With the recent announcement of new “Interest Lists” Facebook hopes to whittle down previously overwhelming user newsfeeds by allowing Facebook users to determine their ideal content and items of interest. This will functionally allow every person who accesses Facebook to create their own newspapers, streaming live news that only appeals to their personal interests. By allowing this sort of “self-marketing” to begin with more specificity than it already has in the internet battle for ad space, Facebook opens a plethora of possibilities to its users. However, these possibilities pale in comparison to the revenue increasing opportunities of brands who manage to put themselves in millions of individually tailored spotlights.
Because this new development allows users to be more choosy with their content, it also forces businesses to be increasingly fresh and appealing in their social media marketing. Instead of make their way to the top of the pile with the right combination of keywords that appeal to consumers’ search engines, businesses must prove themselves “list worthy” by appealing consistently to the needs of their demographic and creating persistently new and intriguing content. No new battle for businesses, but there are, as always, new social media tricks to be learned.
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For Facebook users, subscribing to lists will be beneficial: to do so—-assuming you’re one of the lucky ones already allowed the up and coming, gradually released feature–navigate to the left side of your news feed. Click “Add Interests.” This option is sometimes hidden, and you may have to click “more” for this to appear. The next screen displays your bazillion (or close to) list options, ranging from topics like “parenting” and “relationships” to media sites specific to subjects like “March Madness” or “The New York Times: Op Eds.”
As Facebook competes with big business muscle like Google and Yahoo, this allows them to prove their ad dollars more efficient; users can even make lists about entrepreneurs, social media marketing, tech news, economic information from specific perspectives and product information in their areas of expertise or interest.
This move makes sense for Facebook as they attempt to make good on their promises of greater reach. One of Facebook’s biggest potential moneymakers is it’s tremendous impact on the daily life of it’s hundreds of millions of users; we all know this, but as the market fills up, the standards for being heard must be made somehow. After all, there are no requirements for appearing on the internet, only market-driven results determine the worthwhile content.
Exciting for businesses because of the potential to stand out in a previously flooded arena, the new addition requires fast action on behalf of your brand. If it can increase Facebook’s trading value it can increase yours, and the process is simple: as soon as your brand gets added to new interest lists, your reach is immediately extended beyond your current fan base.
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At this point, many of Facebook’s most prominent Interest Lists are managed and created by Facebook employees. Getting added to them may not currently be an option, though in the future, networking amongst list creators and pitching reasons for membership may be a possibility. For now, your first priority as a brand remains creating the most engaging content and therefore a more interested fan base most likely to add you to their lists. It’s also ideal to create your own list, one that may feature other brands or opinions that coincide with yours without functioning as direct competition.
To create a list, navigate to the “subscribe” Interest List page where you can browse and choose lists of interest. This page allows you the option to “Create List.” You can add any or every page you “like” on Facebook, especially the page for your own brand. To up the ante of interest, you can make your status updates about the brand visible, or stream trending topics that relate to your business. For instance, if you want to create an Interest List for “Michigan Education Products” to advertise your educational supplies company, add breaking news about Michigan education and opinion articles from educators about what school systems need from their suppliers. Tweak your lists as you realize which topics are likely to create the most buzz, or create new lists for each topic to stay specific and still meet the needs of multiple demographics.
How do you feel about Facebook Interest lists? Have you already created or subscribed to any lists?