The Facebook tweak that killed a billion-dollar industry - Fortune Tech

The Facebook tweak that killed a billion-dollar industry - Fortune Tech


The only way for a brand to make the leap from its own Page to the intimacy of users' news feeds is by posting interesting and timely content.  (Exactly how this jump happens is a tightly guarded Facebook mystery, but it's linked to how often users have liked and commented on a brand's posts before).  In other words -- no matter how nice a  Facebook Page looks -- if a business doesn't have anything engaging to say, it's never going to get the views that matter.  With the demise of Facebook tabs, that's true now more than ever.

Accordingly, in marketing departments focus is shifting from apps that handle the mechanics of Page building and maintenance to apps that get the right content to the right people at the right time.  Products centered on tab building (Vitrue, Buddy Media, Context Optional, Involver) are taking a backseat to social media management systems that streamline content publishing and improve how companies respond to user comments (CoTweet, HootSuite, TweetDeck). While none of these tools will write your posts or tweets for you, the best of the bunch can actually schedule optimal times for posting and geo-target messages at specific users.  Some include sophisticated listening tools to monitor mentions on Facebook and other networks for fast response.  Others let whole teams collaborate on creative social messaging campaigns.
Fancy page-builders -- a short-lived, billion-dollar industry -- are ceding to social media management systems that nurture a rich, relevant and continuously updated Timeline. This dialogue is the heart of social media.  Facebook knows it.  So let's pay our respects: Tabs are dead.  Long live the Timeline.

Ryan Holmes is the CEO of HootSuite, a social media management system with four million users, including 79 of the Fortune 100 companies.  In the trenches everyday with Facebook, Twitter and the world's largest social networks, Holmes has a unique view on the intersection of social media and big business.