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Facebook Pages for Business | Changes Are Coming

I have posted several times on my Facebook Page that changes are coming to the format of the Facebook Business Page.  Let’s talk about what some of those changes are and how they might impact you.

fbbizpage

 

As evidenced on the Facebook for business page there are some changes coming.   Facebook is going for a more streamlined look and improved analytics (insights).   They are using feedback that was provided to them by page admins and implementing them with a new cleaner looking page design.  So what does that mean to you?

Facebook Page Improvements in 2014

1.  Improved Insights-Hopefully you are using insights.  If you’re not using them then shame on you.   Facebook will include improved insights and easier access to them from the page.   To the right of your cover photo to the insights will be shown.  They will include the number of ads running, page likes, post reach and notifications for the current week.

Clicking on the insight of interest will bring you to a page displaying more information to the related insight.  The improvements to insights will prove to be very useful in developing your brand on Facebook.

2. Streamlined Posts-Your posts will now be single column, making it easier for page followers to view your posts.  I don’t know about you but I always found the current layout to be a little annoying.  It was sometimes hard for the laymen Facebook user to tell which posts were the most recent.  The new look is much cleaner and easier to navigate.

3.  Left Side Info-The left column will include business information including a map, your hours of operation, contact information and photos/videos.  Again this makes it much easier for followers of your page to navigate to more information about your company.  Easy access to videos is a nice addition if you are including videos as part of your digital marketing plan (and you should be).

4.  Admin Links-Links to Activity, Insights and Settings are placed on the top left of the page now.  It’s a little cleaner as well since there is not as much noise getting in the way of the links that may be most important to Page Admins.   In addition, on the top right there will be a link to build audience will bring you to ads manager.  Advertising campaigns have also been improved but we will discuss that at a later date.

5.  Pages to Watch-One really cool addition to the new Facebook Pages for Business  is the Pages to Watch feature.  Using Pages to Watch you can select pages similar to your business page for the purpose of comparing their results to yours.  I have always been of the mindset that it is important to know what your competitors are doing.  This feature makes it very easy to keep up with the Jones.

Using the overview tab of the insights page you will see key insights of how the Pages to Watch are performing.  You will also have a posts tab which will show you the past week’s most engaging posts for the Pages your watching.  Not only does that help you keep up to date with your competition (or industry leaders) but it also may help you develop your own marketing plan further.

The addition of Pages to Watch is probably what I look forward to most.  Having insights on other pages performance, as well as improved insights on your own pages performance should go a long way to maximizing your reach.

6.  Custom Tabs & Apps-They’re going away…sort of.  The tabs that we have grown accustomed to will no longer be customizable.  In fact Facebook will only include Timeline, About, Photos, Videos and More.  They will follow the standard Facebook design of a white background with Black/Blue text.

However, Facebook will allow you to add apps to your page.  They will be displayed in the left column where your business information is.  There is not a lot of information on how this will work with 3rd party providers yet but Facebook did say at launch you will not be able to change the order.   Changing the order of the Apps is planned for release later.

When will I see the changes?

The short answer is I don’t know.  Facebook is rolling the changes out little by little.  Some pages have already converted to the new format while others are still waiting.  It’s anyone’s guess at this point.  I personally manage 7 pages and none of them have changed to the new layout yet.

All you can do is sit and wait in anticipation.  In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

What do you think of the changes to the Facebook Pages for Business?  Do you have questions?  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Facebook Business Page Tips-Part 1-Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Facebook Business Page

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a business owner.  He stated that he “despises” social media, especially Facebook.  His words exactly were “I don’t want to use Facebook to sell”.  I explained to him that Facebook and other Social Platforms should not be used for selling as a primary objective.

You should be using social media for building relationships and communities.  This allows your audience to get to know you, and eventually trust you if you are using social media correctly.

On this post I will give a 8 pointers on how you should set up your business page.   All too often I see a business set up a personal Facebook account to use as a business.  With a personal account their are limitations including the number of “Friends” you can have.  I have also seen many Facebook pages set up only to sit idle with no profile, information, pictures or posts.  While it might seem easy to some, others will find setting up a Facebook Business page…and managing it, a daunting task.

In the coming weeks we will discuss engagement, management and etiquette.

Setting up your Facebook Business Page

growth1.  Include all pertinent information in the about section

This seems like a no-brainer but I am constantly astonished at the number of Facebook pages that do not have a completed about section.  The about section should include your website, phone number, operating hours,  street address, parking and any other relevant information.

2.  Custom URL

Once your page has 30 followers Facebook allows you to customize your URL.  Instead of a URL that looks like facebook.com/123456778001343 you can change it to facebook.com/scottgombarllc.   Obviously the last option is much easier to remember and looks better on business cards and other collateral.

Getting those 30 followers is important for analytic analysis as well.  Facebook will open up their insights to you once you reach this milestone.  Using insights gives you more information about what is and isn’t working and is extremely important in the growth of your Facebook Page and Inbound Marketing Program.

3.  Custom Cover Photo

Your page needs a personality and that starts with a cover photo.  A cover photo should be unique and draw attention.  You should also add a description of your cover photo including hash tags and a location if applicable.

The cover photo can be anything really.  You could have pictures of the products or services you offer, the company name or what it is you do.  Be careful to not include contact info or promotional offers as this is a violation of the Facebook terms of service.

4.  Custom Profile Image

If applicable the profile image should be that of the person who owns or runs the business.  This gives the page a little more of a personal feel to it.  Followers of the page, and people in general are more at ease working with a person rather than a logo or corporation.

However this is not always applicable.  In the event that a person’s head-shot will not work then a corporate logo is the next best thing.

5.  Tabs

Tabs almost always seem to get ignored and I am not sure why.  Tabs are like a gateway into the rest of your business.  You can create tabs that link to other social profiles, an email sign-up, contests or even other webpages.

Tabs should also have custom images to match your company’s branding.  For example on my page the tabs have the same color scheme (for the most part) as my branding.   This gives you a more professional image on Facebook.

Using my page as a reference, I have tabs to other social media profiles, a tab to sign up for my email list, a tab featuring a contest I am running at the moment and a tab to explain what I do in a little more detail.  If you are not taking advantage of the tabs you are missing out on a lot of potential interaction, and conversions.

6.  Like Other Pages

This is overlooked even more than the tabs.  Facebook allows you to like other pages from your page.  This has obvious benefits including the organic growth of your own following.

Besides the potential growth of your own following, you can also look for potential clients this way.  Using Facebook’s Open Graph you can search for and find other businesses and entrepreneurs who have pages and may be in the market for your product or service.   It also gives you the added advantage of getting to know potential clients, what they do, how they operate and where they are located.

Facebook does not allow pages to follow personal profiles.   This could lead to businesses potentially spamming people, and Facebook would rather you use their advertising platform to develop your following.

7.  Invite Your Friends

Facebook does allow you to invite any of your friends from your personal page.  In fact you don’t even have to manage a page to do this.  Once you visit a Facebook Page there is an option to invite any one or all of your friends to like that page.  This is how you will want to begin developing your following.  Inviting your friends may not seem advantageous to growing your business since they likely already know what you do but in doing so you now potentially reach others who are not friends with you or following your page…every-time you post.

6 Degrees of Separation on Facebook

8.  Use Facebook Ads

Facebook AdsFacebook has an advertising system that allows you to advertise your page or boost a post.  What’s nice about Facebook Ads is they allow you to be very specific about who you want to target.  You can base your target on Geography, Interests, Age and even Gender.  I would suggest using this system once you have invited friends, and even encouraged friends to invite others.

I will write a follow up post to Facebook Ads at a later date.

 

Get On Facebook and Get Started!

Next week I will post more on audience engagement so make sure you come back.  This should keep you busy enough for a day or 2.

Need help getting started on Facebook?  I would love to help you out!   Just click here to contact me or call 203.806.0736