With Social Media changing so fast, it's easy to see how updates can be missed. Over at their HQ in sunny California, the Facebook team (in between surfing and catching some rays) are constantly coming up with new ways to improve the user experience. This leads to new features you should be using to grow your business on Facebook.
With this in mind, we've compiled a list of our top 6 lesser known Facebook features that could help drive your business goals on Facebook.
1. Dark Posts
While this might sound like something sinister, we can assure you it's not.
Imagine you're running several similar sponsored ad campaigns at one time, each directed at a different target market. While one sales post on your company's page isn't bad, two or three within a few minutes of each other gives off a negative impression of the brand - after all, would you like a company page who's last 4 updates were all sales posts, published 5 minutes apart and practically identical? Probably not.
In recent research canducted by Hootsuite, they asked their social community "What do brands do on Social Media that you hate?" It's no surprise that 'too much self-promotion' was at the top of the list. That's why the ability to hide sponsored posts from your company's page is so useful. As you can see in this screenshot below, if you use Power Editor to create your ad, it's just the tick of a box but it can make a big difference to how you're business is perceived on Facebook and your follower count.
2. Re-Order Your Business Tabs
Your tabs at the top of your business page help potential customers find out more about your business. With your 'About' section, Photos, Reviews, Events, links to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, not to mention the endless tabs you can create with software like Pagemodo, you need to make sure you're ordering your content optimally and showing your customers what you want them to see first.
The idea is to make things as simple as possible. Just click on 'more' and then 'manage tabs' and this will allow you to drag and drop the tabs in whatever order you choose.
3. Response Rates
Have you ever seen this icon on a business page?
This icon has been added quite recently by Facebook; It tells the users how fast they're likely to get a response from a business if they message them (or even if they will get a response at all.) This may seem like a small change to your Facebook page but in todays world of texting, social media and smartphones, customers want an answer to their question and they're not prepared to wait for it. This icon will encourage potential customers to get in touch with you and reach out. Once they've opened a dialogue you can wow them from there on in.
To get this icon you'll need to respond to 90% of messages and maintain an average response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent.
To find out more about the page responsiveness icon - head to Facebook's help section here.
4. Comment Ranking
When you post onto Facebook, you'll hopefully be getting lots of engagement - especially if your content is a sponsored post. By default, the order of the comments on your post will appear with the most recent at the top but there's a way for you to change this. Click on settings in the top right and choose the option to 'see most relevant comments by default'.
This will mean that your comments are ranked by engagement - the most popular comments and any 'verified' users comments will appear at the top. This is a great way to increase social proof and make influencers who are a fan of your company much more visible to potential customers.
5. Expiring Posts
Got a great special offer for a limited time? Want to promote an item that's about to go out of stock? This is where expiring posts can come in handy.
First, you have to change the settings allowing you to turn on expiring posts.
Then when you publish content to Facebook, if you click the option highlighted in the screenshot below, you're given the opportunity to set a date for this post to expire and no longer be visible to Facebook users.
This can help avoid confusion or frustration among your Facebook audience. For example, set a special offer post to expire the day the offer does. Or if you're running low on an item, set it to expire when you expect the item to be out of stock
Don't worry - although the post disappears from user visibility, as the page manager you'll still be able to view it and see it in your Facebook Insights dashboard. Think about how you can utilize this feature for your business.
6. Save Links for Later
Often times, searching for content can be the most time consuming part of social media management. When you're searching through Facebook for content, did you know you have the ability to save content for a later date, enabling you to build a stock of relevant content for your audience? This helps you better utilize your time and when you're having a busy day or week, it saves all that time trawling though content. To save an article, simply click the arrow on the top right hand corner of the post and select 'Save' as shown in the screenshot below. To view what you have saved, go to your homepage, click 'Saved' on the left hand panel of your homepage. Saving links can only be done in your personal profile however.
As we now know, Facebook are constantly tweaking, updating and testing new features on their platform. With that in mind, here's something to look out for next.
Recent reports have suggested that Facebook is in the process of testing a new feature where suggested topics will appear in Status Update boxes. This is good news for social media managers, as this is yet another way for us to look out for trending content relevant to our business, keep up to date with current news and of course, keep track of the #NationalDayOfThis and #InternationalDayOfThat.
Watch this space.