Facebook has made a recent update that will be welcome news for admins of Pages. They have changed the option to suggest a Page to friends, to 'Invite friends'. What this means is that when you select a friend to tell your Page about, they will now receive a notification into their Facebook inbox, as well as an email alert. Facebook originally changed the 'suggest to friends' option earlier this year, when they removed the functionality for non-admins to directly suggest the Page to their friends.
This new feature by Facebook is a welcome change as it will encourage much more viral growth of Pages, as notifications become even more apparent, instead of being buried among your email that you might ignore. You can activate this as a Page admin by clicking on the 'Invite friend' option when you're logged in as the admin of the Page, along the top right :
This then brings up the option to select as many of your friends as you want :
When you've selected the friend, they will see the invite directly as a notification within their Facebook profile :
Using this for your business
Of course, the most frustrating thing about this update is that this feature is still only available to admins of the Page. If you're not logged in as an admin then you won't be able to use this option. What you can do as a business or group, is grant different admin access to your Page, for people within your organisation to enable them to easily suggest the Page to friends. This should be controlled, for example revoking admin controls when friends have been invited, so you can manage who has access to the Page. This may sound like a slightly more complicated way of doing things, but it's a great way of using what is undoubtedly a very valuable feature within Facebook, to help grow your Page for free.
As this new feature within Pages isn't the easiest to use internally, you should also think about when you are activating this. If you ask all your employees to do this at the same time for example, there's a chance you risk bombarding people or limiting the reach where there are shared friends. By phasing out this approach however, you can actually get a much better return in the long run. If you rotate this around employees to coincide with an app, competition or promotion you're running on the Page, then the return of these friend suggestions is likely to be a lot higher. There's nothing worse than wasting an opportunity like this because you don't really have anything that will keep people on the Page.
What's interesting is that Facebook don't seem to have made a very big deal about this update and haven't notified Page owners officially. Of course the function does drive Page owners away from advertising to organic, free growth which is perhaps why this feature has been quietly rolled out. Here's hoping that they roll it out for non-admins soon though...
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