Community Page.
What’s it do for You
Using the Community Page you can get a quick sense of what’s being said on a topic within Facebook, both from friends with non-friends. Even if you aren’t a Facebook user you can get a voyeuristic look of things happening in your industry by looking at what others are saying. Typically, there are 3 tabs on a Community Page: Wall, Info and Related Posts.
Tabs and what they tell you:
- Wall – basic definition of the Community Page; related posts from your friends (which gives it a personal feel), and a dynamic stream of other people’s posts that mention the key words.
- Info – includes background on topic like Wikipedia definition;
- Related Posts – includes posts with the keywords Facebook associates with this activity. For instance, on the real estate page there are posts about seminars people are giving, mortgage related comments, countries where real estate is a main industry, and home listings. It’s capturing and cataloging very recent posts by others based on keywords appearing in the posts. Key words are showing in bold so you can easily learn what words pull to each page.
Find Community Pages
When you search for a topic in the Facebook search box suggestions drop down.
If you want to show up in the results on a Community Page, you need to have a Facebook profile. Use the keywords in your Facebook posts, and you’ve got a shot at showing up in the stream. How do you know what the keywords are? Look for the bold words in other people’s posts, use those.
Each Community Page also has a spot where you can sign up to participate. Facebook has not defined what they are looking for from participants or when they will be ready for participation. If they contact you, let me know, I’d love to follow-up on it.
Is this for you?
It depends (don’t you just love that answer!) Maybe it’s helpful to know what others in your industry are up to. Maybe there’s nothing being said. Maybe you discover the beginning of a new trend your product or service can fill the gap on. The downside – It’s new with lots of unknowns. There are duplicate pages on the same activity-cleaning has 2 pages w/ different amount of fans. Explore knowing it’s imperfect.
My take – Use them for what you can while they are around, it’s free intell to make your business stronger.
* You don’t need to be a Facebook user to read Community Pages
* Within Facebook search, Community Pages show as page type “Activities”
* You can “Like” a Community Page
* Community pages are “read only”
* Once you “Like” a page, you can add a comment to a status that shows in the page’s stream
I’m full. And summer officially starts in a few hours, so wrap things up and head for the nearest grill. If I missed something, let me know.