Understanding Facebook’s Changes for Small Businesses
Posted in Marketing & PR, Social Networking
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By Kaitlin Olcott
At this point, we must accept the fact that Facebook has taken the Darwinian approach to business in that it is CONSTANTLY evolving (whether we like it or not!). While corporations and large companies have social media experts whose entire job consists of managing the company’s Facebook or Twitter, it is the small businesses who often struggle to keep up with their social media marketing.
This article will discuss some of the major changes that have occurred over the past couple of months and how to integrate them into an effective social media strategy.
Talking About This
As you’ve already seen, Facebook has just launched the “Talking About This” feature, which is a public display of how many people are quite literally, talking about your business. The “Talking About” feature takes into account a number of things including likes, comments, check-ins, post tags, RSVP’s, and even account impressions through Facebook advertisements.
What has become quite apparent is that Page “Likes” just won’t have the same value as they used to. Now that anyone who views your page can also see how many people are interacting with your Page, brands and companies will be judged by the level of real interest people are taking in them, rather than just a collectable number of “Likes”. If you have a substantial amount of likes, but very few people talking about you, it is clear that your Page is not engaging your users.
It will definitely be a challenge since most businesses have focused more on achieving a high amount of likes through giveaways and other promotions rather than engaging their user base in actual communication with them. This could be an especially tricky area to improve in as most people (myself included), are becoming increasingly aware of just how much Facebook is utilizing their information to benefit advertisers and businesses.
The new insights were rolled out this week, and I have to say, they seem to be a definite plus for businesses. The new Insights feature is an improvement from the old Insights feature in that there is just much more information available. You can now see which posts are the most engaging, what kind of posts get the most feedback, as well as what day of the week people are most likely visiting your page. Knowing things like this can help you better prepare for new product announcements, sales, giveaways as well as just help you choose what kind of content is most suited for your fan base.
Insights also shows you graphs of how you’re reaching people. The graph is broken down into Organic reach, which is the page views you receive from the news feed and ticker, Viral reach, which is when users see something like their friend liking your page or commenting on your Page, and Paid reach, which are Facebook’s advertisements.
What this means: With all this said, the new insights provide a more insightful (punning!) way to improve your business’s Facebook use. Seeing how you reach people can be an incredibly useful tool, especially if you ever decide to incorporate Facebook advertisements in your marketing campaign.
You know, that mini-feed on the right that shows every insignificant detail of everyone’s life. Yepp, you got it. The ticker is a new addition to Facebook this September. And lucky for you, while it may be annoying, it can be quite useful. Whereas the original mini-feed design published just a selective number of stories from the day, often leaving out other stories, the new Ticker option shows everything in real time, giving your Page’s activity and latest updates additional visibility.
Sometime next year, Facebook will be offering qualified small businesses a $50 credit in Facebook advertising. Take advantage of this! It’s free and you can see whether it’s worth it or not without putting any money upfront. Not to mention, you’ll see just how many people you are reaching with the new Insights tool.
How do you plan on updating your Facebook marketing strategy?
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