The Latest In Facebook: Is Your Business In The Loop?

Social media has been an enormous boon to businesses large and small. It keeps them in touch with customers and present in their daily lives. No one can argue that Facebook has been one of the most formidable out of all of the social media platforms. What is the secret to its success? Volumes could be written on that question alone. But for now let’s focus on just one of the most important and hard to ignore reasons for its prominence: its dynamic nature. Constantly evolving, ever changing, it possesses a quality of vitality and excitement. Facebook 2013 is vastly different from Facebook 2010 (or even from 2012, for that matter). It doesn’t allow its users to become “too comfortable” with it, risking boredom and abandonment. It periodically unveils a new look, a new feature, a new gadget that keeps users thinking, talking, and discovering. The people behind Facebook have a keen grasp of the importance of staying on the cutting edge and not resting on old laurels.

Today, so many businesses have their own Facebook pages. They have proven to be a valuable tool in networking, engaging with customers, and promotions. But just as Facebook understands the importance of growth, change, and relevance, so must the business owner who employs this social media platform. As Facebook changes, so, quite often, should your company’s Facebook page.

Is your business making the most of the latest features on Facebook? How much time has gone by since you checked?

Mike Gingerich, co-founder of TabSite, a leading Facebook page management software for contests and promotions, recommends regular audit of your Facebook page to ensure that your business is not missing out on any of its new features. He offers this checklist of 11 key items that can help maximize your Facebook page’s potential.

Maximize Your Page Cover Image – Facebook recently updated its guidelines and relaxed the restrictions on what may be featured on your cover image for your main page. This choice location now allows you to display your call to action, web address, and more. It must be noted that text may not exceed 20% of the cover image area.
Evaluate Your Profile Image – Your profile image is seen whenever you post; it is the first thing that users see when scrolling through the posts in their news feed. This is where your brand’s logo should appear, rather than, for example, a personal picture of the owner (unless the owner’s face is the brand). Your logo can help reinforce company branding.
Review Your Tab Thumbnails – Your tab thumbnails are found beneath your main page’s cover image. These lead to the apps that are in use on your page. You are allotted three tab apps that are always visible to those who visit your page. Seize this opportunity to showcase them and capture your visitors’ attention.
Maximize Use of Tab Apps – A highly effective way to boost engagement on your Facebook page is through the use of tab apps. Most commonly, they are used for offering deals and running contests. Facebook requires the use of a third-party app for these. At very least, your page should feature a tab app that enables visitors to sign up for your business’ email newsletter.
Use the Short Description – Facebook allows for a brief description of approximately 155 characters that displays at the top of your page, beneath the cover image and the profile image. This is a perfect space to list your website URL and offer a concise statement about your business.
Optimize the “About” Section for Search – After adding your Short Description, do not forget to review and complete the remaining elements of the “About” area, which contains subsections such as Company Overview, Description, General Information, and Mission. Make sure your “About” area contains your keywords as it is indexed by search engines. Remember to include your address, city, state and zip code in “General Information” to optimize your page for local search.
Customize Your Facebook URL – Does your Facebook page URL still contain the word “pages” and a bunch of numbers? If so, it’s time to customize your username. Choose this carefully, though. Your Facebook URL can be changed only once after it is originally set.
Review Your Category, Especially if You’re a Local Business – On Facebook, you will find numerous category options. Many are similar, but some offer different features. One of the most important features of which any local business should take advantage is the Check-in option. If your business has a physical location that you want customers to visit, strongly consider changing your Facebook page category to Local Business to utilize this exciting feature that allows users to “check in” to your location. The benefit is twofold. First, it raises the level of awareness of your business. Second, check-ins can be part of Graph Search results. If, for example, a Facebook user is searching for a restaurant in a certain area that friends have visited, check-ins appear in the results.
Activate Replies to Comments – Just released in March of 2013, this feature, when enabled, lets pages offer their community the ability to reply to a particular comment in a thread, allowing for more specific and meaningful discourse.
Review Admins and Roles – Often overlooked is the task of verifying that all the admins who have access to your page are still a part of your business or working with you on the management of your page. Frequently businesses have transitions of staff or changes in support team members. It is crucial to confirm that those with access to the page are only the people you authorize and that their roles are accurate as they are listed.
Check Your Notification Settings – It is highly recommended that page managers review the notification types that are active in the “Your Settings” area. Awareness of visitors’ interactions with your page is necessary for good customer service. You need to know about notifications in order to be able to respond to them!

Use this checklist today to ensure that your business’ Facebook page is taking full advantage of all of this powerful platform has to offer!

You’ll “like” the results!

This post is from Bola Olonisakin, Creative Head & Online Strategist at GTechDesigns LLC. Bola specializes in web design and development techniques, standards and methodology. She works to enable organizations to grow their web strategy and increase the visibility of their websites. If you’re interested in improving your web presence, feel free to contact her at [email protected], or @gtechdesigns on Twitter. This post was originally posted at www.gtechdesigns.com.

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