The direction Facebook is moving in is a dream for social marketers since the lines between the functionality of Facebook Pages and Profiles is becoming continuously blurred. Constantly we struggle to create a personality and relationship through the Facebook Pages of our clients in the same way we manage our own profiles with Friends. The ability for a Page to act like a Profile however, has limited the opportunity for companies to build deeper relationships with fans and customers on Facebook.
Today Facebook has announced that all users will see a change to their friend lists whereas “All Friends” will now be “All Connections”, and it will now be possible to add your favorite fan pages to these lists. To see what your new friend list looks, view your friends page. The possibilities for this functionality are endless. I’ve already started brainstorming creating a list of all my favorite bands with my core group of music-loving friends. Sorting this list in my news feed would allow me to stay on top of concerts, CD releases, and general music news. The best part is the mixture of bands and music lovers that would provide me with 360 degree view of the music industry.
Recently, I just created a list encompassing the people and groups I turn to for online marketing resources. This includes both professionals like Harry Gold and a great social media resource page created by Dell Small Business.
As I continue to build out this list more to include pages like Mashable and AdAge, I will be able to sort my news feed in a way that only shows the updates relating to online marketing for the day. This is comparable to the way TweetDeck gives you the ability to organize the way you see incoming tweets with groups, and also gives Facebook a feeling of a personal RSS reader. I use Google Reader to watch all the most recent news come in from the blogs I am following, but Facebook is now giving me a way to see not only that information, but also how my friends are reacting and responding at the same time.
As Pages continue to move more towards Profiles, the opportunity for online marketers is only going to grow. Social media has created this great potential for any size company to grow as close to their customers as a friend. This level of brand loyalty is priceless.