Facebook Updates March 2011
by Jo Shaer, on April 11, 2011
This post is now out of date due to Facebook changes. Click on the arrow to find out more about using Facebook for your business
- Changes to Comments
- How The New Photo Strip Works
- New Navigational Links and Building iFrames
- Using Facebook Updates to promote your business
The new Facebook updates in March 2011 mean that you can now comment on other Pages as your brand (and on certain profiles who have edited their settings to allow anyone to comment on their wall) but it is important to remain personal by adding your name to any comments that you make. It helps to increase engagement and stops it looking quite so spammy. But you should still be careful that you are not coming across as being purely self serving. Are you actually adding value to the conversation and contributing to the knowledge base of those reading? It is probably better to stay away from businesses in the same industry and focus your attention on Pages in a different, unrelated field that is not competitive with your own but of which you have some experience.
The photo strips along the top now allow you to have pop up images on your page - it pops up like a lightbox so have some custom graphics made that show a call to action like click here, free download, find out more, etc. The images should be 970x680px with some white space around the edges and when you upload these to FB, it will shrink them down to 97x68px. They will then appear along the top of your wall and when your fans click on the link, it pops up with your carefully written description below it - make sure the wording includes a link back to a good page on either your website or facebook page. You should remember that this feature only applies to the last five images that you uploaded and they do not remain in the same order, FB randomly changes them all the time.
The page tabs across the top that so many of us loved have now been replaced by some navigational links down the left hand side underneath the picture. If you have more than seven, FB puts in the word 'More' and 'edit'. If you click on edit you get to see all your tabs and you can drag and drop these into a better order - although Wall and Info still remain the first two. Your custom welcome landing tab should go at the bottom as you should have your custom settings with the Welcome page as default. New visitors can then see your seven best pages to choose from rather than wasting that space with a repeat of the one they have just seen.
Static FBML has been replaced by iframes which is a little more complex but there are a variety of Wordpress plugins and, of course, FanPageEngine to help you make your own. The ability to make customised new tabs allows you to build custom landing pages for Facebook Ads easily which means that it is much easier to split test the conversion rates of different calls to action/images/landing pages for your ads.
If you want to find out more about building custom tabs or using Facebook ads to promote your site on Facebook call us on 01702 476517
The Updates feature is really useful. If you go into Edit Page and Marketing you can send all your fans an update. The new FB message service is split into two with your regular private messages from friends going into your normal inbox and updates, events communications being kept elsewhere.
The great thing is that these then appear in the top right hand corner of everyone's personal profile page as 'Events' or 'Unread Updates'. As Mari Smith says 'This is valuable real estate' that can be used to get the attention of your fans and bring them back to your fan page. If you have a good post on your wall, you can do an update linking to it and give yourself a free ad when it appears on the top right of your fans pages.
Statistics have shown that up to 90% of fans never return to the page once they have clicked the 'like' button because they can see what's happening through the newsfeed. Increase your visibility and engagement in the news feed of your fans by ensuring that FB's algorithm puts your post into that newsfeed at a time when your fans are actually online. Experts always suggest posting before noon to get your piece into the part of the feed that will be read whilst people are on their lunchbreak or later in the evening when they have come home from work. You should split test this to get a feel for when your fans are most likely to be online most - and when they are most likely to engage with the content.
However, posts should only be made once or twice a day to start with as over-posting can turn people off and make them switch off your access to their newsfeed. As engagement increases, you can do more but small is good to start with. Importing your tweets to your FB wall is a very bad idea if you are a prolific tweeter as it can hurt your Edge Rank - the algorithm used to get your content into the newsfeed. Quesions are good. Relevance is key. A mixture of your content and other people's. Be personal. People love photos and videos. Links to other people's content is also good.
With thanks to Mari Smith at Social Media Examiner