Is Facebook playing “follow-the-leader” again? You decide. On October 4th, Small Business Trends reported that Facebook had finally — finally updated its Notes platform. Originally created back in 2009, the idea was to give businesses yet another reason to stay within its channel as the one-stop marketing tool. The platform then ignored this tool from 2010 until now.
Notes for Pages is different from Notes for personal profiles in both appearance and functionality. Pages will have basic editing options available, including the ability to upload a photo and create tags for targeted marketing. Publishing articles, however, has not changed. When you create the post and click the blue Publish button, the article posts at that point in time — there is no way to schedule the post to appear in your feed at a specific date or time.
Sounds a lot like LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform (a.k.a. L.I.P.P. — c’mon, LinkedIn!), doesn’t it? Facebook may have started this race, but with its simply yet rich built-in CRM and targeted business audience, LinkedIn captured both short and long-form writing. Curiosity asks two questions:
- Why is Facebook playing follow-the-leader?
- What can Facebook users hope to gain using this revised platform?
The answer to the first question is fairly obvious: recapturing marketshare. Facebook created Notes to compete with blogging platforms such as WordPress, Typepad, Blogger and the new Medium. Mark Zuckerberg saw how powerful these platforms were in regards to Google’s search capabilities, and, like other channels, wants people to stay on their site longer, so engineers delivered a basic product. As LinkedIn led the charge of keeping B2B owners on their channel longer, Facebook knew it would eventually have to update their tool or risk losing more business owners to the more professional channel. It remains to be seen whether or not business owners and brands will come to see Facebook as a strong contender for this arena. Also, will Facebook require more “pay to play” now that Notes has had its facelift? Stay tuned.
The second question truly depends on both the business and marketing strategy of the business. If your target market is using Facebook, then writing to solve their pain points and educating prospects about your products and services makes sense. This tool can definitely be used to increase reach and authority, but not all articles should be about sales. Keep in mind your Page followers will receive a notification each time you create a post. That doesn’t mean you should post three or four times a day! Instead, make your articles remarkable and deliberate in nature. It’s also not clear yet whether Google’s search algorithm will give less visibility from search results if you post the same article to both your blog and Facebook Notes. Think through your strategy; give your followers access to content they won’t find anywhere else. Quality eats frequency any day!
Is “Follow-The-Leader” Working?
Facebook had a great idea when engineers first created the Notes platform, but they let it die on the vine because they had no idea what people would use it for or how, and no strategy behind its implementation. They’ve also followed Pinterest by creating a purchasing arena to allow visitors to purchase an item directly from a Facebook Page, thus keeping folks in their channel a bit longer. In 2013 Facebook finally adopted the use of hashtags, but only after Twitter showed how this tool can be used for marketing. Is Facebook still relevant and edgy, or is “follow-the-leader” the only process they can improve upon? Time will tell, and the clock is ticking.
I’d like to know whether using Facebook Notes has brought you more success than other blogging platforms. Please share your comments below.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.