Using the New “Pages to Watch” Function on Facebook

Pages to Watch Function selection box on Facebook. Are you using the new “Pages to Watch” function on FB? I just started using it this week and have added it into the box of several pages which I administer on Facebook.  I’m surprised to see very little about this new function on Pages, but I did find this post which identifies some of its features.

It has been rolling out to brands selectively since July  , but I only saw it appear in my pages this past week.

I am still exploring this function, but here’s what I see so far.

What I like about this function is that it’s a quick snapshot of activity by the “competition,” but only against one metric: number of fans. The second thing I like about this function is that it keeps the competition top of mind. If your measurements include regular benchmarks against the competition, this gives you a quick snapshot of who is growing fans and who is shrinking fans.

So far, though, its usefulness seems really limited.

On Pages to Watch, you don’t get anPages to Watch Selection box ything BUT the total number of fans added or eliminated from the page. Assuming you are a smart communicator who is measuring more than just fans, it doesn’t give insight into the engagement levels of your competition.

The second problem I see is that the statistics on Pages to Watch are not integrated into any other page data, so they might be dead end data.

The third issue I have is with its clunky functionality.  When adding pages into the search box, some pages which I wanted to add were blocked and others that were of no interest to my brands at all were highly ranked suggestions. It also forces you to add 5 pages, so if you only want to add three, you’re stuck. I added pages that I really don’t care to monitor just to get it up and running.

In true Facebook fashion, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Facebook intends to do with this function.  So go try it on your Company Pages. I would love to hear what you find out about how it works for your brand.

  • To be honest, I’d be interested in seeing how they do in a specific campaign. But I’d have to be tracking their pages to see an upsurge, which would prompt me to check. And…I’m too busy trying to stay on top of my own stuff. I like the idea of being aware of what competitors are doing and how it is building community, but with the advent of pay to play I feel this metric is too limited in scope and not really meaningful. It’s good to see where you stand and how others are doing, as well as what worked, but fan increase is just such a small inkling. So, in short, probably no harm but not much demonstrable good, either. I theorize this will be related, ultimately, to the fan rating system.

    • Fran Stephenson

      Great observations, Julie and much appreciated. It feels a little dead-end right now but I am sure Facebook will increase its functionality, but probably into the direction of paid advertising, unfortunately.