What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Facebook’s Latest Changes

Facebook Business Pages

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Facebook has seemingly gone out of its way lately to anger its users. With the privacy debacles, the “selected curation”, and the constant changes, it’s no wonder their stocks took a hit and individuals have left the platform.

However, even with recent, sizeable stock loses, Facebook is still a billion dollar company and more importantly, they want to stay a billion dollar company. The majority of their money comes from advertising on their platform. Their worth to advertisers are the individual accounts of people who would see that advertising. So their platform has morphed to tread a line between catering to the individuals by allowing them to see more things from their “friends”, but also ensuring that it’s predominantly the businesses paying money on advertising who are being seen by those individuals (not the businesses who don’t pay). So this means that even if an individual has “liked” a small business page, they may not see posts from that page unless those post have been “boosted” or the page has otherwise paid advertising dollars to be seen (or they actually go to the business page to view the posts).

The 3 Big Things Every Small Business Needs To Realize About Facebook

Facebook for Small Business
While many small business owners complain that Facebook is, “sticking it to them” by not showing everything they post to everyone who’s “liked” their page, in reality, it’s just Facebook trying to still make money. So love them or hate them, they’re a corporation that wants to make money as well as stay relevant … go figure. If you can’t handle this fact, don’t pay them, don’t bother to have a Facebook page at all, or learn how potential ways to make Facebook work for you in spite of their push for advertising (read on for that).

Facebook for Small Business
Facebook should not be the only business presence you have on the web and/or you should not rely on Facebook to get critical business information out to people. Repeat that 3x, out loud … because it really is that important. I continually see small business owners and non-profits use their Facebook page as if it was their company website or blog. They release important information (new products, services, fundraisers, donation requests, critical information like unexpected business clousures, etc.) on Facebook and then get all worked up when they find out people didn’t know about whatever it was they were posting (or didn’t see it in time to take an action). Anything you post to your business Page’s Timeline, post it with the knowledge that very few people may actually see it. If it’s super important info, make sure to use other ways to ensure the people you want to have it are more likely to see it.

Facebook for Small Business
There are certain ways to still utilize Facebook as a tool and some of these go hand-in-hand with some of the recent changes Facebook is making (as of August, 2018).

The coming Facebook changes and what to use to your advantage ..

After reviewing the upcoming changes to business pages, the emphasis seems to be on authenticity and transparency (ensuring the pages are legit, actual businesses, etc.) as well as presenting helpful information on a business.

Facebook will modify the mobile business page layout to put helpful/key information for users front and center. In addition, they’re also going to be putting Stories on Pages so that viewers can get to know the people behind the business (that authenticity thing).

Facebook Business Page Layout Changes for Mobile

Pro tips regarding these changes:

Ratings/Reviews is becoming Recommendations.
No more star reviews. Instead, viewers will have a yes/no choice on whether they would recommend a business. They’ll also be walked through the process of leaving a recommendation which will include choosing tags, writing about your experience, and the option to choose a photo for the recommendation. These recommendations will not be confined strictly to your Facebook page but they can show up in other Facebook results. Facebook is taking the stance that these will be, “discoverable across Facebook when people are searching for, or talking about a business.”

Facebook recommendations

Pro tips regarding this change:

Other ways to use Facebook as complimentary marketing…

Here are other free ways to use Facebook. It bears repeating that you get what you pay for though. You should not rely on these tools as Facebook can change them again at will (and they frequently do). We strongly recommend using Facebook strictly as complementary and an additional marketing tool. A professionally done company website that you own should still be the main/centerpiece of your online marketing.

As it stands now, it is still free to set up a business page on Facebook. So while it’s moving away from being about “fans” and “likes” for businesses, it’s still worthwhile to have a presence there and you can still take advantage of some of the free tools for complementary marketing for your small business.

Go forth and share ....

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