Facebook has made some interesting additions to their comments feature. Previously users could comment on their Friend’s posts and Pages updates to engage in a conversation and contribute their personal insights. However, only the original post could embed links and tag other Facebook users, Pages, Apps, Groups and Events. Starting late last week, things changed…
Covered by one of my favorite blogs, Inside Facebook, announcing the expansion of the @Mention on Facebook means “users [can] carry on conversations with other commenters and allow [for] them to easily reference different entities on Facebook.”
Starting during the third-quarter of 2009, Facebook users were able to mention Friends and other Facebook Pages in their status updates and posts by simply typing the “@” symbol followed by the entities official Facebook name/title. Now, simply typing the “@” symbol initiates the tag drop-down menu in posts and comments.
The addition of tagged updates in comments can be very valuable to businesses active on the social networking website. First and foremost, owners and Page administrators can promote their product/service by simply commenting on another stream of potential customers. This may direct traffic to a Page.
Secondly, brand evangelists may feel obliged to refer to a Facebook Page of a Friend, small business or large corporation when discussing plans with their close friends – just another impression on potential clients!
“Since Facebook’s spam filters sometimes hide comments that include URLs, the ability to mention Pages will make sure these types of links are seen.”
And finally, the update may even encourage users to interact on comment streams for longer periods of time. The ability to tag content within responses will provide true value to a conversation and turn what used to be conversations between two friends, into a brand engagement opportunity.
For example, let’s pretend I run a coffee shop in a suburb of New York City. A friend of mine is visiting and wants to meet up. If I respond to her wall post and tag my local coffee shop, the page administrators will now be notified of our conversation. The store can now engage with us and arrange to have a table reserved, provide complementary coffee for our reunion and build a true relationship with both a local and visiting tourist. Score!