Look At All These Things Facebook Is Doing For Your Page

    July 24, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Now that Facebook is a public company, it’s more focused on businesses than ever before. Facebook has been a tremendous tool for businesses for years (some businesses more than others), but the company is doing more with Facebook ads and Facebook Pages than any other time I can remember.

Which Facebook Page feature do you find the most effective for marketing? Customer engagement? Conversions? Let us know in the comments.

Last week, we took an in-depth look at whether or not Facebook ads are worth the money. Today, we’re going to focus on all of the things Facebook is doing for Facebook Pages, which are business’ free advertising and engagement vehicles. A recent study found marketers agreeing that Facebook is vital, but Facebook ads are not. That means having a solid Facebook Page, and placing a great deal of your company’s efforts on that.

Reaching users with the Facebook page, however, isn’t as easy as it used to be. Facebook did recently start showing you the percentage of your fans any given post reaches, at least. If you want to reach more, you can pay for it. Of course, your Page posts show ads for other businesses, and Facebook may even be increasing the number of ads it shows on these in some cases. They also started rotating ads for users that stay on pages for a long enough amount of time.

There has been a lot going on in the world of Facebook Pages, not only since the IPO, but this month alone. On July 10, Facebook announced that Page admins are able to change their vanity URLs (one-time only).

Facebook added location tagging for page admins so they can let fans know where they’re posting from:

Location tagging

Facebook also began rolling out the Timeline format for Pages on mobile devices. Many businesses found this layout nice for providing interesting experiences for their companies, and given that more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the web (and Facebook), this should help get users more engaged with businesses who take advantage of the Timeline in creative ways.

More good news for businesses heavily using Facebook Pages as their primary social tools: Facebook is promoting interaction with Pages that users’ friends like. Some users aren’t very happy with this feature, but it does mean free promotion for the Pages have content appearing in people’s news feeds.

Facebook promotes page content

As recent as Monday night, Facebook made an announcement about things it is doing to make it easier to market Pages.

For one, they’ve added a new way to schedule Page posts, with the Pages Graph API. You can schedule posts to be published in as little as 10 minutes or as much as 6 months in advance. Posts can be deleted ahead of time, of course (as long as it’s more than three minutes ahead of time).

There’s another new feature called Unpublished Page Posts. These are posts that don’t appear on your actual Timeline.

“Admins frequently want to create Page posts that they can sponsor,” explains Facebook’s Omid Saadati. “However, these Page posts usually contain information that are relevant to only a segment of the Pages’s audience, e.g., 50% off all women shoes in all the bay area stores. Moreover, these stories don’t contain information that is relevant to the Page’s identity and story, which is characteristic of the content that should be on the Page’s timeline.”

The posts don’t appear on the Timeline, but they appear on the right hand side column, and not on the news feed. These can also be created using the Graph API.

Finally, Facebook has given admins the ability to extend permissions.

“Many Page admins use third party tools for Page content creation, moderation, engagement, or ad creation,” explains Saadati. “These use cases require a Page admin to grant permissions for managing the Page to a third party app. However, usually such an app doesn’t require full admin permissions.”

“For example, imagine an ads management platform that creates page posts sponsored stories and monitors Pages’ insights,” he continues. “Such an app requires permissions for managing ads for the page and reading the page’s insights, but it doesn’t need permissions for creating page posts and monitoring posts’ comments. The Page admin can add the admin of the ads platform as a Page admin with Ads Creator permission. Then, the Page’s access token that the ads management platform receives, will be granted with only managing ads and reading insights permissions for the page.”

Beyond all of this, Facebook has even more going on behind the scenes that could mean big things for Page owners. The company is currently testing a “Subscribe” button for Pages.

Facebook launched the Subscribe button for users last year. This enabled users to get updates from people without being their actual friends. It only applied to public posts, of course. But with Pages, posts are public, so why would you need this? Isn’t “liking” a Page enough? Not anymore. Users are not seeing all of the content from all of the pages they like, just like they’re not seeing all the posts from all of their friends. A subscribe button could mean that users will actually see more of your Page’s posts. Maybe. With the regular subscribe button, users can choose to receive all posts, most posts or just important posts (as determined by Facebook, of course).

According to Facebook, however, the purpose of the Subscribe button (which is only being tested with a small number of users at this point), is so people can subscribe to a page’s posts without actually “liking” them. Presumably, users could do both though. In theory, if I liked a brand – Radiohead, for example – and I wanted to make sure I saw everything they posted, I could like them, and subscribe to them, selecting the “all updates” option.

All of these Page features are just a handful of the things Facebook is doing to make itself more valuable to businesses. It’s looking like Facebook is going to get more useful for direct e-commerce as well. Beyond the company’s banking and payments aspirations, rumor has it that Facebook may soon be offering businesses a “want” button, which would seem right at home next to a “like” button on product pages, providing more free marketing for businesses.

Facebook is also said to be having talks with Walmart, and it’s yet to be seen what might come of that.

Do you consider Facebook to be a vital tool for running a business? Do you like the changes they’re making? Which ones do you think benefit businesses the most? Which won’t work? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  • http://www.isotrade-jereb.com miro

    I would not put all the horses in this one race on facebook. It can be a good tool as many others. INTERNET we take as daily bread without thinking of so many weak points set by technology from user upward.
    Not to mention the fragile situation in the world politics. So, its nice while is here and use it…BUT dont take it for granted. NOTHINH IS FOR EVER.

  • Joons

    Basically it’s still useless for business as a whole – people do not go to FB to search for anything and if they think people are really swayed when their friends like a product I think they’re smoking their kool-aid.
    FB trying to take on PayPal or others in payment processing – no way – their security still sucks and I can’t see anyone putting their faith in them based on their track record
    They have a huge way to go before I’d advertise with them

  • http://www.outtatheboxmarketing.com Cindy

    Sad to say that Facebook is changing for the worse. More and more users are getting frustrated, because they do not know how to use it properly. Facebook keeps adding more “great features” for pages, but the users do not know how to actually participate properly.

    Many don’t even know the difference between a news feed & timeline.

    How does Facebook anticipate users to actually learn about all these changes? The majority are not excited about social media.

    Just a thought!

  • Charles Buckthorn

    Gag me with a spoon.

    I was wondering why the frequency that I check my Facebook home page went from hourly to daily to weekly to monthly to every six weekly.

    Rots of ruck, Zuck

  • http://www.snakeman.com.au Snakeman

    We have facebook, like every other major business, but frankly its a pain in the arse.
    It is not very resistant to trolls and hacking by unethical business competitors and frankly a world without facebook would be better!

  • Shay

    Facebook is such as waste of time. Its like trying to sell someone a car at a baseball game.

    • http://www.thestudiocenter.com Frank Casanova

      Bad example… I see lots of car ads at baseball games…in the program, on the video screen. The car people are paying real money for this. They don’t do it if they were not getting some return. You gotta get some training on “how” to use FB to your advantage.

  • http://www.blogsonblogger.com/ Blogger Blogs Directory

    Thanks for letting us know about this latest updates.
    Its great having schedule post on facebook pages especially for someone like me who do have weekend holidays.

  • http://www.netprofitmarketing.com jared

    I think with these updates it will help page owners better connect with users.

  • http://www.thestudiocenter.com Frank Casanova

    Facebook “Business” Page is becoming as important as an actual website. Those that don’t like it, usually don’t know how to utilize it to their advantage. You don’t treat it like your personal social page. Big mistake. But then, I’m happy those that don’t understand are fading away… Less competition.

  • http://www.website-consultancy.com/ Website Consultancy

    The final line: ‘Facebook is also said to be having talks with Walmart’
    About sums up the whole Facebook approach, they’ve got your details now they’re going to exploit them.

  • http://www.tipsinablog.com Danny

    I am sure FaceBook has some uses for a Business.

    I have noticed quite a few website/businesses building a large presence with FaceBook, which they then can lead people to their sites with a few sales pitches, or include some sales pitches in posts they may have linked to.

    Though, to be honest, I thought LinkedIn was considered to a far more ” Business orientated(focused) set up!

  • http://www.bestmoneyonlines.com toma

    Some really superb posts on this internet site , thanks for contribution.