Keeping up with what's going on on Facebook is a task in itself and a great deal has happened in the last month or so. I thought it would be a good idea to summarise these new features and changes and highlight how you can make the most of them for your business.
1.) Facebook are phasing out the 'Use Facebook as you page feature'.
You can no longer publish, like or comment on a person's posts or Timeline as your Page. Now if you want to like another Page as your page you will need to click on 'Like as your page' under the 3 dots.
If you want to comment on another Pages's post you will need to click on your profile picture in the bottom-right corner of the post and then select the page you'd like or comment. At the moment it seems you can only like or comment as your page on a sponsored post.
To publish a post on another Page's Timeline as your Page you need to go to the Page, choose the type of post you want to create (Status, Photo/Video) and then click your profile picture in the top right, select the Page you want to publish as, then create your post and click Post.
If you want to see the posts from the pages you have liked. You will need to click on See Pages Feed.
At first I was a bit disappointed but I actually think this will be much better for businesses as the majority of people are viewing from their personal profile rather than their business page so they will be more inclined to like a page from their personal profile rather than their business page. This means there will be more chance of other businesses seeing your updates in their feed. This is obviously a move from Facebook to make their advertising even more effective.
If you want to see who has liked your page then it has moved from the Notifications on the top right to 'Notifications' on the menu above your cover page. If you click on a person who has liked your page it will bring up a list of people who like your page.
2.) Facebook Live Video is now available for Page, Groups , Events and personal Profile
Now you can share live video instantly with your friends, page fans and group members.
Originally this feature was only open to celebrities and public figures but Facebook obviously felt a threat from other apps like Periscope and Meerkat and have now introduced Facebook Live Video to Pages, Groups, Events and Personal Profiles. This is quickly being rolled out to everyone using the Facebook iOS and Android apps.
The great thing about Facebook Live is like Periscope it i s interactive and fun. Live video uses the same reactions that you have in your newsfeed, you can choose from Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry and they will display in the top right of the video. The best bit is that broadcasters can interact with their viewers and answer their questions and comments.
People are using this functionality for all sorts of things. Athletes can offer live training, chefs can offer live demonstrations, musicians can stream their live concerts and gigs and journalists are able to have global conversation on hot topics. As you can imagine the opportunities for businesses are limitless. Facebook live not offer you the opportunity not only to connect more deeply with your your fans but also can be used for any of the following;
1. Live Q& A's .You can even use Events to schedule a live Q&A session.
2. Live intro's to new products ,services and special offers.
3. Into's to new webinars coming up
4. Product demonstrations
5. Behind the scenes footage
6. Personal trainers and fitness instructors can offer live training
7. Live footage at events , conferences and meetings. Great for promoting your next business event
8. Pre show footage, great for promoting an event that's coming up soon
9. Sharing the latest news in your industry . What better way to connect with your audience to give them the lowdown on the latest hot topics.
There are numerous other uses for live video if you have anymore ideas then please feel free to post them in the comments below.
Facebook is also planning to create a similar user experience to that of snapchat and will soon be introducing live filters together with the ability to draw or doodle on your video while live.
3. Facebook Instant Articles
Facebook have now opened their new Instant Article feature to all publishers . Instant Articles are new way for any publisher to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook which load much faster in the News Feed than other articles outside of Facebook. Because of the creative tools available for publishers and the speed of loading, Facebook reports that these articles get shared approximately 30% more than other articles.
To qualify for instant articles you must have at least 50 articles in your library before submitting for review. Now there's an incentive to GET BLOGGING !
You can find out more at this link https://instantarticles.fb.com/
4. Facebook Shop Sections are being tested
You may not have this functionality on your Facebook Page yet but when you do adding a shop to your page will be as easy as 123.
This is great for businesses as Facebook users don't like leaving Facebook so being able to actually selling on Facebook makes it even easier. Plus if you have already purchased on Facebook then your payment information will be stored so no need to keep adding it.
You can sell directly from your page by quickly add your product and services, put them into categories, connect to Stripe payment , and run a Facebook advertising campaign. They really have thought of everything ? You can find more information about Facebook Shop sections [at this link]
4. Facebook Messenger updates
You can access your Facebook messages on your page by either clicking Settings at the top right and then selecting Messaging or go straight to Messages on the top left of your page. There have been some great improvements that will help businesses to manage their mail on Facebook more efficiently;
1. You can create and customise instant replies
2. You can send a personalised greeting the first time somebody opens a conversation on messenger with you .
3. When anyone sends you a message, Facebook offers you information on the individual in your inbox. For example, it tells you where they are from and when they liked your page. This is all found on the right . To get the same info on the Facebook Pages Mobile app you can click the info icon on the top right in the Facebook Pages app (information)
4. You can add notes to your messages which can help keep other admins up to date.
5. You can add labels, for example, Important ,follow up or add you an add your own label) To find your messages which have been labelled you simply click Filter on the top left of your inbox.
5. Messenger Codes
Facebook is rolling out Messenger Codes which are similar to Snapchat codes. They are unique codes which are scannable and are designed to make it easier for people to start conversations with Pages. To get in touch with a business, people simply scan a code in Messenger using the camera on their phone.
Messenger Code images are available for download in your Page’s inbox.
These codes can be used in advertising, on websites, blogs and other printed promotional material so anyone can quickly and easily get in touch with a business. The potential for these codes in massive and Messenger will soon be a place to contact companies, contact customer service agents and also have useful info sent out to you.
So that is a round up of the latest changes on Facebook and there are bound to be many more coming up which I will update you with as and when they happen.