The introduction of Facebook’s subscribe feature in weeks past seemed at first to be a simple return volley to counter Google+’s asymmetrical user relationships, it does stand alone in one important factor: Facebook’s established user base.
Technical discussions aside, the only reason that businesses care about Facebook, Google+ or any other social media in the first place is that they’re effective means for communicating with customers. By adding the ability to subscribe to an individual or organization’s feed without entering into a more intimate relationship, Facebook, like Twitter and Google+ before it, is allowing businesses on its network to adopt a more traditional, broadcast-style content strategy.
Allowing users to consume content through subscriptions empowers individual users to use Facebook for more than just socializing. Ever wonder why Twitter became mass media’s favorite channel to the internet seemingly overnight? The one-to-many, broadcast-style method of content distribution now enabled by subscriptions is more familiar to both businesses and users. It simply fits most business' existing content strategies better than most social media.
While this won’t majorly change to the way the average user interacts with Facebook, it shows that Facebook is getting more serious about its relationship with businesses, especially content publishers. If your digital content strategy includes blogging (which anyone’s should right now), the subscribe feature gives you easier access than ever to Facebook’s 800 million active users.
After subscribing to some of my favorite blogs and thought-leaders’ profiles in Facebook, I’ve begun simultaneously using Facebook as a content aggregator like Google Reader and a social network. I log into Facebook for the updates from friends and family, but quickly find myself reading formal articles and posts from the headlines appearing between new pictures of my niece and football smack talk.
So what does this mean for your content strategy? Your business’ blog posts can now get exposure every time your subscribers log into Facebook. And since 400 million people log into Facebook at least once a day, your odds of gaining traffic, and generating more leads are looking pretty good.
If your company isn’t blogging, start now. Deep, original content is now requisite for top Google rankings. If you’re blogging, but not publishing to Facebook, create an account and encourage your readers to subscribe. Setup is easy and the traffic available is rivaled only by Google.
However, publishing to Facebook is only half the battle. Likes and visits to your blog are great, but they don’t generate revenue. You’ve got to keep track of what Facebook activity is impacting your bottom line to ensure your work is worthwhile. And while Facebook’s native Insights application can certainly help, it doesn’t always give you the whole picture. At M.Y. Edge, we recommend using third party social media analytics solutions to connect your Facebook activity to your revenues. The right tool for the job depends on your goals, reach, and budget.
To help businesses get the most out of social media marketing, we’ve researched the top social media analytics platforms on the market and distilled their strengths and weaknesses in our 2011 Social Media Analytics Review. Download the guide for free!
As Facebook’s proven with its latest updates, it’s serious about becoming a better tool for businesses and social users alike. And as long as it continues to be the world’s social platform of choice, it will be an effective outlet for your organization’s content.