Five Facebook features every business needs to know
Posted in | 19 May, 2016
If you’re one of 50 million small businesses using Facebook as a channel to promote your brand, but you’re struggling to attract users’ attention after the infamous algorithm changes, there are free tools available to help you reconnect with followers, learn from competition and convert the visitors that find their way to your Page. Here are five easy-to-use features to start including in your Facebook marketing today:
You’ll notice on the Easy Weddings Facebook page there’s a “Sign Up” button inviting visitors to join the Easy Weddings community for access to wedding tools and resources. This is Facebook’s call-to-action (CTA) feature that encourages Business Page visitors to take a specific action. CTA options include Book Now, Contact Us, Call Now, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Send Email, Send A Message, Learn More and Watch Video.
The button is designed to help businesses highlight their most important marketing goal, which can change periodically depending on whether you’re looking to grow your list or sell tickets to an event, and it can be linked to any URL, either inside Facebook or externally, such as your website or landing page.
Promoting your button
Some businesses use their cover photo to visually draw attention to their CTA button, like AWeber have done to promote their Sign Up button. Along with designing a graphic that points directly to their CTA, they’ve also added a written incentive for people to click through by including an offer: “Get Started Now for Just $1″.
Designs like these can be achieved using free image editing software like Canva or PicMonkey, and thanks to Facebook Insights showing statistics around CTA button click through rates, you can experiment with multiple images and offers to see which combination inspires the most clicks.
Make your own
Create your own Facebook call-to-action button to drive visitors from your Facebook page to your website or landing page and enjoy this free feature helping Business Pages with lead generation and conversion; everything from booking a consultation, making a purchase from your online shop or sending visitors to your YouTube account to watch your latest video testimonial.
Understanding the demographics of the people who visit and interact with your page can help you make more informed decisions around the type of content you produce and/or Facebook advertising you invest in.
Use Page Insights to find statistics about followers’ age, gender and location, along with when they’re using Facebook to increase the chances of your content being seen, and which types of posts are most popular based on likes, comments and shares. If you see patterns emerge in post popularity (those with images, for example, are more popular than those without), you can create more of this type of post to increase engagement and give your fans the content they crave.
To access your Page Insights, select Insights from the top left navigation within your Page, then browse menu items on the left, where you can also find stats about your call-to-action button under the heading Actions on Page.
When your Page reaches over 100 likes, Facebook allows you to create a list of other Business Pages for keeping an eye on your competition, as well as industry influencers and other successful peers in the wedding arena.
Facebook asks you to choose five businesses to watch, which it includes in a comparison table, ranking your business against the Pages you’ve selected based on total Page likes, how much your Page likes have increased since the previous week (as a percentage), the number of posts from each Page ‘This Week’, and the total engagements for the current week (likes, comments and shares).
By clicking on a Page’s profile picture in the first column you can see every post published by the page ‘This Week’ ranked from most engaging to least engaging, so pay particular attention to the ones at the top.
By checking up on competitors’ top posts from the week you can learn what your potential customers are responding to on other Page feeds and start generating similar posts about the same topics to test if your audience will respond to this too. As tempting as it it to copy a company’s entire strategy, authenticity reigns supreme when it comes to marketing and what works for another business may not work for yours… So think of ways you can take other Page’s posts and ideas and make them your own!
To start monitoring other Pages, go to the Insights tab, scroll to the bottom to Pages to Watch then select Add Pages. The people managing the pages you add will be notified, however it will not include your name or the name of your page.
Buffer suggests following 12-16 pages so you’re not overwhelmed by content, but you’ll get a good variety of brands and inspiration to draw from.
As The Huffington Post explains, the battle over live streaming is heating up. Twitter launched Periscope in 2015, now Facebook has its very own streaming feature, Facebook Live, allowing up to 90 minutes of footage to be broadcast to the world via Facebook Pages and Profiles.
If you’ve got an iPhone or Android, you can create your own live stream – just head to the top of the News Feed on the Facebook app and click into the “What’s on your mind?” box. From the grey options along the bottom, select the Live Video icon from the menu. Give your video a description and get ready for the 3 second countdown. You may be prompted to adjust your Facebook App privacy settings first to allow access to your microphone and video, then you’re good to go!
After a broadcast has finished recording and uploading to the server, the video is published to your Page or Profile so followers or friends who missed it live don’t miss out on it altogether. Facebook has however tweaked the algorithm to give News Feed priority to broadcasts when they are live streaming. You can delete the video post at any time, just as you can with a regular text/image post, so don’t be afraid to play around and test the process.
For ideas and inspiration from others using Facebook Live, check out these 10 Facebook Live stars you need to follow now. To be notified of when the person or Page is about to go live again, tap the “Live Subscribe” button on the top of one of their live videos.
For tips on making the most of your broadcasts, check out Facebook’s Best Practices blog, which suggests announcing ahead of time to your followers when you’re going to go live, along with ensuring you have a strong internet connection before recording, and crafting compelling video descriptions to entice followers to tune in.
Facebook’s geo-targeting allows audience optimisation for your Page posts. As Forbes explains, “Efficient notification of supply (either because of a temporarily overstaffed store or a surplus of merchandise) to a potential buyer who may be able to quickly access that surplus presents a win/win proposition”.
So if you’ve just had a huge shipment of stock arrive and nowhere to store the old merchandise, or a rostering whoopsie has left you with too many therapists for the day’s bookings, you could publish a geo-targeted post promoting discounted stock or beauty appointments to shoppers interested in beauty within a 17km radius (the minimum distance allowable) encouraging people nearby to drop in and take up your offer.
Social Media Examiner gives some tips for getting the most out of your geo-targeted posts, including posting photos of local icons interacting with you or your business, portraying your business as part of the community, and showcasing testimonials from people within your geographic area talking about why they do business with you.
If your Page has under 5,000 followers, this feature may need to be activated, so follow these steps to turn it on:
- Select Settings at the top right of your Page
- From General, click Audience Optimization for Posts
- Check the box next to Allow preferred audience selection and the ability to restrict the audience for your posts then hit Save Changes
You will then see the radius icon appear in your post panel:
By clicking the icon, you’ll be presented with a range of demographic targeting options including interests, age, gender, location and language for zoning in on the customers you want to reach. You can also exclude locations from targeting.
Which Facebook feature does your business get the most value out of? Is there a particular set of Facebook Insights that you find influence your Facebook marketing strategy the most? Let us know in the comments!