I’ve written before about several areas where Facebook’s Pages feature falls short of its potential value to marketers because of missing or limited features. Among the most egregious of these “fails” was the lack of any equivalent of Twitter’s retweet, which automatically gives an attribution back to the source of the content being shared. Until now.
Last Friday Facebook rolled out a new feature that by default includes a link back to the original poster of shared items.
The link appears as “via [Facebook name of original poster]” (as in “via Mashable” in illustration above). The link may be removed by the sharer using the “Remove” link next to the share via information. When posted with the “via” left in place, the name of the original poster becomes a clickable link back to that poster’s profile or Page. For now share via works only with posted items (such as web page links, photos, videos, etc.), not with status updates.
This new feature greatly magnifies the value of posting media and web page links if you are using Facebook Pages to market your company or service. Your fans who share that material are no longer “stealing” it (even though that was almost always unintentional in the past). When their friends see the shared item in their newsfeed, if it grabs their interest they can now go directly back to you to get more of the same.