Wow – Now That Really Is Interesting!
It’s Thursday! No, Thursday isn’t all that interesting unless you just happen to be getting married, doing a big business deal woke up thinking it was Saturday. Assuming none of the above actually applied, you are probably wondering what the big deal is about Thursday. Well, it’s the day Facebook roles out the latest and greatest new “feature”. Before you begin groaning about yet another change, give this one a chance. We think you will agree, it’s actually a big improvement and a long overdue addition to the functionality of Facebook. One thing is certain, social media consulting firms are already hard at work preparing. Keep reading to find out why every small business owner should make this a top priority!
Who is Interesting?
Do you know which followers find your small business presence the most interesting? If not, it’s time to find out…fast! The new Interest lists will allow users to create mini newsfeeds from those they follow the most. Each newsfeed will include status updates, pictures, postings and stories from those that are included on the Interest lists. Users may create different types of Interest lists such as work, hobby, products or people. Of course, it doesn’t stop there.
What is Interesting?
Facebook is hoping to become a major source of news and information outside of the search engine. With the new Interest feed, instead of users viewing Facebook status updates as a fast and informal way to keep up with friends or functions, it’s possible to collect information and stories without ever leaving the social media site. For example, someone shopping for a new home might add local real estate agents to their “Interest” section in order to view properties as they become available. A small business owner might keep track of competitors via press release features. General users may opt to have special events based upon location streamed to their Interest list. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the creator.
How it Will Work
List creation has been designed for ease of use and will be similar to creating a photo album on Facebook. A wizard will walk users through each step where they will then be able to select which friends, “Likes” and subscriptions should be added to each Interest area. Once created, an “Interest” tab will appear on the left hand side of the landing page for future reference. If this sounds slightly “Twitter-like”…well, you are right. Facebook is openly taking on both Twitter and Google+ by adding new features like the Interest list. It’s a great way to get the content users want in a simple, easy to use place.
The new Facebook Interest list has been compared to a traditional newspaper – social style. It’s a fairly good comparison but with a twist; the Interest lists delivers exactly what is of most importance to each reader rather than the “one size fits all” approach. It’s a great way to stay in contact with those users that already think you are interesting but what about those that barely know you exist? Well, there is a bit of good news and a bit of bad news…first the good news. The new Interest feature will allow others to view what is of interest via your loyal followers – so far so good. Unfortunately, it’s also going to up the ante for those that have been sitting on the sidelines. Facebook loyalists are increasingly likely to turn to this new Interest list for all their news and information rather than leaving the site and searching elsewhere. It’s becoming more important than ever to connect with prospective clients or become all but invisible.
Not sure if it’s really a big deal? Ask yourself this one simple question…do you want to be in the “Interest list” of a client or do you want your competition to fill that void instead? Remember, with just one click, viewers will have instant access to an entire list of updates and information on their most relevant interest areas. That may include all service providers in a given area, all local listings, events or other pertinent topics. Those that aren’t on the list become all but invisible.
Small Business Impact
Obviously the creation of Interest lists is likely to be well received by the adoring public but what about small business? If the level of interest among social media marketing firms is any indication…it’s going to be big but will require some advance planning and preparation.
The very first step is to create a list of possible keywords or phrases that describe your business or service. Try to think beyond the basics. For example, let’s assume client X is a golf instructor. Obviously golf lessons would be a natural Interest area but wouldn’t automatically come to mind for someone new to the game. Instead, a local listing of sporting events might put “golf lessons” on the radar for someone searching for something new to do in the area. Taking it one step further, “charity events” or “fund-raising” might generate even more interest among a previously untapped group. The key is to generate new ideas and help categorize those concepts into recognized areas of “Interest”.
Of course, small business owners will also want to create their own Interest lists to help keep track of important events, news and information of interest to your small business. For instance, social media marketing is clearly an important consideration…be sure to add us to your Interest list for regular updates!
Not Custom Lists!
Last but not least, don’t confuse this with customized lists. This is an entirely new Facebook feature!