Back in January, Facebook made a few tweaks to its News Feed algorithm, which resulted in the reduction of reach for several brands.
After an influx of complaints, Facebook unveiled its improvement plan to increase reach through the use of page tags. Here is how it works: Brand X can tag Brand Y in a post on their page by typing the “@” symbol before “Brand Y” to insert the tag.
For example, to tag the food-service not-for-profit organization Community Servings where 451 Marketing team members serve as part of our #451Cares service program, just type “@” before “Community Servings” and select the organization’s page highlighted in blue.
By doing so, those who are fans of the Brand X page will now be able to see both Brand X and Brand Y in their news feed, even if the person is a fan of one company and not the other.
Hubspot and Bleacher Report are two other brands who have already put the new tagging feature to work. In a recent post, Bleacher Report tagged Dallas Cowboys when sharing the story of their quarterback’s freshly signed two-year deal.
Similar to photo tagging where you can see your friend tagged in a photo even if you are not friends with the person who tagged them, page tagging extends brand visibility across other brand pages.
For those of you worried about spamming, fear not: the new algorithm also ensures the relevance of both pages to the user before allowing them to appear on his or her News Feed. Facebook analyzes comments, shares and clicks to determine which posts are most engaging and relevant.
Page tags offer brands the opportunity to increase exposure and engagement through the cross-promotion of each other. Also, with the algorithm rewarding engaging content, brands will be able to reach target audiences more effectively.
On the other hand, critics are concerned over the lack of tagging options and increased need for monitoring. With no option to opt out of tagging, any brand page can tag another brand in a post, which is problematic if the affiliation is unwanted. While brands can report incorrect or inappropriate tags through the Page Activity Log, this kind of monitoring can be time consuming.
Overall, page tags are a great way for brands – especially those with subset brands or clients – to connect and extend their reach. From a visual standpoint, the posts look cleaner when incorporating a brand name rather than a direct link. However, brands should always keep an eye out by monitoring and reporting unwanted tags.
Try it out for yourself!
**Written by social media intern Ariella Brand, business administration major at Boston University (class of 2014).