Facebook Marketing Glitch X Posting About Y

As a marketer, Facebook drives me crazy. They make constant changes to the algorithm and interface. One day Facebook works in a certain way and the next day that way may be gone.

They made a change recently, as they do often, that caught my attention. The best way I can explain it is as a loophole that a smart marketer can use to their advantage.

I will show you how to use it, to the best of my own understanding, here. But first, I need to share some background insight with you. This will actually help you use this tactic wisely and understand why I would assert that I don’t completely understand it.

As a marketing consultant I urge many businesses to use Facebook for their marketing. I’m not going to go into the benefits of Facebook here, but they are many when used properly.

However, if you’re using Facebook to market and follow me you know that you need to stay on top of what they are doing. They are always changing things around. They do it for a couple key reasons:

1: To improve upon user experience
2: To improve upon ad revenue (This may really be number 1… admit it Facebook)
3: Make my life a little more difficult (ok, maybe not this one. But it sure feels that way sometimes)

Of course, people don’t like being marketed to or sold. They love buying stuff they want. But if they detect marketing signals, they don’t like it.

And on Facebook that equals a spam complaint, nasty comment or both. Facebook makes it super duper easy for a user to complain about you. They just click the little X on your post and up pops a dialogue that asks if you want to follow, hide the post or report it as spam. I used Robert Scoble whom I follow below as an example.

Facebook Marketing Glitch

If someone does spam complain in you, you will never know. It does signal Facebook that they don’t want to hear from you and they will cease to show you or your EdgeRank score will drop for them. Also, the more spam complaints you get, the more Facebook knows something may be amiss about your page. This can potentially hurt you down the line.

Now on Facebook, there is an interesting dynamic at play. First, it’s a free platform for all to use and enjoy. The company must make money to be able to offer a free service. To do that they must sell advertising which is something much of their user base hates more than anything.

Many people will spam complaint on anything they don’t like in their newsfeed. Some would complain about their own mother in a NY minute. So if you accidentally show up on these folks news feeds, you’re going to get complaints. If you show up on too many people’s feeds who didn’t expect you there, you’re probably going to get comments calling you a spammer too.

Don’t Let The Haters Stop You From Marketing

I know I will make some Facebook purists really mad… Facebook is not a social network that has advertising and marketing as a little side thing. Facebook itself has made it abundantly clear with their actions that it is an advertising and marketing platform that can be also used, oh by the way, as a social network. Kind of a marketers dream come true. Sorry.

But the complainers are out there and will climb on their soap boxes if you dare try and market to them. But this is nothing new really. If you telemarket, you’re going to hear some colorful things. If you send direct mail, a lot of it will be unappreciated. It’s just there’s no spam complaint button on a letter in your mailbox. If there was, you’d get complaints.

So don’t let this deter you from using this marketing tool. The benefits far outweigh the negative complaints you will likely get. The more you market, the more complaints you will get no matter what. But also the more customers you will get. So don’t fear the haters.

But here’s something super important to remember. Targeting your marketing correctly will bring the number of complaints down significantly. The goal on Facebook is to target those with an affinity to what you do. It gets ugly when you accidently target friends of friends of people who have an affinity for what you do. They have no clue why you’re marketing to them and then complain.

Some of that is Facebook’s fault. They made their system work this way. So you will potentially accidentally hit people who are not your target market. It cannot be avoided but can be minimized.

And Now For The Facebook Marketing Glitch

A post for Bob Proctor’s page appeared in my news feed. However, I have never LIKED Bob Proctor’s page. Not to say I don’t like Bob. I just never hit the like button to connect myself to him therefore telling Facebook to show me stuff from him. And it was not an ad. So how did he appear there?

How did a page I have never connected with in any way appear in my newsfeed without my permission? They must have paid to sponsor it, right? They did not.

The post showed them talking about a page I have LIKED; Think and Grow Rich. But you can see in the image below that they didn’t place a link. They just merely text based mentioned it.

So because I liked one, I saw the other. It was acting like a paid ad or recommendation. But it wasn’t (I confirmed it with Bob’s social media people).

bobproctorfacebook

This is X posting about Y. If you as a marketer know your audience LIKES Y, you can post about it and potentially reach that audience as Bob Proctor reached me.

Facebook may be testing a new way to recommend pages to you. Or it may be a glitch in their sponsored post system. It may just be a loophole.

It may be very short lived. It first happened sometime this month and some small pages have benefited greatly. But also, some users are not happy about it. (Keep in mind, some users are never happy about anything).

What can you do to leverage this Facebook Marketing Glitch?

1: Post content about pages you LIKE that have big audiences which you want to get in front of.
2: Mention them in your post in the way you see being done in the example above
3: Make sure it is congruent to your audience
4: Make sure what your page is about is congruent (If you start referencing a page about sharks but there is nothing about sharks in other posts or your about page it may affect this)
5: Check your insights (You will know if it works as you should see an obvious traffic spike)
6: Watch your comments for complaints

Remember, you are technically riding on the coat tails of another successful page. Use it but don’t abuse it. It’s a great tool but make sure you follow the rules above.

The party may end on this free advertising loophole or may not. Like a Rubik’s cube you probably need to get several things right in sequence to make the pieces fall in place. So it won’t be easy to reproduce. But if you target correctly and continue to incorporate the tactic you may hit the jackpot. Just be ready for the complaints… it may be very worth it.

Happy marketing. If you have experienced this yourself, leave your thoughts in the comments section. And feel free to leave your angry complaints about me being a Facebook spammer too.

Take Advantage of The Facebook Marketing Glitch before the Loophole is Fixed!

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

    Very interesting finding, will test it out and mention a few pages without links to see if it gets some notice for related wall posts (non-marketing in my testing) but very curious.

  • http://www.danielmelbye.com/ Daniel Melbye

    I agree so much with your 3 reasons Facebook makes changes. Especially number 3. They infuriate me. If I did not have to I would hvae nothing to do with Facebook but thats where the audience is (for now)

  • http://www.danielmelbye.com/ Daniel Melbye

    Oh and agree that it is a marketing platform. Advertising is their business.
    Oh, Oh, thanks for the tip – is very interesting. Clever because it encouragers posters to talk about each other and so increases engagement between people on the platform

  • http://www.thenerdynurse.com/ The Nerdy Nurse

    Perhaps I’m just facebook dumb (since it’s my least favorite social media platform), but I am not able to figure out how to consistantly get typing the name to link to another page. What am I doing wrong?