25 Things Small Businesses Should Know About the New Facebook

Posted: October 25, 2011 by Alison in Articles/Essays
Tags: , , , , , , ,

by onlinemba.com

Love it or hate it, the new Facebook is coming, and if you’re a small business owner, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with the changes or get left behind. The new Facebook offers even more opportunities for social engagement, Page insights, and even some free advertising, all of which can mean great things for your business if you can go with the flow. Read on to find out 25 things you really need to know to survive, and thrive, with your small business on the new Facebook.

  1. You need to be on Facebook

    If you’re not on Facebook already, here’s this for a fact: there are 800 million users on the site, and most of them are active. In fact, Facebook recently hit a record for the most visitors in one day with 500 million. That means you can’t ignore the power of this social media site anymore.

  2. Liking is no longer enough

    Facebook is introducing new custom verbs, including “listen” and “cook.” That means brands can and must get more creative with engagement, such as building campaigns around using specific words for the brand.

  3. Public personal profiles may be more appropriate than Pages

    Facebook is offering the ability to turn your profile public, and allowing people to subscribe to your updates without becoming Friends. This means that independent business owners, experts, authors, and other more personal Pages might find that a profile is more appropriate now.

  4. Nonfans can comment

    On the new Facebook, any fan and non-fan alike can engage on your Facebook Page. This means that you need to have a plan for dealing with negative comments, if you don’t have one already.

  5. Social actions will hold more weight

    Checking in, commenting on photos, and more social actions will be more prominent on the new Facebook, so Liking is not really all that important anymore.

  6. You can get recommendations on your page

    When fans Like your page now, they can add endorsements, offering even more opportunities for engagement in small business.

  7. There are plenty of new apps for Facebook Pages

    Facebook is offering a bunch of new apps for Pages, including Polls, Surveys, Coupons, and Extended Info, as well as a static FBML that offers lots of new customization and interaction with fans on Facebook.

  8. You can find out how many people are talking about your page

    A new metric on Pages measures user activity related to the page. however, it doesn’t offer a lot of information about what users are actually doing.

  9. You’ll need to tell a consistent story

    Random updates aren’t going to cut it anymore, unless you want to be lost in the noise of Facebook. Regular updates and user interaction will earn you more exposure in Timelines.

  10. Custom tabs have to be secure

    Facebook is ramping up privacy and security options, and Pages are no exception. All custom designed Facebook tabs with third party site content are now required to use SSL hosting, which is an added expense you’ll need to be aware of.

  11. Custom URLs are more easily attainable

    Previously, business pages needed a number of likes to get a custom URL, but now, there is no requirement. That means it’s even easier now to point fans to your Page on Facebook.

  12. Posts on public fan pages show up in friends’ Tickers

    Tickers show a lot more information than the News Feed, so every posts that fans make on your public page with show up in their friends’ Tickers. This makes it more important than ever to engage fans socially on your Page, so you’re constantly present in Tickers.

  13. Smart lists make it easy to divide your lives up

    If you’re having trouble keeping up with both your grandma and your business associates, Smart Lists can help you get things sorted. Just add different categories of friends (family, business, close friends) to different lists, and you can keep everything separate.

  14. Great exposure may not come free anymore

    Getting a strong presence on the new Facebook may mean using tools that aren’t free, such as third-party apps and Facebook Ads. Although these aren’t terribly expensive, it can be discouraging for small businesses who prefer to maintain a free presence on Facebook.

  15. Less compelling content means less exposure

    Facebook has added a control that allows users to unmark top stories, which is used to automatically edit feeds in the future. That means businesses with boring updates with not be given as much exposure as those who offer good content.

  1. Facebook is offering sponsored stories

    Facebook users may be getting good at tuning out that little ad box on the right, but marketers have a new tool: Sponsored Stories. That means small business advertisers can place their stories right in News Feeds, where most users are looking anyway.

  2. Facebook will soon offer premium ads

    Facebook advertisers will soon have a new option for customer engagement in the form of premium ads, including video clips.

  3. Facebook is offering free advertising

    Along with the new Facebook, you can expect to see a push for more small business on the site. In fact, Facebook will soon be offering a $50 ad credit for all small businesses to use to promote their brand, money that experts say will be well spent.

  4. Customers can actually shop on Facebook

    With Facebook Fan Stores, small businesses can actually sell items on Facebook. Fans can buy and share items, and stores can promote their pages through Facebook advertising.

  5. You can see who is sharing your posts

    Facebook is promoting more sharing on the site, and you can actually see how they are doing it. For any post that has been shared, you’ll see a link below it to find out who exactly has shared it. This is a great way to find out who your key influencers are.

  6. You have to feed your key users

    Key influencers in your fan base will be come even more important. Use them and reward them for amplifying your messages, because you will need them to pass along your popularity.

  7. You can find out how many friends your Page’s fans have

    Find out the raw number of people your page may be exposed to by checking out Friends of Fans, which shows you how many people you have the potential to touch with a fan interaction.

  8. You can learn more about post impressions

    Previously, Facebook only shared information about how many people saw your post, but now, you can find detailed information. This explains what your readers are commenting on and looking at the most, as well as when they are doing it.

  9. Facebook Timelines are more insightful

    You can learn more about potential customers and even employees with Facebook Timeline, which focuses on what’s important in a user’s life.

  10. You’re not getting choked with constant notifications anymore

    Have you been hearing crickets in your business inbox? It may be because Facebook isn’t sending notifications for every single thing that happens on the site anymore, instead sending a daily summary, and presumably, saving millions of hours of productivity.

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