Surprise – More Changes with Facebook
It truly is never ending and difficult to keep up.
In the last quarter, Facebook focused a lot of its energies making it easier to advertise. No surprise there, since it is or will soon become the only way to reach Facebook fans.
Facebook advertising is a very big topic and deserves its own post or ebook.
This post will focus on those Facebook features (most recent and some that may have been forgotten or missed) that can help business owners in their marketing efforts to engage and expand their reach without costly advertising.
Newest Facebook Features
Facebook Pages to Watch
What is Pages to Watch
If you haven’t seen this new feature in your admin panel, don’t worry, it is coming in the next few weeks. It is part of Facebook’s new streamlined pages and newsfeed enhancement announced recently.
Pages to Watch is the marketing piece of these upgrades that allow you to monitor, engage with other Pages that are similar to your Page and that also attract your ideal audience.
How to Use Pages to Watch?
You can use Pages to Watch for competitive, marketplace or Facebook intelligence. Observe which posts the previous week were the most popular on those Pages. Seeing which posts capture the most engagement can help you stimulate your audience with similar types of posts.
Caution: Don’t copy. That’s not cool. Create your own posts, but use a similar tone and flavor of most popular posts on other Pages.
You’ll find Pages to Watch in your Admin panel. Click on it and review the Pages presented. At present, you can only select five Pages to monitor. Use the Engagement column to help select which Pages.
As you might imagine, there are a lot of questions around this new feature. To find out more about Pages to Watch you should check out this Facebook post.
Facebook Features You May Have Missed But May Want to Use
Facebook Graph Search
What is Graph Search?
This Facebook feature has been around for some time, but not until late 2013 did Facebook give it some marketing muscle. Now, Graph Search pulls status updates, photos, check-ins and comment from across Facebook.
How to Use Graph Search?
In the past, Facebook searches would only deliver brand or fan pages related to your search. Now, similar to Twitter searches, you can see the actual conversations that are going on within Facebook (and if posts are public). You create content to add to those conversations track brand mentions, find out which of your fan audience also likes that brand, etc.
To optimize Graph Search for your Fan Page, make certain all of your Profile and About information is up-to-date. Double check that you are using good keywords in these areas so you’ll be found in Graph Search.
With the Pages to Watch feature, you can also use Graph Search to find pages by inserting this phrase in the search bar: “liked by people who like (fill-in your page)” to identify other Pages to Watch.
Periodically, conduct searches on your business, industry or on your competitors to generate ideas for content and keep up with what is happening in the marketplace. Where appropriate, join the conversations on those pages that might be a good fit for your fans.
Facebook Star Rating
What is a Star Rating?
Think of this Facebook feature as another measure of customer satisfaction in addition to “likes”. Customers use a 1-5 rating scale and add a comment. Star Ratings have been around for some time, but Facebook recently started displaying the star ratings under the company name.
How to Use Star Ratings?
Use Facebook star ratings as you would with 1+ ratings for G+ or Yelp reviews. Ask your fans and loyal customers to provide you with star ratings. Make it easy for them by giving them this link so they’ll know how to provide you with star ratings.
Facebook Click-able Hashtags
What is a Click-able Hashtags?
If you’re on Twitter, then you know the power of hashtags (#). You tag a post by using the # symbol. Clicking on the hashtag in Facebook is similar to searching for that keyword or phrase.
Hashtags can help you extend your reach to new audiences by creating content relevant to a popular, existing hashtag. Hashtags also help you discover popular sentiments about a topic and opens the door for your to participate in the conversations.
How to Use Click-able Hashtags?
When you click on the hashtag, it will present you with search results related to that hashtag. You can also search your brand or product and identify the larger conversation that is going on using the hashtag. Join those conversations so you can get found and grow your fan base. You can also create click-able hashtags for a specific event or campaign to create some buzz.
Caution: The hashtag MUST be in the actual description part of the post to make it searchable and clickable.
You can find out more about how to use Facebook Click-able hashtags in this post from SocialBakers.
That is it for this recap of various Facebook features that can help you in your online marketing efforts without paid advertising. You can also check out this post and find a free workbook on how to find your audience on Facebook as well as on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
I would love to hear what you’re doing. You should share the Facebook features, techniques that you use to find your audience, capture more fans and increase your engagement in the comments section below.