The Secret Way Facebook Mentions Can Help Your Fan Page

About two months ago, @ mentions went live on Facebook, mimicking the way @ replies work on Twitter. The “social media experts” exclaimed that it would be Twitter’s downfall. Yet very few people actually use @ mentions on Facebook. Fewer understand what the benefits are. And even fewer know the functionality exists.

Way to go, “social media experts.”

What are Facebook @ Mentions?

Mentions are similar to @ replies on Twitter. In your status box, when you enter the @ symbol and then start typing a friend’s name, the friend selector dropdown appears allowing you to select which friend you’re referring to.

I want to write a status update thanking my friend Melanie for agreeing to appear in my blog post. So I start typing @ and then her name.

Facebook @ Mention Dropdown

Oh look. There she is. I click on her, then finish typing my message.Facebook @ Mention Autocomplete

Cool. Now her name within my status update links to her profile.

Facebook @ Mention Status on Profile

But wait, look at this. My post mentioning her appears on her wall, too. Clever, Facebook. Very clever.

Facebook @ Mention on Friend's Wall

What the does this have to do with fan pages?

Fans of your page can mention the page in their status updates, and their status update will appear directly on your wall. So I can mention one of my clients Harley-Davidson in my status update (since I am a fan), and it will appear on Harley-Davidson’s wall.

Harley-Davidson Facebook Page

That’s neat. Unfortunately, only 2% of Facebook users know they can do this.

Facebook pages can mention each other

This is the cool part. A fan page cannot write on the wall of another fan page. However, a fan page can mention another page in a status update and the update will appear on the mentioned page’s wall automatically, along with whatever content you’ve posted (link, poll, photos, you name it).

I created this awesome test page so I could show you an example of one page writing on the Fan Page of this blog, U Stand Out.

U Stand Out Facebook Fan Page

What’s the catch? The fan page you’re mentioning has to list you as a favorite in order for your update to appear on their wall. Otherwise your post will link to their page without them returning the favor.

But say you have a company with a subdivision (like Frosted Mini Wheats are to Kellogg’s), and both have fan pages, you can favorite each other and mention each other like crazy. Fans of one page will (hypothetically) flock to the other, and vice versa. Or you can contact the admins of the page and ask to be favorited, which is tricky since it isn’t made public who the admins are.

And don’t forget that as the admin of your page, you have to be a fan of the other page in order to mention it.

In conclusion, if you know every minuscule detail about Facebook functionality, you might get your brand a little exposure.

Otherwise, you have to be Coca-Cola. Or read this blog, which fortunately you do.

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Comments

  1. Nina says

    Hi! Great article.
    I've tried tagging a Fan Page but my status update would not appear on the Fan Page wall. Did Facebook change the tagging and wall posting settings recently? Or is it just me?

  2. says

    Hi Nina. No, it's not just you. Remember, the fan page you’re mentioning has to list your page as a favorite in order for your update to appear on their wall.

    When Facebook first launched @mentions, I remember I was able to mention (tag) other fan pages, and my update DID appear on their fan pages. But I think Facebook changed this setting to prevent one Facebook page from spamming another (because Facebook pages cannot directly write on another Facebook page's wall). So now that page your trying to tag has to list your page as a favorite.

  3. Nina says

    Thanks for the quick response Diana! But what I've been trying to do is tag a Fan Page (that I am a Fan of) in my status update, using my personal account (and not as another Fan Page). This is similar to what you did in the Harley-Davidson page. My status update does not come out in the Fan Page's wall. Is there a setting that I failed to change?

  4. says

    Nina, I just tested this out like crazy, and it looks like this is a bug, or Facebook has ALSO removed this feature. So now users can tag fan pages in their statuses with the @ mentions, but the status will NOT appear on the fan page. You can see that someone else has complained about this in one of the comments here: http://www.facebook.com/FacebookPages?v=feed&st… – “It's not working for tagging pages, only people, what gives?”

    But this feature definitely did exist before (proof in my Harley-Davidson screenshots above!), so I'll let you know if I can find out anything else. :-)

  5. Nina says

    Too bad. I've thought of a promo based on this feature already. I tested it like crazy, too and I was already getting frustrated when I could not see my updates on the Fan wall. Thanks for your help, please do let me know if you find out anything else. :-)

  6. Ashley says

    Are there privacy settings on fan pages that allow @mentions to be shown on the wall? I have tried tagging numerous times, but it never displays on the fan page wall that I @mention. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. :)

    P.S.- I am the administrator of a fan page that lists another one of my pages as a favorite, and my @mention still does not post.

  7. says

    Have you sorted out how to find out which other people or pages have added your page to their Favorites list? e.g., I just added your fan page as a favorite to 2 of our pages. Do you have any way of knowing this? — Matthew Burgess

  8. says

    I don't know of a way to be able to tell which pages have added your page as a favorite, or which users have added a fan badge to their FB page. The latter I'm 99% sure isn't possible, since Facebook is takes the privacy of its users very seriously. But I'd also love to know if it's possible to see which pages have added your page as a favorite; that'd be really useful so you can return the favor. I've added a topic on the Facebook pages fan page discussion board asking this question: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16903&u

  9. says

    I really appreciate this post! I just wish I would have came across it sooner. Tagging another fan page from the fan page that I'm working on has been great for visibility and building the fan base. I've been using fan page names as part of a sentence in the status update instead of literally referencing them.

    My issue was that the fan page I was trying to tag wasn't in the drop down menu …It's been driving me crazy for weeks…

    I have experienced successfully tagging someone's fan page and not having the status show up on their wall. I have been able to tag fan pages, show up on their wall, and not be in their favorites…I'm not sure if that's a change that took place since you wrote this post. I still can't figure out why this tagging drop down list is incomplete…

    Thanks for all of this information!

    –Drew

  10. says

    Thanks for your comment, Drew. You're absolutely right! Facebook has updated the @ mentions so that a fan page does NOT have to list your page as a favorite in order to tag them and have your tag/update appear on their wall. I just tested this out, and it worked. I'll update this blog post later today. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! :-)

  11. Vaibhav says

    Hi Diana,

    This is a nice blog, though I came to read it after four years. Meanwhile Facebook has come up with many changes and modifications. I am sure you must be aware of these.
    So my query which got me here is:
    As a page can I mention a fan’s name in my status/post?
    Regards

  12. Norbert says

    Really nice article. What about some update. I think it is very interesting how facebook handles the mention-feature nowadays …

    Kind Regards

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