I awoke early this morning to participate in Facebook’s first fMC via Livestream. This is where Facebook announce their newest and most powerful marketing products. Facebook and industry leaders share new solutions, actionable insights and strategies to drive business growth using social technology.
Here is the super brief overview of some of the announcements made:
- New Facebook Pages for businesses – pitched as the new “mission control”, incorporating a new page design and dashboard for page administrators.
- New products – Premium on Facebook, Reach Generator and Offers
- Increased importance of stories – You activity starts with the story and it is what you do then to distribute that story that can influence the level of engagement that story then generates.
And now for more details…
Pages Are The New Mission Control For Businesses
Mike Hoefflinger, Director of Global Business Marketing at Facebook provided an overview of how from now on Pages are “Mission Control” for businesses. Everything you do on Facebook starts with your page. Your page provides you with the opportunity to express your identity and tell stories. Those stories are then shared throughout the best places on Facebook.
The official fMC Guides To Success explains Pages as:
Pages are the essential place on Facebook for businesses to build connections with people. It’s where you connect with fans by announcing new products, sharing news, and gathering feedback. Your Page is also where you create unique brand content that can become ads and sponsored stories. It’s the core place for businesses to manage their posting and advertising content.
Pages allow you to:
- Express the identity of your business through your brand and key messages, using features like the cover photo and Page timeline.
- Increase your reach and engage your audience on both desktop on mobile. Features like the timeline, pin post, friend activity and highlighted stories provides businesses with the opportunity to increase reach.
- You will now be able to respond personally to people in a faster and more efficient manner through the use of the new admin panel for Pages.
New Page Design
There is a new page design for businesses which is now live. This new design enables businesses to brand your Page by adding a unique cover photo and showcasing your most important news on your Page timeline. You can now pin a new post to the top of your Page each week as your “Post of the week”, which enables an important story to remain above the fold so people notice what’s important.
You can now “allow” posts to be featured on your page, “star” stories to make them double-width (very effective for images) and you can also back date things if you want to tell the story of how your company was formed (pre-Facebook).
There are filters on business pages. One of these is a friend activity filter. This is unique to every person that visits the page and assists in providing social proof when people visit your page.
Tabs and apps will now appear on your page right below the cover image. This change has been made to make the page more visually appealing.
Businesses need to be “story tellers”.
Now, more than ever, it is important for businesses to know what the stories are that you want to tell and you want other people to repeat or share. However, it is important not to push stories onto your fans, but instead provide them with the content that they want. It is your responsibility to understand which types of stories your fans take a liking to. Once you know that, you can use Facebook’s new features which include Reach Generator, Premium on Facebook and Offers to get out to more fans and move beyond your fans as your audience.
At present your stories are seen by about 16% of your fans on a daily basis. The latest changes will now provide you with the opportunity to reach 50% of your fans every week and 75% on a monthly basis, or even more, as was the case with some of the examples provided. The idea behind this is that if you are in front of more people, then you will have the opportunity to provide greater engagement with your audience.
This is all possible through the new Reach Generator feature on Facebook.
Premium on Facebook
We are in an evolution from “ads” to “stories”. You can hasten that evolution by using Premium on Facebook to distribute these stories in the Facebook newsfeed, both on desktop and mobile.
Hoefflinger described Premium on Facebook as “the most impactful way to distribute your content”.
It enables your stories to be distributed “to more people, in more places, more often”. You write the stories and Facebook takes care of the distribution to increase your reach and engagement. This will increase people “talking about you”(re) business. Distribution of stories will now take place through Facebook’s best places:
- Page post
- Right-hand side of home page
- Newsfeed on desktop and mobile
- Logout experience
One story in all these places.
You start with the page post (your story) and then you have the opportunity to invest to increase your reach and then you return on investment. Hoefflinger provided some impressive examples of some of the companies that have achieved such results as part of the beta testing. The line up included the likes of Ben and Jerry’s, American Express and Nike.
Facebook also launched “Offers” for businesses, using the Macy’s examples highlighted in Mari Smith’s recent post Facebook To Launch ‘Facebook Offers’ For Businesses. One of the best things about offers for small businesses is that they are free to create and post. In addition to this, once people claim these offers their friends will find out about it, providing another opportunity to increase your reach through viral activity.
There is a new look for the Facebook Pages admin panel. This includes a modular look “mission control” incorporating notifications, new likes, insights, messages and page tips. There has also been an improvement in the Facebook metrics (insights tool) as part of this. The new look to the insights are people focused, easy to understand, actionable and can be modified to the needs of your business.
In addition to these changes to page administration, Facebook has taken on board the feedback from users that “not all admins are created equal”. As a result, they will be rolling out five new admin permissions, due out at the end of March.
Here is a some details on How To Set Up Your Facebook Page For The New Design And Timeline.
What do you think of these changes? Will they be good for your business? Feel free to share this post with your friends so they too can be one of the first to find out about the latest changes for Facebook Pages for Businesses.