Social media marketing is becoming a necessity for small businesses. According to a recent survey, in 2012, 55% of small businesses had their own blog. Out of the 462 small businesses interviewed, 43% say they spend 6 weekly hours or more on social media, and 90% of small businesses are on Facebook. That’s huge!
Not surprisingly, Facebook is the leading platform in the field of social marketing. They are well aware of the exponential growth and keep on rolling out new features that can help businesses reach more people and engage with a greater number of potential customers.
If you’re relying on social marketing as part of your business plan, it’s important that you keep track of the latest marketing tools released by Facebook. Here’s a brief introduction to the most recent tools you need to know about.
Facebook Fan Page App (Now for Android Too)
Managing a Facebook page? Performing this task on a mobile device can get pretty difficult. Facebook’s regular app is great if you want to stay tuned to your profile, but if you’re managing a Facebook fan page, your needs are entirely different. This is why Facebook launched the Pages Manager App for iOS last year and for Android earlier this month. The Pages App is the optimal tool if you run a Facebook page and want to keep up with your fans’ activity while you’re on the go. Multitasking can get wild when you run your own business and the option to perform some tasks from your phone gives greater flexibility.
Here are some of the main things Pages app lets you do:
- Post new updates and photos
- Respond to fans’ comments as your page
- View and reply to private messages
- Get notifications about new activity on your page right away
- View your latest page Insights
Extend Your Reach with Promoted Posts
Facebook rolled out Promoted Posts in May 2012, enabling businesses and brands to extend their reach to more customers by paying to promote certain posts. Promoted Posts appear on the news feed of the people who like your Page AND their friends, which means you have a better chance of increasing your current fan base. This Facebook marketing tool can be used on any item that was posted after June 21 2012, so you can determine which item on your page has the highest promotional potential and then leverage it to empower your page and reach.
Here’s how it works:
- Create a post, click “promote”. You will see different prices to promote the post depending on the number of fans you would like to reach.
- The post will appear on targeted news feeds as a “sponsored story”.
- You can track and analyze your posts’ performance. Facebook tells you the number of people you reached and the percent of your fans who saw the post.
Facebook Graph Search (Coming Soon…)
Graph search is a brand new feature, recently revealed by Facebook and currently open in a limited beta. The feature allows you to search Facebook for things centered around four focus areas: People, Places, Photos and Interests. Search gives information shared by your friends, as well as public information on Facebook. It can be used just like any search engine, but the info it reveals is entirely based on people’s interests. For example, if you travel to New York, you can search for “New York restaurants Master Chef fans like”.
Graph search is still in beta, but many people already predict it will be a very useful tool for marketing. Page owners will gain new insight on their fans and will be able to target their content effectively. If you know many of your fans like a particular music artist or a TV show, you can provide them with engaging content and strengthen the conversation on your page.