Just like the seasons, technology changes rapidly in today’s fast-paced world. Just like evolving technological devices, popular social media sites are also growing—adding new features while eliminating others. Facebook, in particular, has recently made several alterations to its “pages” in an effort to give webmasters more control over both the physical site and its analytical results.
Because Facebook is switching up its game plan, businesses will also need to change their strategy in order to stay effective. To assist with this process, HostLabs has highlighted some of the most major alterations to Facebook, and how you can use them to promote your site online.
Profile Image and Cover Photo
One of the most readily apparent changes Facebook has made is the addition of the cover photo, a large strip across the top meant to showcase your page. Although the cover picture is in addition to your profile image, the former is much larger and more likely to be eye-catching. The only catch: businesses aren’t allowed to have any calls to action in the cover photo—you’re not allowed to encourage people to “like” your page, or even provide any contact information such as a web address or phone number. Consequently, this requires more creativity in drawing attention to your business Facebook page without blatantly saying, “Come here and like us!”
Posts are Highlighted, Larger, and Pinned
Another thing Facebook is intent on changing is the way we share stories with others. In an effort to cut down actual text, Facebook is now making pictures and videos larger and more prominent on News Feeds. In addition to being eye-catching, putting a larger emphasis on visual media will help build a relationship with fans, as they can flip through your pictures or watch a posted video.
Should a company want to emphasize a specific post, it is possible to “highlight” the story so that it will span all the way across the Timeline, as opposed to staying in one spot. Also, Facebook has made it possible to pin a story to the top of your Timeline for up to a week—ultimately increasing the likelihood that your fans will see it.
Sharing Company Milestones
Facebook’s new feature that allows companies to share big events in the life of your brand or company is another way to make the Timeline on your business page more interesting and interactive. Any time something exciting or prominent happens, share your good fortune with your fans through Facebook Milestones. Not only will it post to the News Feeds of your fans, but it will also help focus the Timeline on just your company’s story and nothing else. Because posts from fans are now on a separate page, it’s likely that visitors will be spending more time on your Timeline than anywhere else. Simply put, the more visually stimulating and interactive you can make your Timeline, the more successful it will be.
Currently, only a few select companies have access to Facebook Offers, an application comparable to sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon. Yet it’s only a matter of time before the doors are opened to the public, making Facebook Offers like Facebook Deal on steroids.
Facebook Offers are sent through the News Feeds of your fans, increasing its visibility. Additionally, it’s pretty easy to share the Offer, whether it’s through the post itself or after the Offer is claimed. Because of this Facebook has made it easier to spread the word about a good deal or discount that is being offered, and can ultimately assist in increasing traffic to the page. This could be a real help to small businesses, who could offer things such as a “free webinar” or “free fifteen-minute consultation.” And if a time-limit is placed on the Offer, it will encourage people to act quickly rather than procrastinate and potentially forget.
Facebook Insights and Administrative Panel
Another way the Timeline has changed is with the location of the Insights, a tool that tells a site administrator of new notifications and gives them access to the “back-end” controls of a Facebook page. This administrative control provides an idea of how many people are visiting a Facebook page, where they’re from and what type of person they are, which can be valuable information for a business attempting to reach a specific market. Basic information from Facebook Insights is now also available publicly, making it possible to keep an eye on your competitors as well!
Facebook Reach Generator
For those who use (or are interested in) paid Facebook advertising, rest assured that pay-per-click marketing on this social media site hasn’t been forgotten. The newly announced Facebook Reach Generator is crafted to reach more fans than the News Feed can. According to Facebook’s director of global business marketing, Mike Hoefflinger, pages currently only reach about 16 percent of their audience every week with posts. By contrast, the Facebook Reach Generator ads can reach 50 percent of fans weekly and 75 percent monthly.
In addition to being streamed into mobile and news feeds, Facebook Reach Generator ads will always “be on,” as they’re placed on the right side of a business page helping to further the connection between an audience and a webmaster.
With so many changes being made, it could seem like advertising on Facebook (and other social media sites) is becoming more challenging. In order to keep up, devote a few minutes to reading Facebook Tutorial Guides available on the web or contact their Ads and Business Solutions page for additional help. This way, you’ll not only learn how to efficiently use Facebook’s new features, but you’ll know exactly how to tailor them to best suit your business.