facebook business pages

A deeper look at the newly revised Facebook Promotions guidelines

Yesterday, I shared the news about Facebook’s latest Page Guidelines revisions and what the new guidelines require for those administering promotions. Today, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the changes. Why now? What could be coming? Should businesses discontinue using third-party apps?

My first thoughts about these changes

I’m nervous. I had an immediate bad feeling that my feed is going to be overrun with like contests - most of which are unlikely to have the disclaimers mentioned above. So far, this hasn’t happened, but the spread of this change has been surprisingly sedate. We’ll see what the next few weeks bring.

I’m frustrated. On behalf of every page admin who took the time and effort to follow the rules Facebook set out to the letter. It takes integrity to do that knowing that so many don’t and never see consequences for it. We’ll continue to encourage our clients to go by the rules and make sure their promotions are legal as well. (And by that, I mean letter of the law legal, not Facebook “legal”.)

Things that make me go hmm…

I’m wondering what Facebook is up to. Last year, when timeline launched and cover photo restrictions were put in place, page admins spent time and money adhering to the guidelines, only to have the guidelines almost completely stripped away a year and a half later after a couple of strange modifications that created annoyance along the way. 

Who does this change affect most? Third-party apps. Could Facebook be considering launching its own contest module? We have the ability to post Offers and Questions (for now) on Timeline - so, why not Contests? Just a thought. It wouldn’t be the first time Facebook did this kind of thing.

And what about the recent algorithm changes? If a post asking for likes is considered lower quality, won’t that have a negative impact on like contests? These promotion changes coming right on the heels of the algorithm changes that are seemingly contradictory make me wonder (again) - just what is Facebook up to? We’ll find out when we find out and only when they’re ready for us to know, I’m sure.

Facebook has every right to make these changes - it’s their platform. I have no objection there, but I’d rather think about this more critically than looking at the surface changes.

Before you run a promotion on your timeline:

  1. What’s your end goal? Vanity metrics (more likes) or actual leads (collecting emails/other info)? One is well-suited to a like contest. The other is only going to be feasible with a third-party app.
  2. Are you asking fans to upload photos for votes, or look at multiple photos of anything to vote? The only truly fair way to do this is in an app. 
  3. Do you want to have an easy, painless way to select a winner? I have administered one contest (years ago!) where entrants submitted content to our page for votes. Scrolling through all the content to find the entries, then making a list and randomly picking a winner…total pain. Go with an app.

There are actually quite a lot of reasons to run contests through apps, though I’m not opposed to like/comment contests…yet. I appreciate well-thought-out contests that follow the rules, but ultimately there needs to be a thoughtful planning process to meet a business objective before jumping in and running a contest. That is far more important than the number of people who enter.

What was your first reaction to the latest Facebook Promotions changes?

The challenge of increasing Facebook fan page visibility

Back in the fall of 2012, Facebook announced that they were going to add page notifications and a pages feed to everyone’s personal profile. I was pretty excited about this development when it happened, but ultimately, there are very few pages I want to receive notifications from. I was more excited about the pages feed, but I realized recently that I haven’t even looked at it since the first few days after the announcement. Have you?

When I realized that, I jumped on Facebook to take a look. Yep, it was still there. Just waiting for my attention. And I’ll make a conscious effort to have a look at it now. Then I found a really wonderful little feed right below it. It’s called the Like Pages feed. There’s always been a place like this, but it wasn’t so readily available. I somehow missed when this one went live. I was impressed with the pages presented to me. They were definitely related to content I’m interested in and I immediately liked about 20 pages from the list.

That leads to another interesting change: Facebook has started displaying a list of page recommendations when you’re on a page and click like. The algorithm may not be perfect, but the idea is interesting.

My first thought when I saw this was that Facebook could monetize this and allow businesses to buy recommendation spots, much like AdWords. Like every other step toward monetizing their service, it would certainly be controversial.

Either way, it’s good to see that Facebook is continuing to give pages various options for improving their visibility in a space where the competition for eyeballs keeps growing exponentially.

What is your biggest challenge with reaching your audience on Facebook?

Facebook page notifications: Never miss a thing they say

As page updates are featured less and less in people’s newsfeeds, page administrators are trying to find ways to make sure that their fans see what they’re saying.  Facebook has introduced a new feature that may be the answer page administrators have been looking for.   We’ve talked about using Interest Lists, and given other tips on making sure engagement is high to increase your Edgerank but now you can also add page updates to your personal notifications.

What does this mean?

Every time you post an update to your page anyone who has selected this option will be notified in the top bar of Facebook just as they are for new comments, or posts that are made by people in your close friends list. Depending on each person’s settings they may also receive notifications by email and to their mobile devices.

What does this mean for page admins?

Page admins now have a way to make sure their super fans see everything they are saying. It also means they need to convince their fans that they are worth taking the time to add to this list and that what they have to say is interesting enough.

Will this be the solution page admins are looking for?

Because people don’t like getting a lot of notifications people probably won’t want to get notifications from most of the pages they follow. Though the option now exists, my prediction is that only a very small percentage of a page’s fan base will select this option.

How do you do it?

There are two easy ways to add a page to your notifications list.

1) From the page

Go to a page and hover over the like button and select “Get Notifications”.

2) From your newsfeed

Hover over the name of page that shows up in your newsfeed. A box with their cover image will appear and then you hover over the like and choose get notifications.

It’s that simple.

Leave a comment and tell us if you will be turning notifications on for some of the pages you follow.

Should I use my personal Facebook profile as a business tool?

Facebook has a reputation for being the place that you go to share the minute details of your life with the people you went to highschool with (whether or not you ever had had any desire to reconnect with those people in the first place.) But is that really what it is and is it a place you should be connecting with people for business?

Facebook is different for everyone

How I use my personal Facebook profile and how you use it are probably very different. Some share very personal information, some are very private and don’t want everyone seeing photos of their families, and some will say anything and everything and don’t care who knows.

My belief is that no matter where you are posting, you shouldn’t post information online that you aren’t comfortable with everyone (including your mother and your kids when they are adults) seeing.

This means that although I post personal information on my Facebook profile, it isn’t information I worry about others seeing. When people request to be my friend on Facebook *I* generally say yes. 

Connecting via your personal Facebook profile

Do I recommend that you connect with everyone on your personal profile? Do I think there’s a value?

There really isn’t a clear answer so here are a few points to remember about personal profiles:

- You can have a maximum of 5000 friends. Though this isn’t a problem for me now, some can hit the maximum amount so would need to pick and choose who they let in.

- There is a subscribe function which allows people to see your public updates in their feed without seeing the more personal information you don’t want everyone knowing about. You can always tell people you don’t know well that they should subscribe to you instead of friending you.

- Social media is about building relationships.  I build the strongest relationships on Facebook.

- Pages are a much better way of interacting with your client base as a business. Profiles are about you. 

What should you do?

Think about why you would or wouldn’t connect on Facebook and know that there will be people who will try to friend you on Facebook regardless of what you’d prefer.  

Once you’ve figured out if there is any value in being friends with people who aren’t actually your friends and if you decide if you feel comfortable with letting people into your inner Facebook world you’ll know what the right decision is for you.

Let’s connect!

Come connect with me on Facebook now. You can subscribe to my public Facebook updates, you can add me as a friend and I’ll probably friend you back if you tell me it’s because you read this post, and most definitely go like the Wellman Wilson Consulting and sign up to our newsletter for more tips and tricks when it comes to social media!

Then leave a comment letting me know if you connect with people you meet for your business with your personal Facebook account.

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How to schedule posts on your Facebook Page

Facebook recently made some updates to Pages that are really exciting. I think I could feel the excitement of every page admin I know when we all read about admin roles and scheduled posts.

But how do you schedule them?

It’s not super obvious, so here’s the rundown:

1) Set up the content that you want to schedule - status, link, picture or video. Add any text you want to include.

2) At the bottom left of your post you’ll see a little clock. Click on it and select the year, month, day, hour and minute (you only get the 10s as an option) you want your post to be published.

3) Press the submit button and Facebook will confirm that you’re scheduling the post for the date and time you specified and you can close out or go to your Page’s activity log to see the post. 


BUT, what if that post you scheduled needs to be changed or cancelled later?

Good question! Because this part is even less obvious. First, apparently you have to be using Facebook as yourself - not as your Page.

Go to your page (still logged in as you).

At the top of your page, you’ll see an Edit Page button. If you click on it, there is a list of options. Select Use Activity Log.

The top section of your activity log has all your scheduled posts. You can change the scheduled time or delete the content but editing isn’t available…yet (I’m betting a future update will clear up this little issue).

Now, isnt this handy!? And if you go to our Facebook page today, you’ll see that post was published last night as planned. (Feel free to like our page while you’re there if you’re so inclined. ;)

Have you scheduled any posts to Facebook yet? What do you think do far?