Last Updated Feb 16, 2011 1:33 PM EST
For the most part, I like what I see. Here are some of the key changes:
- Your page layout now looks a lot more like your profile layout
- You can choose to use Facebook as yourself OR your page
- You get the option to be notified by Facebook anytime someone posts to your page
As I said, for the most part, I like what I see. However, there are still a few ways your use of your business page can be improved.
1. De-select the option to always use Facebook as your business page even when you're logged in as yourself.
You can do this by going to "edit page," which is now at the top right of your page, and then navigating to "your settings," which is the first option in the left menu.
Why, you ask? It's quite possible that your business page has far fewer fans (or "likes" or whatever you want to call them) than you personally do. Heck, some of your friends might not even be aware of your business' Facebook presence.
By giving yourself the option to post to your business page as yourself, you are increasing the chances that your post will show up both in your friends' personal news feed, as well as that of anyone who's "liked" your page. And if you tag a business or another person in your post, then they'll definitely see it (don't overdo the tagging, some people don't like it and Facebook limits how many people/pages you can tag in a post any way). And the likelihood that they will engage is higher if they can see the post... right?
I tested my hypothesis. Here's the result:
Since Facebook allows you to toggle between how you'll use the platform, it's easy enough to switch skins, as it were. And it adds a nice touch to use your page as yourself, particularly if (like me) your business page's avatar is a logo or non-human image.
2. For notifications on when someone's posted to your business page, use Hyper Alerts.
Facebook's incorporation of email notifications for when someone posts to your business page is a nice addition, but it's clunky. You have no control over how often you get the alerts, and you get a text email giving you the post or comment, with a link.
That's all well and good, but it can be a pain if your page starts getting a lot of activity.
Instead, consider de-selecting that option (again, in the "your settings" option as in #1 above); in fact, I'd suggest disabling alerts for any pages you manage.
Then sign up for Hyper Alerts, which is an excellent tool that does exactly the same thing, but:
- You can decide how often you want to get the emails;
- You can set these up for as many pages as you'd like; and
- You get a very cool email that also includes a screen shot of the comments, which is much more pleasing to the eye than a plain text email.
3. Schedule posts and updates to your page via HootSuite or Amplify.
The one thing that Facebook has not added as yet is the ability to schedule posts to one's profile or page. I'm all for spontaneity and authenticity, but particularly if your page is one of the outposts where you promote your blog posts and other updates, it is extremely time-consuming to have to do it in real time.
Until they come up with a solution, schedule your posts through HootSuite or Amplify, both of which let you schedule any number of updates ahead of time. While you can't tag your friends or fans directly as you can on Facebook, this will still take a bit of the load off.
However, if you do this, remember you still have to pay attention to your page and also post in real time, otherwise your engagement factor will be zilch or thereabouts. But adding in a few scheduled posts to your daily "to do" list will help you manage your time better and reduce the "time suck" factor that so many small businesses worry about when it comes to embarking on social media.
Image: daveynin via Flickr, CC 2.0
Shonali Burke is Principal of Shonali Burke Consulting where she helps turn businesses' communication conundrums into community cool. She opines on PR and social media at Waxing UnLyrical and is considered one of 25 women that rock social media.