February 10 Update: Even more points crossed off – see below.
With the holidays upon us, I figured it was time to reach out to jolly old St. Zuck (Mark Markle sounded a little too Funky Bunch-ish) with my facebook pages wish list on behalf of business owners. I don’t want to be greedy, so I only put in my top 6 wants.
To: Facebook Claus
1601 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Dear Facebook Claus,
I’ve been a very good boy this year. Not once have I mentioned issues about facebook’s blatant disregard for privacy. Well, maybe once, but that’s it. And I certainly have not been picking sides in your impending death battle royale with Google.
Anyway, I really like what you’re offering businesses through your facebook pages. They’re super swell* and useful in most cases. At minimum, we think businesses ought to set something up, get 25 likes and squat on a vanity url to protect their brand.
Sure seems like there are some basic things that could make life easier for business, though. I bet more companies would even use you as part of a long-term strategy and not just a “look, it’s shiny” trial. I know it seems selfish to ask so much for a free service, but you’re not exactly hurting from this venture. Golly*, it would just be the berries if you could add the following early in 2011:
- Notification of changes. You know how you notify me of someone commenting on one of my personal updates and how I can even get warning of someone liking an update through various apps? Well, can we please get that for facebook pages? Right now we need to be logged on and refreshing all the time. That can’t be good for your servers. Plus it throws off the insights you provide since we can’t block off our own visits like we can in Google Analytics (see #6). Update: done!
- Admins with Separate Personas. Right now, whenever an admin posts something on the wall, the company logo comes up as the icon, making it look like the monolith has spoken. There are times it would be nice for admins to have their own personalities and even occasionally respond to one another without looking schizophrenic. Speaking of which… Update: done.
- Take Your Page Persona Elsewhere. The opposite is just as frustrating. Sometimes when you’re out there in the faceverse, you want to comment as the business, not as yourself. It would be great if there were a way to do so without creating some corny facebook personal page for your business and then logging in and out (note: we do not recommend this for anyone.) Update: done(this part anyway).(note 2: why are we making notes within our note to Facebook Claus – isn’t he the only one reading? This is getting very meta.) Anyway, we have a solution for #2 and #3: allow you to get a page profile where you can represent yourself (or whatever personal profile you think is appropriate for business use) and the company at the same time. It would be like commenting as Justin Seibert, Direct Online Marketing with the photo being me with a small D in the corner.
- Options for Likers. You know, it used to be easier when people were fans of a page when you wanted to talk about them. Well, it would be nice if people who like a page could have some control over which information from that particular page displayed on their wall. You might think as a marketer, I’d want all our likers (facebookphiles?) to have to put this information on their wall if they want to like us and have their wall set up that way. But, I’m betting some folks are more likely to like a business that they generally are fond of if they can do so on their own terms and not be scared of getting spammed to the South Pole.
- URLs for Updates. I’d love to link back to individual status updates on facebook and I bet I’m not the only one. (I hear you can do this on twitter, but don’t worry, I won’t tell.) Right now, you can only share by adding an update to your wall or sending it through facebook messages. You can’t just directly link to it. And that’s just for some updates, like when you have links off facebook – you can’t do it at all for run of the mill updates.Update: done.
- More Analytics or Insights or whatever you want to call them. This battle over nomenclature drives me crazy – just like when Google AdWords wants to call retargeting “remarketing.” Ah, but I’m off another tangent. I realize this is being slightly needy since you just released insights for facebook pages that were only available to some of the really huge players. But there’s so much more information to provide. Please, please protect privacy and don’t allow folks to figure out which of their specific likers are doing specifically what, but there’s a ton more information you can provide here.
Well, that about covers the big wants. I know this is your busy season, so I’m not going to get into other things that aren’t business specific like “dislike” buttons. If you have time to stop by our virtual house this year and pop down the chimney with some of these things, it would be neat-o*. Thanks a bunch!
* No – I’m not under any illusions even kids talk this way anymore. If it helps, you can imagine the bastard child of Gomer Pyle and Wally Cleaver penning this letter.