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Value in Facebook’s New Feature: Weekly “Page Update” Email

Fan pages don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to being successful or bringing awareness for a cause. In fact, according to Tech Crunch, in 2009 most pages had less than 1,000 fans (that’s a pretty low pull-through rate considering the millions of Facebook users). That being said, the more successful brands and causes keep people coming back to fan pages as an important aspect of “any” social media campaign. Mashable even goes a step further to say that the success of some brand fan pages is “inspirational”.  What about those that do not have access to fancy videos and teams of creative’s to constantly create a variety of content to find what works? How can the rest of us decide if a fan page is worth visting or if it is improving with time?

Well, a new feature rolled out by Facebook may answer that question. Beginning last week, administrators of Facebook pages may have noticed a new email from the “Facebook Team” detailing the week’s progress on the page. Here is an example:

Everyone has experienced Facebook’s sudden changes and have their own thoughts on the value (or not) each tweak brings. At first glance this weekly email, which looks a bit like spam and may seemto be just another nuisance.  However, this feature has the potential to be a great tool for tracking and defining success of a page with little administrator effort necessary. So, before you mark this email as spam or unsubscribe take a look at 3 easy uses:

1.Quick pulse check: Since these emails are weekly, creating a monthly or bi-weekly comparison seems to be the first and most obvious use. These emails give comparisons from the week before so that part is done for you without opening another email, but with that, percent change and trends can easily be determined when you’ve got a collection of ups and downs to look at.  Inbox folders are a great place to house each of these to keep them from getting lost in your inbox. Done and done.

2. Program success: While some fan pages are created to achieve a single goal, those that are meant to generate awareness and participation it’s likely that different types of content will be frequently interchanged based on what the fans react to. These email updates give a clear indication of whether or not content is bringing fans back or falling flat.  Simply paying attention to themes in content in relation to the rise and fall in visits/fan increases/etc. each week could save administrators from spending time developing a program that is not of interest to their audience or indicate that the fans enjoy what is being posted.

3. Selling point: With around 200-300 fans it is sometimes difficult to suggest that a page is doing much for a brand or cause – but with proof of engagement and increase in interest doubts can quickly be muted. Though you can access these summaries using the “insights” feature, the accessibility and simple layout of these update emails makes going to the insights page seem terribly unnecessary.  The features of the insights option for fan pages can bring a lot of value that all administrators should dig into, these emails cut down the work and make the changes clear each week. Depending on the news received, a case may also be built for getting rid of a page that is not improving. Again, themes must be recognized and connected to these numbers, but with that understanding an assessment is easy.

The bottom line is that these emails are a direct line to knowing what works for the savvy user. Facebook should be given a lot of credit for creating these clear and simple emails that are likely to continue to improve. Those that find these annoying may want to reconsider and the smaller brands/causes out there who have struggled to find an easy way to monitor content and make decisions (rather than just trying content out and hoping for a good reaction) may have found a new tool to aid success. As people begin to notice these in their inboxes, it will be interesting to see if the reports themselves gain “fans”.

Are you a Facebook fan page administrator?  If so, what do you think of these updates?

Posted by on March 26, 2010.

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Categories: Social Media Insights & Trends

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At WCG, we have the honor of walking the halls of companies of all sizes and shapes every day.  It is an amazing experience.  The result is that we can often see trends emerging more quickly than a single company might due to this vantage point.  And this is our goal with Common Sense, our […]more →