Despite it being the summer, there’s been lots of updates going on in the social media space. If you are a Facebook Business page owner you will have probably received a notification like the one below – and you’ll notice that the changes are imminent – August 23rd seems to be the release date.
This update is a big one!
Facebook is rolling out a number of updates for business Pages in order to make it easier for local businesses in particular to maximise their exposure on the platform, and to utilise customer word of mouth more effectively.
First of all, Facebook is adding Recommendations to Pages, which will enable users to post a written review of your business, and can include text, photos and a new option – related business tags.
The new Recommendations will need to be at least 25 characters long (to make reviews more meaningful) and will be featured prominently on your Facebook Business page.
Although having the opportunity for your customers to add text and images is a big change – it’s the new tags which are likely to be the least understood, at least initially.
In essence, Facebook’s tags work like hashtags for businesses, with suggested tags generated based on keywords from past recommendations, or they can be manually added in. Here’s an example below…
If you are a regular user of Facebook you have probably seen more recommendations appearing in your feed over the last couple of months. According to Facebook, tags will make it easier for users to understand the services you offer – but will also help to categorise your business page for future related searches – and therefore appear in more recommendations!.
Some of you reading this might be worried that Recommendations and tags could also be used against a Business Page – for example fake negative recommendations being posted on your page. In order to minimise this, Facebook will also give Page owners the ability to report Recommendations that are “fraudulent, spam or paid for”.
Page Template updates
In addition to Recommendations and Tags, Facebook will also enable Pages to include a “prominently featured set of action buttons on Pages”, which will enable visitors to do things like book an appointment, order food, send a message or write a Recommendation in as few clicks as possible.
The style of button depends on the page template you have set for your page. You can change the template by clicking the Settings link at the top of your page and choosing Edit Template…
For Services businesses:
Start by making sure your Page is using the Services template. Add a Services menu so people can browse your offerings. Make sure Recommendations are turned on so customers can review your business. If your business accepts appointments, consider setting up Appointments on Facebook to manage your appointment calendar directly on Facebook and allow customers to book directly from your Page.
Start by making sure your Page is using the Restaurants template. Then add a menu to your Page so people can see what you serve. Make sure Recommendations are turned on so customers can review your business.
For Retail and E-commerce businesses:
Start by making sure your Page is using the Shopping template. If you would like to showcase and sell products directly on Facebook, add a Shop section to your Page. If you primarily sell your products via a third-party website, you can also update your Page action button to drive traffic to your website, and add a Facebook Pixel so you can track conversions from your website.
Implementing the changes
Although there has been lots of talk about consumers leaving Facebook in their droves and Business Pages seeing declining reach of their posts – having a Facebook presence still remains a high priority for most businesses. These latest round of updates see Facebook adding another layer of options for page owners to utilise and make their pages stand out.
If you would like to explore how Facebook can be an effective marketing and customer service channel for your business – give us a call on 01305 54200 or contact us here.