Are You Up To Speed On The Recent Facebook Page Updates?

These aren’t exactly breaking news, but if you’re not a social media community manager responsible for multiple Facebook business pages, two recent changesFacebook-Page-On-Mac may have slid under your radar.

 

Even though I post to my page daily, I hadn’t noticed them until about a week ago. I figure a few more of you solopreneurs and small business owners out there —and others you know—might have skipped over them, too.

 

Post Attribution Feature For Facebook Business Pages

Previously, Facebook enabled you to use pages as your personal self or as a page that you manage. When you chose one or the other, anything you did on that page—post an update, like, or comment—was done as whatever entity you were using the page as. Now Facebook has given us more flexibility by adding the capability to choose on a post-by-post basis. On each post, you get a drop-down box where you can choose from your personal self or one of the pages you manage.

Facebook Page Post Attribution Feature

You can read Facebook’s explanation here, but I think you’ll find these details helpful as well:

  • You need to be using Facebook via your personal account, not logged in as your page, to see the post attribution option.
  • The Facebook post attribution option is available on the pages you manage. You will see the option on posts when you’re visiting your page AND when you see your page’s posts in your newsfeed.
  • By default, your first choice on the attribution menu will be the page you’re on or—in the case of the newsfeed—the page that made the post.

This change will help companies infuse the personal touch on their business pages by making it more convenient for page admins to facilitate conversations and interact with others person to person instead of logo to person.

 

New Location for Facebook Schedule Feature

Although not a new feature, the scheduling option has moved. You could previously find the associated clock icon at the bottom left when creating a new post, but now it is somewhat hidden. You’ll still find it at the bottom of the post you’re crafting, but you’ll need to first select the up/down arrows directly to the left of the “Post” button. As always has been the case, you can only schedule a post when you’re directly on your Facebook page. You cannot schedule a post when posting from your news feed.

Facebook-schedule-feature-new-placement

At the time that I’m writing this blog post, Facebook’s Help Center hasn’t yet updated their instructions for scheduling posts. According to what I found on social media master Mari Smith’s page, Facebook is likely testing the new scheduling location on some, but not all, pages. Do you see it on yours?

 

New Save Draft Option

At the time of this post, this feature hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet, but some page admins can now save draft posts. Along with the scheduling option, it’s located via the Post button dropdown. Thank goodness. Now you don’t have to completely abort a new post if you get interrupted or need to leave for a meeting before you’ve finished it.

 

What Do You Think Of The Recent Facebook Page Changes?

If you’ve been using the new post attribution feature, I’d love to hear about your experience with it so far. Do you see it helping you personalize interactions and make your page more approachable?

What do you think of the new location for scheduling your posts? A bit too hidden or intuitive enough that it really doesn’t make a difference?

And what about the new “Save Draft” feature? Please share your thoughts on that one. Time and hassle saver or nice, but not really necessary?

“If Only Facebook Would…” Rantings and Rational Thought From a Facebook Page Owner

I admit it. I suffer from some degree of “entitlement syndrome” where my business Facebook page is concerned.

“How dare they not share all of my posts with my page fans?”

“How dare they decide what posts are important to me and which are not?”

“How dare they expect me to pay if I want my posts to get more exposure?”

Like a lot of other business page owners that I know, I’m frustrated. Whenever Facebook announces a new change, we see our reach take a nose dive and that leads to a lower level of engagement. It makes me aggravated, particularly because I’m posting the type of content that I know my audience enjoys and that has always lead to healthy interaction and conversation on my page.

It’s not fair. Or is it?

Reality Check
Facebook is free.

OK, not free in terms of time and energy, but free monetarily unless you opt to pay for ads, sponsored stories or to promote posts (that last one is what’s grating on most of us!).

Realistic Expectations
Do I…do you…have the right to complain about a platform that isn’t charging us a nickel to use it for the benefit of our businesses? Yes, it sucks that we’re not getting as much bang for our theoretical buck than before, but we’re still getting that watered-down bang for free. After all, Facebook isn’t a not-for-profit human services organization. It’s a business. As a business, shouldn’t we expect their folks to want to make some money off of their hard work, smarts and sweat?

Psychology
Logically, I think, “Yes.” Still, I find myself illogically feeling cheated. And I think I know why.

It almost seems like Facebook is holding our posts for ransom. If we pay up, they’ll let our fans (who presumably want to engage with us) see our posts again.

As both a fan of other pages and as a page owner, I think the concept of “promoted posts” is ridiculous. As a fan, I want to see what the pages I follow are sharing. That’s why I liked their pages. If pages post far too frequently and clutter my news feed or if they don’t post anything worthwhile, I want to make the decision about whether or not to hide their updates or unlike them. I’d rather Facebook not be the gate-keeper. And as a page owner, I don’t anticipate ever doling out the dough to promote a post.

On the Other Hand
But that’s not to say I would completely deny Facebook its right to monetization. What if Facebook would do like LinkedIn, Evernote, Buffer and Hootsuite do? Give page owners two options: one free, one paid.

We could choose a free “Basic” membership that throttles post reach in the manner it does now, or select a paid “Premium” membership that presents all of our updates in our fans’ news feeds. I would be far more open to paying for a Premium Facebook membership than I am to promoting posts.

As for price point, Facebook could conceivably do quite well if just 5% (1,850,000) of its 37 million pages would pay $4.99 per month for a Premium membership. I’d think an annual take of $110,778,000 is worthy of consideration. And of course they’d still have the ads and sponsored stories revenue rolling in…and they could continue offering the option of promoted posts to Basic page owners.

I’d pay $4.99 per month (Don’t tell Facebook, but I’d pay even more.) to know that I have the capability of delivering consistent content to my fans on my terms and theirs. No more guesswork. The burden of engaging fans and keeping them interested would wholly be on me – not on an algorithm.

Simple. Think it could work?

Time for your thoughts! As a page owner, would you be receptive to a premium membership type of offering if Facebook would extend it to us? 

 

Getting the Most from a Fan Page Follow Fest

I was skeptical at first when I commented on Mari Smith’s Facebook Fan Page Friday post last Friday morning.

“Please add your fan page URL or @ tag on this post or on my wall. It’s a great way to discover new fan pages, make new friends, and get new fans.”

I had been down that road before on LinkedIn group discussions, chamber of commerce Facebook pages and other social spaces that encouraged a mass “follow fest” – only to find lack of reciprocal participation. Disheartening most definitely. And those past experiences almost stopped me from making the effort on Mari’s page.

Not sure why I decided to do it anyway, but I’m so very glad I did for my Facebook page and two others that I assist with.

The results in fan growth:

  • My page – a 12% increase
  • Client A’s page – a 38% increase
  • Client B’s page – a 22% increase

Why such favorable outcomes when past efforts didn’t provide this level of return? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the mind set of Mari Smith’s community of fans. She has built a following that believes in reciprocating – and knows the value in it!

Of course, it’s true that number of fans doesn’t always equate to quality engagement and conversions, but I believe this Fan Page Friday exercise was absolutely the right thing to do and well worth the time and energy expended for these reasons:

  • My two clients’ pages were just ramping up and had few followers. They needed a “shot in the arm” to build their numbers so their posts are more likely to get some air time and interaction. Maybe not all the new likes are in their target markets, but fan count and engagement definitely adds appeal and builds momentum. It certainly won’t hurt their pages to have a higher fan count – and judging from what I’ve seen so far from the new likes that came from Mari’s community, my clients’ pages will experience more ongoing likes, comments and shares on their posts.
  • In my case, virtually all businesses are either potential clients or sources of referrals.

I’m not sure how often Mari offers the opportunity to promote your business on her page, but I highly recommend that you “Like” her page and keep your eyes open for the next time she does. When the door opens again, keep these things in mind as you embrace the chance to expand your reach:

  • Over a thousand people commented on Mari’s posts that day – she actually did two identical posts, probably to keep the comment stream more manageable. Therefore it’s quite impossible to show love to every worthy page who participated. Take about a half hour to scan the thread to find and like business Facebook pages that fit one of these scenarios:
    • They might be potential clients.
    • They might be a good source of referrals.
    • They offer services that are complementary to yours.
    • They’re local.
    • You find them interesting.
  • If you manage more than one Facebook page, don’t undertake this exercise for more than two pages at a time. I had to step lively to keep up with three, and I’m so very happy I didn’t participate with all the pages I administrate. Just two would have been ideal.
  • When liking a page, do so when logged in as your Facebook page and also as your own personal self. Here’s why…
    • Business pages’ fan counts don’t increase when other business pages like them – only when unique people do.
    • You want to gain exposure for your business page, so make it easy for other page owners to discover and like your page in return. Logging in as your page to like them and when commenting on their posts makes your page known to them and their followers.
  • Write a note on the pages’ timelines that you’ve just followed to make them aware of your like and to introduce yourself, your business and the type of content you share regularly. With likes coming in left and right during an event like Mari Smith’s, it’s challenging to keep up with new followers. Your introduction will ensure you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  • Reciprocate! Make the effort to like the pages that have proactively followed your page, and reply to comments that they made on your timeline. Getting off on the right foot by building goodwill will lay the foundation for continued interaction.

The incremental value gleaned from the several hours I had spent liking, reciprocating likes, and posting introductions and gratitude remains to be seen, but I’m encouraged. For me, it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time…for you, my hope is that you’ll put your senses on alert to purposely take advantage of the next opportunity to grow your network when Mari gives the green light!

Your turn! What success – or lack of – have you had with Facebook page fan posts that facilitate page likes? What growth have you experienced in fan counts and ongoing engagements?

 

2 Small Things That Can Make a Big Difference For Your Facebook Business Page


Like

There’s no shortage of blog posts with lists of do’s and don’ts for using social media in business marketing. While the “right” approach ultimately comes down to what works best with your audience, there are two things everyone with a Facebook business page should be doing:

1. Like other Facebook business pages – and be using Facebook as your business page when you click “Like”. Sure, it’s OK to like other pages via your personal Facebook account, but by liking under the identity of your business page, you’ll increase the visibility of your business. So get in there and start liking the pages of businesses in your target market, local businesses’ pages, those of businesses offering services & products complementary to yours, AND your competitors’ pages.

2. Like, comment and share posts on other business pages while using Facebook as your business page. Every time you do, you’re making your business known to an extended audience that you otherwise might not have reached. The more your business page interacts on other pages – in a meaningful way – the more exposure and credibility you give to your page and your business.

So, no long list. Just two simple tips that can give your Facebook page more mileage and drive interest in your business.

How do you get your Facebook page on the radar?

Some related reads:

9 Hot Tips for Small Business Marketing on Facebook via Mashable

8 Small Business Social Media Tips from the Pros via Social Media Examiner


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