6 Facebook Updates That are Great for Businesses!

Posted by Sara on 14 Jan 2015 / 0 Comment

Exciting things are happening in Facebook world.

If something exciting is happening in Facebook world, that means something exciting is happening in marketers’ worlds too!

For a long time marketers have wished they could do more organically with their Facebook posts. Especially after Facebook’s latest announcement that they were lowering priority for promotional organic posts, we were left wondering, once again, “what now?”

I’m starting to learn that when Facebook takes a little they also give a little!

So what’s Facebook giving marketers this time? A lot! In fact, these six updates all have big potential for businesses.

1. Searchable Posts

For the last year I’ve been able to use my Graph Search bar to search things like “Posts by “ShortStack” that contain the word contests.” I had no idea, until recently, that I was part of the beta testing of this feature by Facebook.

This was a feature I loved and now the ability to search posts is coming to all users.

How can your business benefit from this?

If you’ve ever wanted to reference an older post that you’ve posted on your page, or that has appeared on another brand’s page,  this is going to be the easiest way to do it. Personally, I use this feature a lot. How? To find a particular post I made on the ShortStack Facebook Page that I know was successful, or to find images and videos we’ve posted. Some other ways you might use this feature is to see what certain people are posting about your business. For example, you can search “Posts by Mari Smith about ShortStack” and it will pull up any post that Mari Smith has made where she’s mentioned ShortStack.

Mari Smith - ShortStack

You can also search general “Posts about ShortStack” and it will pull up all of ShortStack’s posts and posts where ShortStack has been tagged.

Posts about ShortStack

The possibilities are almost endless with this new feature, so we’ll be writing a blog post that further elaborates what can be done.  Remember that you can only use this feature when you’re using Facebook as yourself, i.e., from your personal profile. However, you can search any post that has been shared or shown to you through the News Feed. That means you can search any Page you’re a fan of or follow or your friends’ profiles. This feature is going to be available via desktop and mobile!

#2. Target Organic Posts by Interests

According to Facebook, “To help you reach precisely the right people, we now offer the ability to target posts to a subset of the people that like your Page. For example, a publisher can use Interest Targeting to post a story about a sports game that will only be shown to people that like the teams playing.”

Here’s how it works!

Create your post

Create your post

Click on the Target icon in the lower left corner

Click the target icon

Select “Interests” from the dropdown list

select Interests

Click on “All Targeting” and enter the Interests you’d like to target with you post

Target your posts

How can your business benefit from this?

One thing to keep in mind about this feature is that you can only target other pages that your existing fans like. With that said, the possibilities with interest targeting will vary based on your business type and your audience. The first thing you can do to benefit from this is to learn the main interests of your target audience. You can do this through your audience insights or by using Graph Search and searching “Pages liked by people who like [Insert Business Name].

Once you know the main interests of your audience you can start building posting strategies that will target those interests. For example, when I use Graph Search to see the other Pages our fans Like among the list are Mari Smith, Mashable and Social Media Today. If we have some exciting social media best practices we want to post about, we could benefit from targeting that post to these interests so that it reaches a more relevant audience. Ideally engagement would be up since we’re targeting people who are interested in the topic.

Another way I see businesses benefiting from this feature is by using it to target competitors. If your business has a new feature or product, why not target it to people who like the pages of your competitors?

We’re still testing the possibilities with this feature, so check back over the next several weeks for when we publish our findings.

#3. Set an End Date on Organic Posts

According to Facebook, “Post End Date allows Page admins to specify a day and time to stop showing a post in News Feed. This tool prevents people from seeing out-of-date posts in News Feed, but posts will continue to appear on your Page. For instance, a publisher can use this to remove yesterday’s weather report from News Feed.”

How can your business benefit from this?

This update is pretty straight forward and I believe it will be beneficial for businesses who are using Facebook to promote current events/offers or promotions. Let’s say you’re running a “12 Days of Giveaways” promotion for the holidays. Your promotion is clearly going to end around Christmas time, so what happens to all of those posts after Christmas? Up until now, they would still be active on your Page and people could click the links (often leading to an error Page since the promotion has ended) and they could comment.

The “End Post” feature is a great way to only have posts show on your Timeline during the timeframe that they’re active. You can also use this feature if you want to do a flash offer or giveaway on your Page, if you have a one time event you want to promote, if you want to do a live Q&A on your Timeline, or if you want to follow a current event with posts.

#4. Smart Publishing

According to Facebook, “Until now, it has been challenging for large publishers to predict which stories will resonate with their audience. Smart Publishing is a new, optional tool that identifies and publishes stories that are popular with people on Facebook. Once you enable the setting, frequently shared links to your website can appear in News Feed for people who like your Page. Those posts will not appear on your Page, but you’ll have access a new dashboard in Insights to see analytics, moderate comments, and choose which you want to post to your Page.”

How can your business benefit from this?

This feature has not rolled out to all Pages so it’s hard to say exactly how it will work. From the little we know, it appears that businesses who have an active website that receives a lot of backlinks will benefit. It appears that Facebook will look at the stories that are being linked to the most from a website and will predict/assume that the story will be of interest to the publisher’s audience and will generate a post and display that content to the brand’s audience automatically. Business’s will not see this in their own News Feed. You can see if you have this option by heading to Page Settings –> Publisher Tools –> Smart Publishing.

#5. Updates to Insights

According to Facebook, “We’ve added a new Top URLs section, which displays URL-level reporting and shows when other Pages and influencers share a post you’ve made to Facebook. For example, if a celebrity shares one of your URLs, you’ll know why that URL may have reached more people than other URLs. We also made the interface more intuitive and provide a way to segment data for specific time ranges, including hourly.”

How can your business benefit from this?

We never have complaints when Facebook enhances Insights.  With the latest upgrades, businesses will be able to know exactly who is sending traffic to their Facebook Page. We recommend using this information to find influencers and referrals to partner with.  We don’t have the new insights yet, but the image below is from Facebook’s blog and gives an idea of what the new features will look like.

Top Links

#6. Call-to-Action Buttons for Pages

According to Facebook: “Designed to bring a business’s most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence, call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with a business’s goals.”

How can your business benefit from this?

I’m betting businesses will agree that there’s nothing negative about this update. The call-to-action button allows a business to put a small ad right on their cover photo. Currently the call-to-action button has seven options; Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video. While there are a few other buttons we’d like to see on here, like ones that benefit non-profits, this is a great start. You simply choose your call-to-action button and then you can select a destination for where someone is taken when they click on the button. Facebook is also tracking the CTA clicks and showcasing them in the “This Week” bar located to the right of the cover image.  We recommend linking to a custom landing page where you can further track your users actions.

Facebook Call to Action Button

Call to Action Button

What do you think of these updates? Will they help Facebook earn some points back from brand Pages? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!