Despite ongoing criticism of its data privacy practices, Facebook shows no signs of slowing down, with recent research (admittedly from Facebook itself) showing that its users are up 8% year over year.
The same data shows that Facebook’s average daily scroll time is one hour, and that its active users numbered 2.85 billion in the first quarter of 2021. Add to this the report that two-thirds of users visit a local business’s Facebook page at least once a week, and the signs are clear: it’s as important as ever for marketers to know how to use Facebook for local businesses.
However, one of the trickiest things to manage is the pace of change: Facebook just won’t stop updating its layout! But if you can keep on top of the updates, you’ll be in the right place at the right time when your clients wonder how effectively to use them.
Consider the following: in 2019, Facebook first announced a new page layout design for businesses. They promised to de-emphasize the primary newsfeed and bring privacy and connection to the forefront.
In the early summer of 2020, the new designs started to roll out. As of today, Facebook is still rolling out these changes, but the problem is that local businesses don’t understand how to effectively use the new layout. Which is where experts, like you, come in.
Below are some advanced strategies to help optimize your client’s Facebook Page for maximum results.
About the New Page Experience
Through Facebook pages, businesses can create a professional online presence, build relationships with their audience, and engage with them. A Facebook business page can be used the same way as a person’s profile.
In addition, all old content will automatically transfer to the new Page, such as posts, videos, stories, and the Groups your business is a part of. Page followers will be moved to the new Page, as long as the follower likes and follows the page.
What’s new for Facebook Business Pages?
- Switching between business and individual pages is quick and easy.
- Page management tools have been updated (now you can grant others access to the Facebook Page or tasks).
- A simpler and more intuitive design.
- Dark and light mode options.
- More relevant notification methods and improvements to insights.
- The business page will now have a separate newsfeed (the new Page lets businesses curate a newsfeed separately from a personal profile).
Optimizing the New Page Layout
At this point, you should already know who your client’s target audience is. Ask yourself: does the current setup of the page appeal to that audience? The cover photo, bio, and profile info that speaks to your client’s target audience reveals their professional attitude and is a crystal-clear signal for engagement.
Have you ever heard of the question, “What’s your bumper sticker?”
Rachel Miller, the founder and CEO of Moolah Marketer, teaches this strategy when consulting others on optimizing a Facebook page:
Go to your client’s Facebook page and blink. In those 3 seconds, what did the page tell you? Do you know exactly what the business is about? If not, then the “bumper sticker” needs some optimization to draw the viewer’s attention and so they can remember what the business is about.
One of the best ways to achieve this is with a cover and profile photo.
There are two things to keep in mind when choosing a page photo. First, a very small version of this image will appear next to all posts. If the image is too detailed, the viewer will not be able to interpret the message. Second, this picture is going to appear right next to the title of your page.
- The profile picture should be at least 180 x 180 pixels (and square).
- Ideally, the profile picture should be able to read when viewed at 40 x 40 pixels (which is what it looks like in the newsfeed).
A cover photo is a nice way to make your page more eye-catching. With a bigger image, you can show more about your client’s page.
Ask yourself: What are your clients’ competitors doing? What information are they missing that you can provide on your client’s cover photo?
- Try changing your cover photo seasonally or when your business has important news.
- Instead of a cover photo, you can now use a video. It can be 20 to 90 seconds and should be at least 820 x 312 pixels.
Update Contact Details
This is crucial for your success. Make sure to place your top keywords in the contact details and anywhere else you can appropriately add them. If needed, update the opening and closing times, contact details, and website URL. Be sure to double-check these details and to make sure they match what is on the website and in their Google My Business listing.
Citation management is a core part of Local SEO. A Facebook page can play a huge role in verifying accurate data about a business with search engines like Google.
If the business name, address, and phone number are incorrect, Google and other search engines will not recognize that the Facebook page is associated with the business. All that work and hard-earned SEO will be obsolete.
To update details, go to your client’s page, and then select “edit details” at the bottom of the About section. Or log in to your Facebook Business Manager, select the page, scroll down from the menu on the left and select “edit info”.
When updating the details, keep the following in mind:
- Does the category match what the company is about?
- Do the Business contact details (name, address, and phone number) match what is listed on the website and Google My Business listing?
- Confirm, update or add the CTA button and include the landing page that the user will see if the suggested action is taken.
- List other social links with a link to the user profile (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.).
- Incorporate the price range.
- Specify the types of services offered by selecting the options provided.
- Each product or service should be highlighted in the Service section (including keywords).
- Check the description field: does it speak to your client’s target audience? Otherwise, update the information and add keywords.
- Earlier this year Facebook removed the “our story” section but now wants you to add that story in the “additional information section.”
- Website details: This is self-explanatory, but oftentimes we have to add the website URL to our client’s page.
- Bonus tip: Link back to your client’s Facebook page from their website. This will help you in your reputation management with Facebook Recommendation efforts by increasing the page rank for the business name.
Ask for Facebook Reviews
With nearly two-thirds of Facebook Users checking a businesses page weekly, reviews are something to focus on. Facebook Reviews (previously known as Recommendations) are a living, breathing word-of-mouth beast. Consider discussing a reputation management strategy with your client about allowing others to view and leave reviews on their page.
The best way to get authentic reviews on Facebook is to have the employee who worked most closely with the customer personally reach out and ask for a review when they have experienced a ‘reviewable moment’. A reviewable moment is when your company has gone over and above, and the customer has expressed how happy they are with your client’s service.
The majority of people ask what to write in a review. So go the extra mile, take the lead, and give some guidance on how to leave a review that will answer a potential customer’s questions when they are reading your reviews. Use what we call the “2W Review Strategy.”
- What benefits have you received?
- Why would you recommend us?
Provide your clients with a link to their Facebook page so they have that information handy and can easily access it when a reviewable moment takes place.
Repurpose Facebook Page Photos
Google and Facebook are invisible to each other. In other words, search and social are completely different worlds. So, copy content from one world (Facebook) and post it to another (Google My Business).
When a new client signs up with us, we immediately create a “win” for them by downloading all of their Facebook photos and adding them to Google My Business. Our Google My Business insights increase with photo views and starts us off with a small win.
Here’s how to download photos from a Facebook business page:
- Log in to Facebook and navigate to your Facebook page.
- Click on “More” then the “Photos” tab and then “Albums.”
- Select the album you want to download and then click on the three horizontal dots on the album.
- Select “Download album.”
- Facebook will notify you when they collect all the images and videos from the album.
How to upload photos to Google My Business:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Click Photos from the menu.
- Choose the type of photo that you’d like to add.
- Upload your photo from your computer or choose one that you’ve already uploaded.
With a consistent strategy, Facebook can be used as an awareness monster, working to build rapport with current and potential customers. Keeping up with that can be challenging for online business owners. This is precisely why they need you, an expert, on their team, to help optimize their page on an ongoing basis.