Businesses have screamed and complained and finally Facebook has listened (sort of) and has done some fine tuning of the Facebook business pages. The changes are subtle in nature and many businesses are not going to get too excited. Facebook is trying to redefine business Pages with these changes for the 80 million small businesses on its platform and the 1.6 billion people connected to them. What are the exact changes and how will they work. Let’s take a deep dive.
First, Pages will emphasize utility related to the business, like a “make appointment” or call option for service industry type businesses or reservations and menus for restaurants. The recommendations users can give friends through Facebook’s special News Feed post format triggered when people ask for suggestions will now appear on a business’ Page. Comments are also being revised to include a 25-character minimum. One particular "add-on" that Facebook has also added is the related page feature which I know is not making local businesses happy. It simply promotes competitive like businesses in your area. An example is if you own a tire dealership, similar pages of other tire dealerships will appear. This makes admins nervous as people search you only to find others offering the same services or products. Not very practical in my opinion.
To provide promotional options beyond the feed, all small business can now post ephemeral (short term or limited use) Stories. Facebook is all rolling out its job applications tab as well so small businesses can easily find staffing. Again, from a marketing standpoint, I don't really see the benefit of this overall but I am willing to give this tab a chance. Both of these could give advertising revenue opportunities to Facebook which presentlyis declining and it needs the extra income and some positive press.
Lastly, Facebook is adding a Local bookmark to the desktop site that opens the same nearby businesses and events guide it offers through its mobile app it launched in 2016. 700 million people now connect with Facebook Events each month, so that medium has become an important bridge between businesses and customers. Facebook will be talking more soon about how local businesses can stay relevant and visible in the News Feed.
Facebook is making Business Pages more valuable at a time when merchants might wonder why they’re on the platform if it’s so hard to get News Feed distribution. Facebook Business pages are only as good as the content that is on them. This means new content daily or at the very least several times a week and user engagement.
Tags: #facebook #social media #small business #marketing #branding