When Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm to make way for more timely and relevant content, Facebook Page admins were warned that they could see a slight decrease in organic reach. While changes to your content strategy help to minimize any negative pushback, the social network announced yet another tweak to its algorithm this week that will be a big boon for Pages.
Now when a Page tags another Page, Facebook might show that post to some of the people who like or follow the tagged Page — even if they don’t follow the first Page. This gives members a new way to discover conversations around topics they’ve expressed interest in, in addition to the recent Trending feature that was added last month.
For example, this post by the Bleacher Report might be shown in News Feed to people who follow or like Dwight Howard, in addition to people who follow or like the Bleacher Report.
“If many people who like Dwight Howard also like the Bleacher Report, it suggests that these two Pages are connected,” wrote Facebook product manager Andrew Song. “If we see that people who like both the Bleacher Report and Dwight Howard are liking the post above, that’s an indication that it may be relevant for people who only like Dwight Howard.”
This is very similar to how Facebook treats updates from friends. For instance, if Person A tags Person B in a photo, Person B’s friends might also see the photo in their News Feed even if they’re not friends with Person A. The social network tested this feature for Pages and found that people liked seeing this type of content in their News Feeds and gave these stories high scores in surveys.
The update creates further opportunity for Facebook Pages to work together. No brand is an island. By taking the opportunity to tag other Pages in your updates, you’re effectively building a relationship with that brand on Facebook. Just as how Liking other Pages shows visitors what your values and interests are — and that you share theirs — tagging other Pages solidifies the relationship and gives you a chance to interact with a whole new audience.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Just because you have the ability to tag doesn’t mean that you have to do so in every single update. Keep things fresh by mixing different types of content together. Posting the same thing every time will get stale and could lead to a drop in engagement.
Additionally, since your posts will occasionally appear in the feeds of people who don’t follow your Page, you don’t want to overwhelm members. When people Like your Page, they’re essentially opting in to receive your updates. When content from a Page that someone doesn’t follow begins to appear, it could confuse that person, or result in negative feedback for your brand.
Be prepared to address comments from consumers who are unsure why your posts are showing up.
Create Relevant Connections
Similarly, don’t tag another Page just for the sake of boosting your engagement. Make sure that the company or public figure you’re mentioning is somehow associated with your brand, ensuring that the connection is relevant and not just a ploy for attention. Consumers can see through thinly-veiled attempts to capture their engagement.
For example, unless Katy Perry is a spokesperson for your brand or has worked with you in some way in the past, there’s no reason to tag her in a “happy birthday” message on your Timeline. This post will not only seem odd to your fans, but it won’t offer anything of value to the people who are following your updates.
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…
Tagging shouldn’t be used to call out competitors and grab the attention of their Facebook fans. Again, just because you can tag doesn’t mean that you should — especially if your intentions aren’t nice. Use your powers for good, not evil.
If you want your content to reach other audiences, do so in a way that doesn’t turn your brand into a bully. Use Facebook’s targeting options to promote your posts and reach specific audiences of people. This is all done behind the scenes and won’t create a public spectacle.
With more than 1.23 billion members, Facebook can be a huge network to cover on your own. If you’re collaborating with other brands or public figures, work tagging into your content strategy and discover how cross-promotion can help increase reach for everyone involved.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.