The team at Facebook have been busy in the past few weeks, bringing in a range of updates to both business and personal pages. There is mixed opinion on whether these changes are good news for Facebook marketing or are further examples of Facebook promoting their own agenda, i.e. more paid advertising.
1. Unified Like count
Brand often have different Facebook pages for different regions or countries and each one is entirely separate from the other. This allows them to target the right audience and increase visibility and engagement, but each page inevitably has a smaller number of likes. Facebook looks likely to introduce a new feature that allows a unified like count. This may encourage companies to segment their Pages further, allowing more effective regional targeting.
2. Promoted posts
Improving your Edgerank to reach as many fans as possible has always been a challenge for Facebook marketers, but on average content was only seen by 16% of fans. Facebook has now introduced promoted posts, allowing pages with over 400 fans to pay to increase the reach of specific posts.
This has been greeted with scepticism and confusion by many. Facebook Pages allow small businesses and non-profits to compete on a level playing field with big brands and this update is seen as a step away from that. However, with the option to set a spend limit between $5 and $20, it may be a worthwhile experiment for many.
3. New metrics on the reach of your post
Facebook now shows you how many fans see your timeline posts. In my rather cynical opinion, this is to encourage you to promote your posts, but none-the-less it does provide valuable information.
We will be discussing the latest in Facebook marketing strategies, tools and insights at our upcoming conference “Facebook Marketing 2012 London” on July 18th. Book your ticket here.
4. Schedule posts
At long last, you can now schedule posts without using a third-party app! The big plus for brands is that it is now easier to post outside of business hours, allowing companies to reach a new group of fans that would otherwise be unlikely to see their content. It’s interesting to note that posts made using many of the previously popular third party tend to stand out less than posts made directly through Facebook.
5. New admin roles
You can now allocate 5 different roles to admins, a useful feature for any business with multiple staff accessing their Facebook Page. It makes it easy to limit who can post to your page, respond to and delete comments, send messages, create ads and view Facebook Insights.
6. New WordPress Plugin for Facebook
Facebook has released a new plugin for WordPress that allows you to auto-publish to your timeline and allows you to add different Facebook features to your blog. One of the cool features is that you can ‘mention’ other Facebook Pages and Friends and this automatically shares your article in their timeline. All of this can be a real time-saver for any business that promotes their blog on Facebook. Our friend Emeric Ernoult has helpfully published a detailed guide on how to set this up.