One thing about Facebook is that it changes the way people can use it frequently, adding tools, apps and features – whether people like them or not.
It’s hard to keep up with all the new options when Facebook is just one part of your marketing communications job, so here’s a list of five relatively tools that I find helpful in managing Facebook business pages.
For the last year or so, I’ve been using Socialyzer or Buffer to schedule all of my social media posts. One problem with that is that if you use the same scheduling app for Twitter and Facebook, your Facebook posts appear with Twitter hashtags in them. Judging by the number of posts I see on my Facebook newsfeed every day, this isn’t a problem for most people, but it annoys me.
Now, Facebook has rolled out a scheduling feature that enables brands to schedule posts directly from Facebook. It’s not easy to find – look for a small clock in the left hand corner of the box where you add new posts. That’s the scheduling feature.
Pro Tip: You can backdate posts to create milestones for your company’s Timeline – an especially useful feature if you need to make a new page look better established, or clean up a previous administrator’s errors.
If you haven’t yet used the pencil icon (which appears in the upper right corner of any post), it’s time to make it part of your regular Facebook review process.
If you spot a mistake, or want to make a change in a new post (less than 24 hours old), just click on the pencil icon and enter the new content. To edit an older post, click on the time stamp, then click on “edit” under the post.
Note: This seems to work on posts with pictures, photos and captions, and posts with videos or hyperlinks – but not on those that contain only text. Facebook says that editing for all posts is possible, but this seems to be a browser-specific feature that doesn’t include my browser.
Yes, you’ve been able to post a completed video on your Facebook page for a long time. But until now, there hasn’t been anything like Instagram for video. Enter a new app called Broadcast with Friends or BFF from Ustream.
It’s an iPhone only app for now, and it’s still in beta. But the press is going crazy for the app, and it’s easy to see why. I can’t wait until I get the ability to share live videos and collect real-time comments and “likes” as you broadcast.
BFF was designed as an app for personal streaming, but large brands like Pepsi are already jumping on the bandwagon, live streaming concerts, corporate events, and video news releases. I’m planning on using it to live stream conference presentations, product demos, and behind-the-scenes looks at events. The possibilities seem endless, and what I’ve seen makes the app look easy and robust. The only unknown is the cost — and whether or not Facebook can handle the volume of live-streaming videos that may get added as BFF rolls out.
Once upon a time, adding an app to your Facebook page meant costly hard coding from a professional developer. No longer. Now you can simply select an app and embed it in your page. Unfortunately, when it came time to rearrange where the apps appeared, things weren’t quite so simple.
Now, rearranging where an app appears on your Facebook page is only a few mouse clicks. Start by clicking on the pencil icon in the top right-hand corner of the app, and go to ‘swap position with [app of your choice].”
For example, you can move the app that prompts your audience to subscribe to your blog or showcases your YouTube channel so it’s among the things people see first when they visit your page. The possibilities are endless – and you can update the page layout whenever you have something new to feature, or when your analytics tell you it’s time to promote one feature over another.
Getting help in managing an active Facebook page is now as easy as adding new administrators. Just click on “settings”, and change the admin roles. It couldn’t be faster or easier.
Before adding an administrator, take time to review your company’s social media policy to make sure that ownership of social media accounts is spelled out, and that the new administrator has been trained in your goals and objectives for the page. This is one place where an ounce of prevention can be worth a fortune in litigation. (For more information on protecting yourself and your company, download Shawn Tuma’s excellent overview on social media law.)