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.
Oh look. There she is. I click on her, then finish typing my message.
Cool. Now her name within my status update links to her profile.
But wait, look at this. My post mentioning her appears on her wall, too. Clever, Facebook. Very clever.
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.
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.
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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