Facebook Subscribe – What that could mean for brands?

On Wednesday, Sept 14th 2011 Facebook launched the Subscribe button to allow people to simply subscribe to other people’s posts without having to friend them. So that got me thinking how can this affect Facebook pages for brands. Granted, the subscribe button is being promoted by Facebook that it is a better way to engage for the more public figures such as journalists and artists and that brands should continue with Facebook pages. Facebook pages give brands a lot more control to market and connect with their fans especially with conversation, content and promotions.

So how can Subscribe option, if and when rolled out to pages help? In my opinion, I think if Facebook will have the capability to allow fans to receive certain feeds from the brands then it allows for better segmenting. As you can see in the image below that when you subscribe to person’s feed, you can select what you would like to see and how often. For people, the options include Life Events, Status Updates, Photos/Videos and Games while for frequency one can choose from All Updates, Most Updates and Only Important. So, if similar categories of choices could be made available for brands then segmenting can become easier. After all, that is the first step in marketing program, segmentation followed by targeting and then positioning. This would refine the process on Facebook and possibly make it more defined.

For instance, if the majority of the fans seems to subscribe to promotions from the brand then it gives a much better understanding of what the fans expect. While one can ascertain the level of engagement or interaction to some extent using the insights feature on the Facebook page, the subscribe feature can add to this.

Consider this, if Facebook allows the brand pages to send targeted messages to only those fans that have self-selected to receiving promotions and offers then the brands can actually be more relevant, timely and personalize content to these specific fans. There is no need to know the identity of any fans, just their opt-in choice in their subscription feed. And that is exactly what makes the fans respond. The greater the affinity and interaction by the fans with the relevant news from brands the better the posts rank in the news feed. It is part of the Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm.

I am really excited and do hope that would be the case of the new subscribe feature for brand pages. What do you think?

Read more on subscribe feature on Mashable.