New Year, New Facebook Updates for Local Businesses

Author Silhouette Written by: Jennifer DePiero

Jenn DePiero from our digital marketing team expands on new updates that were recently made to Facebook’s Business Pages and why it benefits local dealers, agents and franchisees.

Is Facebook a part of your local marketing strategy for 2017? Are you looking for ways to enhance how potential customers interact with your brand online through Facebook?  The popularity of the platform remains steady: our State of Local Marketing Report found that 74 percent use Facebook to market their business. Now is the time to make sure your brand is properly taking advantage of these updates. 

Facebook realizes how crucial its platform is for small businesses, and has made some significant updates and changes to the layout and features of Business Pages to better serve a large portion of its users. These changes were made to give business page owners more flexibility in how their pages appear to visitors, improve real estate to clearly convey key information in their timeline and provide additional posting options. With these significant changes comes an even more significant responsibility for your local affiliates to stay attentive to them and learn how new features can improve their Facebook presence.

Check out the changes that Facebook recently made to Business Pages.  We encourage you to share this blog post with your local affiliates who are active on Facebook so they can take advantage of these enhancements.

1.) New Shops and Services sections make significant updates to page layout

Until now, Pages have been very much the same for every business despite different uses for the platform. Now, Pages are very customizable to each industry, business, etc.Two new sections to Pages include the Shops and Services sections. The Shop section brings a business's products, pricing and other information to the forefront of the page, and the Services section enables  businesses to showcase a list of their offerings. The new sections helps potential customers understand the most important information of the business faster.

Previously, the most recent posts appeared at the top of the timeline. Now, the Facebook Shop or Services (if enabled) will display first followed by videos and photos, and then by the most recent posts. This allows businesses to place their most valued content and information first.

Other page updates have been made to the Business Page profile. The recommended cover photo size has also been updated. Ideal cover photos images should now be a sRGB JPG file at 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes in file size. Work with your internal design team to get the perfect cover photo for your page.

To capitalize on this new layout change, it’s a great time to encourage local affiliates to revisit the types of content (i.e., video, photo, etc.)  used on their Business Pages to ensure it’s high quality and current. If not, consider creating new content that will help drive interaction that local affiliates can use.

2.) Local businesses can organize tabs to highlight most important information first

Businesses now have the power to customize their page to specify the order of displayed content. This allows businesses to organize their tabs to best suit their business needs - if they have a Shop or Services tab, Facebook recommends having these appear first.  Putting important information at the top of the feed will help drive visitors to the content they should be seeing. Are you trying to drive engagement through photos? Or maybe the goal of your Facebook page is to recruit with job postings. Whatever it may be, organizing the tabs section allows visitors to see what’s most important to your business first.

3.) Template options offer customization for different industries

Facebook now offers page templates to ensure the page has all the right features, call-to-action buttons and content tabs enabled depending on the type of business. Template options vary from venues to restaurants to professional services. Take a look at the available templates (under Settings, Edit Page) and choose the one that works best for your affiliates’ business’s social media goals. If you operate in a distributed marketing environment with several local affiliate Facebook pages, it’s important to ensure all pages use the same template to maintain consistency. Learn how Brandmuscle can help streamline social media processes for your business.

4.) “Write something” box updates allow new ways to share content with customers

There is a new, more robust “Write something” box that aims to help local businesses connect with their customers and get the results both the marketer and the customer wants. This allows your local affiliates to:

  • Share a photo or a video
  • Encourage direct messages
  • Easily create and post about an event or offer
  • Share business location
  • Get customers to view a product

However, the availability of these posting options may vary based on the chosen page template and its supported features. Encourage local affiliates to test the different options and be creative with what type of posts they publish to see the best results from the new updates.

As businesses continue to leverage the power of social media, it is important to stay up-to-date with the changes that Facebook makes and use these updates to their advantage. Having a solid Facebook Business Page is just one step towards social media success, which in turn means an increase in leads and business for your brand. Take advantage all of all the tools available to enhance your fans’ experience with your Business Pages and help build a lasting relationship with your followers.

As Facebook makes these customizable enhancements, it's important to empower your affiliates to edit their pages accordingly, but even more important to remain consistent across all pages representing your brand. Find out how Brandmuscle can help execute distributed social media marketing for your brand.

What do you think? Does your Facebook Business Page need some love? How do you plan on leveraging social media in 2017? Let us know in the comments below.

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