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:
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
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”
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
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
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
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
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 institution; brand or product; artist, band or public figure; entertainment; 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.