If you think back to the start of the year, Facebook has changed drastically compared to what it was before. The introduction of Timeline, new mobile apps, the introduction of sponsored stories and the tweaks and changes made to Edgerank meant that keeping up to date has been challenging to say the least.
It's been a hectic year, but among all the changes that have happened, we are seeing more consistency in how the site functions. For those who know the basics behind setting up a company page, there are many ways to improve and make the best out of your page so here are a few sections you should focus on.
The biggest change made to Facebook's pages has become the most dominant part of the site. Cover photos, apps and status updates have become more visual and so, you should embrace your creative side if you want to appeal to new fans.
Have A Striking Cover Photo
The cover photo will be the first thing people see when they arrive at your page so make the most of it. While it's entirely up to you, most pages combine both the cover photo and the profile picture to create one major image. If you do decide to go down this route, make sure you know where your profile picture is going to be positioned when you're designing it so that it matches up.
Something worth keeping in mind is that while you're not allowed to have a call to action on your cover photo, there's nothing to say that you can't have one on your profile picture. Because of its small size, this would be limited to a logo or large symbol that should be identifiable from the news feed.
Organise Your Apps
Just after your cover photo and profile picture, the next most important part is what apps you have on display. While you can have twelve overall, only the first four will be displayed automatically. Much like the profile photo, you want to make the images for these apps eye-catching and ensure that they're of value for your fans.
Your uploaded photos is the obvious tab to place here, but if you have a blog, ebook, newsletter or service that you want to promote, this is a perfect place for it to feature. Use images that convey what the tab is about and make them easy to understand. Remember that you have space in the "About" section to place a site URL so if you do that, you don't need a tab that links to the same location.
Prioritise Popular Posts
The third and final way to use visuals to your advantage is to prioritise specific posts. Everyone knows that you can pin any post to the top of your page or resize it so that it spans both columns, so
why not do both take advantage of these features.
If it's something you wish to promote and you have a decent quality image, pin it to the top
and highlight it so that it's the first post people see. The only thing to keep in mind for pinned content is that it only stays at the top of the page for seven days, after that it goes back to chronological order.
(Update: Originally, we said that you could both pin and highlight a post to give it the most exposure. However, this isn't possible as Facebook only allows you to do one at a time. Thanks to everyone who highlighted this).
Ensuring that your content is seen by all is perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of Facebook. It's impossible to post while all your fans are online, then with some adjustments and testing, you can improve the chances of your posts being seen.
Choose The Right Time
There's a time and a place for everything and the same can be said about the time you publish content. While your entire fanbase won't be online at the same time, you can test out different times to find out when the majority are online.
While you will have to try out different times first before you know, there are a few things you can do first to help improve your chances. For one, you should check your insights to see where your fans are from and their age group so you know what type of content will appeal to them. Also, experimenting with the type of content you post will show you what people respond to.
Use Multimedia Content
If you want to get your content noticed, there's no point in posting just a normal status update. The type of content that gets the most interaction are images, but don't be afraid to mix it up a little by posting videos, links, and polls. When you're posting content, make sure it relates to your brand's theme as constantly posting funny images with no substance won't get you far.
Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Facebook's algorithm Edgerank plays a massive part in determining what type of content appears on your news feed and it only prioritises quality content. While it might seem like a good idea to post a number of updates throughout the day, the reality is that if people aren't engaging with it, your rank will go down meaning that there's less chance of your content appearing on news feeds. Focus on posting great content which will increase your Edgerank standing and will result in more people seeing it.
Sometimes you will want to post an update that's only applicable to a specific demographic. If so, you can target your status update so that it only appears to fans from a specific location or age group. All pages have this feature and it's a great way if you want to post multiple posts without annoying a large portion of your fans.
If you have a budget to work with, there is another way to ensure your posts are seen by more people. All pages and users can promote their posts for a cost, and how much you pay depends on how many people you want to see it. Like all content, people will only interact with it if it's interesting or useful.
Getting Rid Of Duplicate Pages
If there are pages that are using your company name and are diverting attention away from you, you can ask Facebook to mark them as community pages. To do this, go into admin settings and click on 'Report Duplicates' on the left-hand side. Here you can search for pages that share the same name as your page. This is handy if there is any confusion between the official brand page and a third-party page.
We all can agree that the current Facebook Insights isn't the most comprehensive analytics tool out there. Still, there is still enough for you to work with and figure out what type of content gets the most interaction. If you want a simplified version of Insights, the "Pages" app is the perfect place to start, but for those who want to delve deeper, here are a few features that will come in useful.
Focus On "Engaged Users"
While you have stats like 'reach,' 'Virality' and 'People Talking About This,' perhaps the most important one to keep your eye on is 'Engaged users.' Why? This metric shows you how many people clicked on your post and engaged with it. This is useful when you're identifying the type of content your fans crave for and want to share.
Know Where Your Likes Are Coming From
A feature that's tends to be overlooked when you're browsing analytics can be found in the likes section. Underneath your demographic breakdown - showing you where your fans come from and what languages they speak - you can find out where your latest likes originated from.
This section goes into further detail about where your latest fans came from covering areas like mobile, third-party apps and social plugins to name just a few. Knowing where your fans are coming from can show you whether the content you post is resulting in new likes or if those widgets you installed on your site are doing the trick.
See Where External Visitors Originate
Another important area to look at is 'Reach,' which shows you how many people saw your posts and where visits to your page originate from. For the latter, it shows the number of views your page apps got as well as what third-party sites visitors came from. This is more useful if you regularly link to your Facebook content from other social media sites like Twitter or LinkedIn and you want to see how effective it is.
If you're more comfortable with handling analytics data through a different program like MS Excel, you can download your page's data. When you're viewing Insights, the export data option is located on the top right-hand side of your page. This way, you can delve deeper into your stats and spot trends that you mightn't have noticed the first time around.
Just because you already have a website doesn't mean you can't optimise your Facebook page for SEO. Like any page, there are ways to improve the chances of your page being found by the search engines. Like all SEO strategies, you shouldn't go overboard with the number of keywords you include, and always write for people instead of machines.
Get A Vanity URL
An obvious way to improve your chances, once you have more than 25 fans, Facebook will allow you to change your page's URL to include a custom name. This should include your company or brand name to make it easier for the different search engines to find your page.
Optimise Your 'About' Section
The 'About' section is important as it allows you to briefly describe what your page is about. You can use it to include both copy and a URL link so choose one or two keywords you want your page to be related with (e.g.: your company name).
Include Descriptions For Images & Videos
If you're regularly uploading images or posting videos, you can optimise them further by including a description and even a URL link. While we tend to post images and leave it at that, a description with keywords will give your content a greater chance of appearing on Facebook's internal search and have a small effect on more general search engines.
Edit Links Before Posting
When you're posting a link to a page, you can edit both the heading and the blurb underneath it to say whatever you want. When you click on the text, you can then add in your own description and keywords.
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