Facebook is a powerhouse in the social media space, representing a true unicorn, even if it wasn't the first kid on the block.
What started out as a place for college kids to connect quickly morphed into a powerful tool for business, giving smaller companies a method for creating an initial website without a financial investment, and serving as a platform for connecting with customers.
But, to make the most out of Facebook, you need to learn to master the various tools it has on offer. There are a variety of functions that aren't being fully taken advantage of by most professionals, which can lead to critical insights being ignored and opportunities being missed.
With that in mind, here are five tips to help you become the Facebook power user you always hoped to be.
1. Focus on Value First and Marketing Second
A lot of attention is given to beating Facebook's notorious News Feed algorithm. And while there are certain measures that can help you get ahead, the easiest way to win this battle is to create stellar content.
Ultimately, Facebook rewards posts and Pages that engage their audience - and that isn't just based on the number of "likes" or comments you receive. Instead, the company analyzes the amount of time someone spends viewing the information before they return to their News Feed and factors this into the ranking, among various other elements. And, the more time people spend reading, the better.
Typically, a page full of ads isn't going to do well with this sort of engagement metric, making it vital that you include posts which draw the audience in. Remember, people aren't logging into Facebook during the day to be sold on something - they're more likely looking to relax, connect, or even be entertained, but not held hostage by marketers gone crazy.
Now, that doesn't mean your posts and videos shouldn't feature your products and services, just that including content which provides value, beyond simply announcing a sale or new product, is likely imperative to your Facebook success.
You can see what Facebook has to say about the matter here: News Feed FYI
2. Get to Know Facebook IQ Audience Insights
The best way to reach potential customers is to get to know them - and Facebook's IQ Audience Insights can help you do just that.
This tool provides you with aggregated and anonymous details on users, based on your search criteria, making it easier to target your posts and advertising to reach that section of the market.
You can learn which pages users are liking in various categories, see demographic information, and even learn about purchase activity.
This feature can be a lot more impactful than your own Page Insights, because it explores all of your potential customers across the entirety of Facebook. This can be especially handy if you're using Facebook ads, as it can help you identify the right target areas and create content that's more likely to get a potential customer's attention.
Learn more about what it has to offer here: Facebook IQ Audience Insights
3. See Where You're Logged In and Remotely Log Out
If you're a fan of memes or list posts showing Facebook faux pas, you've likely seen at least one example of someone forgetting to log out when using a public computer - and another party taking advantage of the unexpected access to the person's account.
While the vast majority of professionals would never access a business account from something other than their own (or company's) devices, that doesn't mean a misplaced or stolen smartphone or laptop can't be used to access your organization's Page, or that someone wouldn't try to hack their way in.
Luckily, Facebook has your back. You can view the devices that are currently logged into your account, and even end other sessions remotely. That way, if you see something suspicious or have a device go missing, you can log them out of the account. Just make sure to immediately change your password when you're done if you're a victim of hacking or have had a device go missing.
Learn how to it all here: Where You're Logged In and End Activity
4. Backup Your Facebook Data
On the chance that someone nefarious does get into your Facebook account, they could do a lot of damage, including deleting everything that's been posted.
Luckily, there is a way to download a copy your Facebook information, including posts, photos, videos, and more, into an archive file.
Now, you can't use this file to add everything back in a single click automatically, but it does ensure that everything isn't lost, should something goes awry with your page.
Learn more about the option here: Downloading Your Info
5. Have Secure Conversations
Facebook added end-to-end encryption capabilities within its Messenger service. This feature, called 'Secret Conversation', encrypts your conversation data, ensuring that it can't be accessed by anyone aside from the intended recipient.
You can also use the timer function to specify how long the message will be available once it is accessed, though this is likely only helpful for short statements based on the delay options. Once the time expires, the message deletes itself and disappears like an elusive unicorn flitting off into the woods.
It does have limits, but can be a convenient tool when you need to discuss something sensitive and have limited communications options available.
You can see more about how it works here: End-to-End Encryption on Facebook Messenger