The fact that Facebook is constantly changing often seems to be a curse, particularly if you are just on Facebook for personal use. However, for businesses it is usually a blessing in disguise, because many of those changes offer more ways to enhance your business page.
It can be a challenge to keep up with these tools, because of the variety, and the fact that many of them show up unheralded.
So I am putting together a short overview of some of the tools and best practices. Some of these have been around for a couple of years, and a few were just recently added. I am not going to try to cover all of them, but this should give you a good start on what is available.
It really is time to take your Facebook page seriously, because your clients and Facebook definitely are. Gone are the days when businesses and not-for-profits can expect to reach their followers' newsfeeds with an occasional post, or a fun quote.
Remember, mobile is ever-growing, and most of your customers are doing a great deal of their decision making on their smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. Facebook is designing their various tools to help reach mobile devices.
Facebook Page Templates.
This is fairly new it allows for more control over how your page is organized. Its not really fancy yet, which I am sure will change, but it allows you to prioritize your tabs in order of what you consider important.
Just about everyone is familiar with a post, a photo, or a photo album, but many have not explored the options for: slideshow, carousel, or canvas (for mobile).
The reach of a Facebook post is now contingent on not only being visually attractive, but leading to some type of worthwhile content. Businesses and not-for-profits have to seek a balance between promotion, images, and solid, useful, content.
It is also contingent on consistent posting, and using your insights to learn audience behavior, and hit your key audience times.
Nor can you get away from Facebook Ads. While they do not require a large commitment of money Facebook does look more favorably on clients that pay for ads.
Facebook Live is a currently a mobile tool, but offers many ways to reach your followers and clients.
Video is powerful on all of the social media, and Facebook is particularly fond of video that is embedded on their own pages. This can be Facebook Live, a slide show video, or something that has been uploaded.
Facebook Live also allows for real time interaction with clients and followers.
This is for businesses with products, and gives you the opportunity to sell from your business page. It also offers the opportunity to focus your adds on your product catalog.
People are fairly familiar with this, but it also is developing and offering new insights into your followers and customers.
This offers you a great deal of control over your posts and videos. The categories are:
Currently this is used mainly for people who are managing multiple accounts. However, more functions require using business manager.
Facebook Ads Manager
This is part of your Business Manager, but it can be used separately. It allows for better organization, and better tracking, of your ads. This, plus the range of ads types, gives you greater flexibility than a boost would have.
Types of Facebook Ads
As other aspects of the business pages on Facebook expand so do their ads. They not only offer you a variety of ways to focus your ads and target audience, but they offer a variety of ways to make the ads very attractive visually.
You also have the ability to run your ad on Instagram, and to have your ads reach beyond just Facebook. Right now this depends on the type of ad, and in the case of video, its length.
I know that all of the options can seem overwhelming. However, Facebook does offer good training in their Business Resources.
As with all projects it is always best to define your objective, and set up a plan on how to reach that objective. Ask yourself, "Who am I trying to reach?" "Where are they located?" "What do they like?" "How old are they?"
If you take your Facebook marketing in small steps, and familiarize yourself with the tools that best meet your needs, then you will be able to better reach your clients.
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.