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How Changes to Facebook Pages Can Help Small Businesses

As of March 30, Facebook has changed the way businesses interact with customers via a business Facebook Page. On a personal level, as well as a professional level, small business owners may be resisting the “upgrade”—it is often difficult to adjust to change. However, not all change is bad. The changes Facebook has made to business pages help maintain increased focus on your customers and really do turn out to be an upgrade for small businesses.

Here are some of the highlights of the new features that affect small businesses:

Cover photo

You now have a big, bold banner you can wave on your Facebook Page. In the past, you were limited to a small photo that was only really good for a logo.

  • Large, 851 x 315 pixels, takes up 1/3 to 1/2 the page
  • Can advertise a product but cannot contain pricing, call to action, discounts, or other purchase information
  • Should contain your logo or other iconic visual closely related to your business that represents your brand/business
  • Is okay to change often

Profile photo

You still have the profile photo, but you can now use this explicitly for your logo or other brand insignia.

  • Should not be changed
  • Should be kept the same so that it is quickly recognized by customers, such as your logo, when your posts show up on their timeline
  • Keep it simple
  • Overlaps cover photo slightly
  • Small 180 x 180 pixels
  • Edit the image to “scale to fit”

Container

This area shows where you work and other basic information about how to get in touch.

  • Customized for different types of businesses based on what is most important to your customers
  • For local businesses it will display store hours, phone number, address, etc.
  • Actually tells the viewer if your store is currently open; or if your store is closed, it will tell them when you are next open for business

Apps

You can add apps to your page based on how often your customers interacts with you.

  • Don’t overload your page with apps!
  • May have up to twelve apps on your page
  • Photo Apps image defaults to most recent photo uploaded to your business page
  • Order can be rearranged
  • Names can be changed
  • Use this to link to blog, business website, etc
  • Each Apps image can be customized, image maximum size 117 x 74 pixels

Posts

You can still add posts as usual, but you have more length than before.

  • Pin a post to the top to keep it at the top of your timeline for up to seven days
  • Makes weekly promotions simple and easy for customers to find on your page
  • Highlighting a post spreads it across both columns to increase visibility
  • May not Pin to Top and Highlight one post at the same time
  • Hiding a post will keep it available on your admin page for future reference
  • Deleting a post will permanently delete it from your published page and the admin page

Messaging

If you are online, customers can message you directly!

  • Customers are now able to message you in private via your business Facebook page
  • Once a customer has messaged you, you are able to respond via the private messaging
  • Helps eliminate public display of unsatisfied customers
  • Great method of contact for promotional winners as well

Page Management

More features are available for managing who can post, how the page is laid out, and much, much more.

  • Easy-to-access analysis of how your page is viewed by customers
  • Easy-to-use editing of the content on your page, including spam
  • Ability to monitor posts may be helpful for small businesses with sensitive customer service issues
  • Option to post or respond to posts using either your business identity or more personally as your personal Facebook identity

The predetermined initial set-up by category will benefit a wide variety of organizations including small businesses. The categories from which you can choose are as follows: local business or place;company, organization or institutionbrand or productartist, band or public figureentertainment; and cause or community.

The Facebook business page is a useful avenue to connect with your customers and fans in an effective format when you integrate a Facebook page for your small business into your marketing plan. Go to www.facebook.com/pages to get your page in motion and connect with customers on a more personal, daily level.