Facebook business pages are a surprisingly robust platform. They are designed to look, from the outside, as much like profile pages as possible. The added benefits are just icing on the cake, allowing you access to features both public and private. Need more analytics? Want to split test ads? Wish your posts would stay on the news feed a little longer? Check out some of these features.
1. Tabbed Content
In the past, Facebook’s business pages were all about the wall. A business page was a glorified user profile, with little to differentiate one page from the next. Now, you can customize much of what your users see with tabs. The default tab is the wall, and many businesses choose to focus their efforts there; after all, it’s where most user interaction and all your content posts end up. With tabbed layouts, you can move parts of your wall to other locations, such as a dedicated discussion section or an easy to access browser of the images you have uploaded. Make use of these tabs to engage users throughout your page.
2. Unpublished Posts
Known to some marketers as “dark posts,” the unpublished post is a particular type of post on your Facebook page. You have to use the Chrome extension Power Editor to create them, but they can be highly beneficial. Essentially, you create a post that is publicly visible to anyone who has the direct link. It isn’t published on your wall, however, so only those users who know about it can access it. This is ideal for creating landing pages – or posts – for various ad campaigns, app conversions and blog links. You can also create a specific post as a landing post for users who don’t already follow you, while simultaneously hiding the “like us now” content from users who already like you.
3. Facebook Page Insights
Page Insights is the Facebook equivalent of Google Analytics, for your Facebook page. It helps you monitor your follower counts, your user engagement and the exposure of your posts. It also helps you gather demographic data on the individuals who follow your page, so you know how to target future advertising. Page Insights help you analyze your existing traffic to find where the weak and strong points are in your current campaigns. Is a post not doing so hot? Insights lets you know. Is a post viral? Insights tells you who likes it the most.
4. Post Highlighting
When you make a post on your timeline, it shows up on your news feed in the order it was posted. Sometimes, however, you’d like to give that post a little extra oomph. You could pay to promote it – and perhaps you should – but there’s another way. Hovering over the post and clicking the drop-down gives you the added option of highlighting the post itself. This gives the post a bit more screen real estate and a better position on your page. Use this to promote specific posts about ongoing time-sensitive contests and deals, or important announcements that affect most of your users.
5. Automatic Translation
Facebook, through Bing, has integrated translation functionality. When the site detects a post that was made in a language other than your own, a small option appears to generate a quick machine translation. It’s rudimentary, but it can be useful to see what a language you don’t understand is saying on your page, if you have foreign visitors. It can also be useful for customer service opportunities, if a complaint comes through in a language you don’t know. Of course, the translation is still done by a machine so it’s possible it loses all relevance, but it’s generally enough to get the basic idea of the post. It’s one major flaw, really, is that it doesn’t always flag text properly. Some languages it has a hard time recognizing, an occasionally it will flag an English passage as non-English and offer to translate for you, with no valid results.
6. Shutterstock Ad Creation
Formerly, if you wanted a graphic to go along with your ad when you created it, you would need to upload that graphic yourself. Now, however, Facebook has partnered with the stock photo company Shutterstock. With a database of millions of graphics, you’re able to find the perfect picture to go along with your ad. What’s more, Shutterstock images are completely free to use with Facebook ads; the platform already paid for the license, leaving you free to use it.
Facebook has integrated hashtag functionality. Users familiar with Twitter will already know how to use such tags, putting a # symbol in front of keywords to link them automatically. Some Facebook users rebel against the concept, claiming it should be kept to Twitter. Others know that taking advantage of hashtags can put your content into the eyes of a wide audience full of people who may not follow your page. If you tag your post with the #cats tag, anyone interested in cats and browsing that particular tag feed will see your post, regardless of their presence in your existing network.very hashtag is an audience waiting to view your relevant content.
8. Mobile Pages Manager
Sometimes, when you’re out and about, you don’t have the chance to sit down, pull out a laptop and make changes to your Facebook page. You could call in to the office and have someone do the work there, or you can put it off. Or, with the Facebook Pages Manager app, you can manage your page directly from your smartphone or tablet. Facebook keeps this app up to date, adding in new functionality when similar functions are added to the PC dashboard. You can manage your page completely from a mobile device today.
9. Facebook Places
Facebook Places makes use of mobile GPS and check-ins to create something of a marriage between Google Places and Foursquare. Users, when they visit your business in person, are able to check in at that location. This publishes their presence in that location on their timeline, essentially giving you a boost to advertising for free. You can customize what sort of information appears on your Places notification, to further optimize promotion via existing customers.
10. Post Scheduling
As a business, you want to make sure your content is published at the optimal time to receive the best initial viewing as possible. Unfortunately, your schedule is such that you can’t always be around to publish those posts yourself. You could trust a social media manager to do it for you, or you could use the scheduled posts feature. Scheduled posts allows you to set a date and time for a particular post to appear. You can set it up to post on weekends, at odd hours throughout the day or any time. It’s a great feature for automation, too.
How much of Facebook’s robust platform did you not know about? Surprisingly, many businesses fail to take advantage of these features. Doing so puts you ahead of the game.
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