Facebook might be the oldest social media kid on the block, but it’s still quite popular. About one billion people log onto Facebook each day, which means you have access to a large digital customer base.
However, if you’re just using Facebook to share promotional news or funny memes, you’re missing out. The social platform is constantly growing and evolving, which means businesses have to change too.
In fact, Facebook is hosting its annual conference this month, and it’s unveiling a few new features you should know about.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your business page, we’ve created a list of five things that you should be doing on Facebook, but probably aren’t. The list is a combination of tips that focus on recently released features and older tools that you might not be aware of.
1. Post content to Instant Articles
Facebook is unveiling Instant Articles to all businesses. It’s a publishing tool that allows businesses to publish content right to their page. It’s similar to LinkedIn’s publishing tool, but it’s still in its infant stages.
Prior to Instant Articles, some publishers like The Boston Globe were publishing articles in the Notes feature. Notes has been around for a while, but it didn’t gain much popularity. Now, publishers are expected to shift their focus to Instant Articles.
With this tool, you can post an article to your page and people can read it without long load times or leaving Facebook.
If you’re interested in using Instant Articles, you can sign up through the Facebook website.
2. Use Facebook Messenger
Another big reveal from the Facebook conference is updates to the platform’s messenger feature. Facebook wants to turn this tool into a customizable customer service channel.
The idea is to allow businesses to create their own “bots.” They function like a personalized version of Siri. For example, a German newspaper, Bild, created a bot that communicates with readers through Messenger about current stories.
It has some broad applications that could allow businesses to do things like send confirmation messages to customers after a purchase, book a business dinner or create a personalized shopper that can help customers find the right product on a specific website.
For now, it’s a tool to familiarize yourself with and keep an eye out for new developments.
3. Participate in Facebook Groups
Are you participating in Facebook Groups? If not, you should be.
Facebook made several changes that now limits a page’s organic reach, which is the number of people you can reach for free by posting to your page. There are technical reasons for the changes, which Facebook explains on its blog, but the moral of the story is that businesses can’t rely solely on posting a few links and expecting to reach customers.
You should continue posting valuable content on a regular basis, but you should also join several Facebook Groups. These online communities don’t have the same restrictions as your posts, so they have great online reach. The more active the group, the more people it reaches.
Consider joining a group that’s relevant to your business, or you can start your own. Either way, you have to participate. Signing up isn’t enough. Contribute to the conversation, and when you share a link to your website or blog content it will be well received.
4. Save links for later
As a business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of time to read the content that’s shared on Facebook. If you’re short on time, Facebook has a function that allows you to save the link for later.
Just click the arrow in the top right corner of a post and select “Save” from the dropdown menu. All of your saved articles are stored in a Saved Folder, which you can access from your favorites bar. If you need a little help, Facebook has some instructions you can follow.
Why is this an important feature for businesses? It’s important to stay up-to-date on industry news, and the content that neighboring businesses are sharing.
For instance, if you’ve read an article posted by a neighboring business, you can use it as a conversation piece at your next chamber of commerce gathering, or networking event.
5. Add a call to action button
In late 2014, Facebook introduced a series of call to action buttons that businesses can add to the cover photo. While the feature has been around for a few months, a lot of businesses haven’t heard about it or haven’t taken the time to set it up.
You can choose from seven call to action options:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
- Shop Now
Once you select a call to action, you’ll add a specific URL that takes visitors to any destination.
Macy’s decided to add a Shop Now button to its Facebook page. When a visitor clicks on it he or she is taken to a page that features the latest sales.
You can change the call to action and the link that’s associated with it anytime you want. A free option like this is a no-brainer for businesses, as it can boost website traffic, collect email addresses or encourage downloads.
Do you have a little-known Facebook trick you’d like to share with others? Feel free to mention it in the comment section below.