By Tamsin Fox-Davies
Have you noticed that there have been recent changes made to Facebook that make it even easier for you to connect with your customers? It’s not just a way to check in on what old school friends are up to after all, but a valuable business tool, too.
Whether you’ve spotted any of the new changes or not, you could be wondering how to make the most of them for your small business
I’ve outlined what I think are the top four changes that can help small businesses manage their Facebook presence better, and help you get closer to your next customer.
1. Assign different roles to admins of your business’s Facebook Page
This is a fantastic update that will help you not only spread the load but give small business owners peace of mind that the right person has access to the right functionality to prevent any social media slip-ups. It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s not really. As with any other function of your business, certain tasks are more appropriate to some than to others. As social media platforms like Facebook gear up to serve the needs of businesses, allowing them to give different roles to users on their business profiles is key – and a great example of how Facebook is maturing as a marketing tool.
‘Doing’ social media used to be in the hands of one or two people within the business. These new Facebook admin roles mirror the different roles within in-house marketing departments and agencies: content, analytics, acquisition & advertising, and customer care. So now you can assign admins and the relevant access rights for different roles, including manager, content creator, moderator and advertiser. This makes Facebook a more practical multi-channel tool: although it is a single platform, it can be used for a variety of marketing and business objectives.
2. A bit quick to hit publish? Now you can edit comments after they’ve been submitted
Ever read something three times and then only after hitting publish and scanning it one last time does a glaring spelling error jump out at you? Well now, with the recently introduced ‘comment edit’ feature, you can go back and edit comments whenever you like without needing to delete comments or disrupt the conversation. Keep in mind that a comment that has been updated will be marked as ‘Edited’ next to the time stamp of the comment. Visitors to the page will still be able to view the entire conversation by clicking on the ‘Edited’ link, which will display that comment’s full ‘Edit History.’
I should point out that at the moment, this functionality applies only to comments on posts and not status updates. So it’s best to still take a moment or two to double check your status updates before publishing those.
3. In-app following – for more content, more choice
To beef up the amount of activity in users’ news feeds, Facebook has introduced ‘in-app following’ into the apps available on the site. This means users can now choose to follow any authors or contributors of specific apps and get content related to the app direct in their news feeds. This is different from Facebook’s ‘Subscribe’ functionality because you will only receive updates for that user’s activity within that particular app – not all his or her public updates.
With this update, Facebook is giving users more ways to curate the content they receive from various people. Facebook fans and users can now opt-in only to certain content from specific users, much like you can choose to follow only specific boards on Pinterest. Remember that delivering interesting and useful content is even more important now that users have greater control over what content they receive and view.
4. Up the visual content with the latest Instagram update
Visual content has always been a vital part of a business’s Facebook Page, but now it’s more important than ever. Images capture peoples’ hearts, minds and attention and now, with deeper integration with Instagram, it’s easier than ever before to include visual content on your Facebook Page. Not to mention that Facebook posts that include photos get several times the engagement that text-only posts get.
By posting Instagram photos to Facebook (instead of uploading a photo directly to your Facebook Page) you a) probably get a better looking photo due to Instagram’s editing features and b) post your photo in two networks at once increasing the chance that it will be seen. Remember that Instagram is not only a photo editing tool, but a social network in its own right. Your image may display in Instagram’s search results if you post a photo and tag it appropriately. There are no “business” accounts on Instagram (yet) but Instagram users have to ability to post to any Facebook Page to which they have content creation rights.
A final note
These changes are just the latest in a long line of Facebook ‘tweaks’ that are making it easier for us to market ourselves on the world’s biggest social network. As they come along, the best thing that you can do is to try them and see how they can work for your business. …and don’t worry – you can’t accidentally break Facebook, so give it a go!
About the author
Tamsin Fox-Davies, Senior Development Manager UK at Constant Contact. Tamsin Fox-Davies is a well known small business marketing mentor with more than ten years’ experience in delivering training and advice to SMBs in the UK and Europe.
Tamsin joined the Constant Contact team in 2012 as a development manager, and advises UK SMBs on practical ways to achieve real business results from online marketing.
In addition, she is the founder of The Entrepreneurs’ Finishing School and the inventor of the Sticky Note Marketing System. Tamsin is an accomplished speaker, blogger and writer, contributing regularly to Women Unlimited, a website that provides advice and education to female entrepreneurs.
About Constant Contact
Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organisations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys.