Facebook, ever the land of updates and changes.
There have been a lot of changes and tweaks to Facebook Pages recently, some of which you may have noticed, others are still being rolled out to us.
We’ve listed what we know below, and we think that they’re pretty exciting changes for page managers of businesses and brands.
Changes to how you can post
Facebook has introduced a whole host of new options that you can “bolt on” when posting to your page. The most exciting is adding a button, call to action, for visitors to perhaps call you, or message your page directly. It’s a great way of encouraging people to get in touch with you, or find out more about your business directly from their own timeline, rather than having to click in to your page and discover your that way.
This is the first major change which we’ve already seen on our pages – reviews will be no longer, and recommendations will take their place. So what changes will we see and how will it affect business page owners?
- Your previous reviews will be converted into recommendations, and the review grading will remain at 5 stars. Facebook will reword to say for example, 5* based on the opinion of 26 people.
- More flexibility – as a person leaving a recommendation, you’ll be able to include a photo and also business tags!
- What’s a business tag!? Think hashtag! They’ll work in a similar way to how we’re used to searching for hashtags on Facebook and Twitter currently. The tags will apparently help visitors to your page figure out what it is you do, and they will help Facebook to categorise your business for searches. This could be fantastic for local recommendations, when someone asks for a service or question on local groups (like swap shops).
- Recommendations will need to be at least 25 characters long, so ideally meaning that comments left are of a higher quality then previous reviews.
- Reporting recommendations – getting rid of reviews previously was a real pain, and very longwinded. In fact, you needed evidence from the reviewer in most cases that their review was amistake for example, so that Facebook would manually remove it. Now, you’ll be able to report recommendations, either for being fraudulent, spam or paid for. How well this will work, we don’t know, but we hope it helps curb those competitors who fake review!
Use Instagram stories? Then you’ll have no problem here! Stories have been around a while on Facebook but have they actually taken off? They weren’t too easy to access, but Facebook will now be adding a choice for users to view your story from your page, simply by tapping your page profile photo. It’s so similar to how stories work on Instagram at the moment that we think this is a key development in Facebook stories, especially for businesses and brands.
Depending on your page type, you’ll soon be able to include a “prominently featured set of action buttons on Pages” – helping your visitors with call to actions like booking an appointment or table, sending a message or even writing a recommendation…
What do we mean by page type? A fairly new setting to Facebook was letting page managers choose their page types – so services, shopping, venues, movies and more. Each comes with a pre designed template within Facebook, changing the layout of your page and the modules within it. So the buttons which will start appearing soon will be tailored more closely with the page type/template you have. No point having a reserve seat button if you’re not a restaurant or cinema.
Facebook are trying to make it much easier for events to sell tickets directly off their Facebook pages, with some new ticketing integrations. This is certainly a “watch this space” update!
Expanding Job Listings
We’ve noticed a lot of job posts popping up on Facebook, which is great – notifications from pages you like and follow about their latest job vacancies. The option is apparently being rolled out globally over the next few months, but we suspect the UK region already has this enabled!
So what does it mean for businesses with all of these changes happening?
First off, look out for glitches! Facebook can be glitchy at the best of times, and we’ve already noticed our cover videos moving position for a day or two before reverting back. So be patient, perhaps wait for the changes to settle in before working on fitting your page around them. We personally think that these changes are a great move by Facebook to try and increase business reach and also many of them are to help visitors of your pages find the information they need quickly too.