Facebook is a world distinct from the rest of the social media universe for one reason – Facebook controls Facebook.
For the most part what happens in Facebook stays within Facebook, and that’s just the way they want it.
Social Context and Smart Lists
The interrelationships and contextual information shared on Facebook builds social context that allows advertisers to target buyers with laser accuracy – far greater than is possible on the open web.
Logically, Facebook wants to amplify that context even further. This is why they recently created smart lists. You can learn more about smart lists here.
Facebook takes the data from your friends social graphs to populate smart lists. As you add new friends, they will automatically add them to the appropriate list based on the information they share.
One of the smart lists Facebook provides is for organizing your high school classmates. However, since not everyone lists where they went to high school, Facebook serves up suggested friends to add to the respective lists.
In other words, you are working for Facebook by helping them to create better lists.
Naturally, you should expect at least a little compensation for your efforts. Keep reading to learn how this can work in your favor.
Define Local to Your Advantage
You are no doubt aware that in addition to social, the future of search is all about mobile and location. Facebook provides all users with a smart list for their location, but they also give you adjustable settings to define your location – for your benefit.
If you are a hyperlocal business that only works in a small geographic radius, then you should adjust the settings according.
The key to optimizing Facebook is discerning why they do what they do – and then responding to that in a way that works for you and them.
Whether your focus is narrow or wide, there are advertisers looking to connect with people like you.
The secret is both you and Facebook want the same thing. The better you contextually define who you are, the more you help Facebook and yourself.
Trusted Friends are Your Inner Circle
Facebook also recently announced they will be launching a service to help you recover your password or have it reset if your account has been hacked. Since a hacked account compromises your email, this Trusted Friends feature will allow your selected friends to help you get access and change both your email and password.
Is this really just about security?
Once again, think like Facebook.
There is no doubt that Facebook has been under pressure to provide a secure user experience. But why not fix the problem from the inside?
When you put your Facebook search and advertising hat on you begin to see the potential genius in this feature. Your three to five most trusted friends will presumably lie down in traffic for you.
So, if you are an ardent fan of a particular product or service, advertisers will likely pay dearly to connect with your trusted friends.
What Does this Mean for You?
When you use the trusted friends feature you are strongly aligning yourself with them – and defining yourself in the process.
I’m not saying I have the answers here – just that those choices should be made with care.
One idea that comes to mind is diversity.
Consider this. Search is about influence. If you choose only local friends you are sending a message to Facebook about your influence – that its local.
If you choose friends from around the world you are sending another.
Neither is right or wrong.
The point is that you choices matter.
There will more changes with Facebook – you can count on it.
Just think like Facebook and you can best represent yourself – and occasionally create more opportunities for creating alignment that helps you to optimize Facebook, regardless of whether your motives are personal or professional – or both.
What do you think about this?
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Until tomorrow, Jeff