Facebook just added the @mentions feature, which allows you to include other Facebook users in your status updates. If you use Twitter, the @name symbology will look very familiar to you.
While I haven’t played around with it a whole lot yet, the feature lets you mention another Facebook user, list their name like @mary, and then opens up a drop down menu of all your friends named Mary, from which you can select the actual friend you were talking about.
There is an auto-suggestion feature to help you cull through your list if you know a lot of people named Mary. Once you mention someone using the @, they get a notification and it also show up in their Wall- it’s almost like posting to their Wall without having to go to their profile.
The new feature allows you to include individual users, as I’ve mentioned, but you can also include brand names (through their Facebook pages), events and groups. When you monitor your friend’s status updates, all the links are clickable, so you can see exactly who your friends are talking about and hanging out with.
These changes have a few key implications for marketers.
First, you will gain from fostering overlapping connections within your social networks. If you (like me) tend to update mostly on Twitter, you might want to start spending some time in Facebook too, and highlighting your connections there. This will help “place” you within a social context that will build your reputation and influence.
Second, you will need to be even more careful about what you share online, as there will be greater transparency about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with if you use the @mentions feature.
Third, you should get into Facebook and get your fan page and profile fully set up, so when people mention you and link to you, you’re putting your best profile forward.
And while you’re in there, please connect with me on Facebook!