Facebook Pages Adds New Functionality & Google Places Get a Makeover
Despite the short holiday week, Facebook and Google have announced some big changes to their social platforms.
Each of these changes have big implications for business owners, so I wanted to offer up some highlights and point you to some great resources where you can learn more.
Facebook Introduces Promoted Posts
If you’re a Facebook page manager, you may have a received an email by now introducing you to the new promoted post functionality. Now, in addition to buying Facebook ads, you have the ability to pay to increase the viewership of your individual posts.
Thanks to the Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, only a fraction of your fans see a given update to your page. With promoted posts, you’re essentially paying to get more eyeballs on individual items you share.
While there aren’t any guarantees to how many people will see your individual updates when you promote them, Facebook does give you an estimate of what paying for promoted posts will get you. And, since the starting price is $5 per post, it’s something that page owners can easily afford.
Even if you don’t use promoted posts, this change now gives page owners the ability to see the estimated number of people reached for each update. While we’ve had this functionality for a while in the admin panel, seeing these numbers on the page itself is a great change.
If you want to read more about this, here are a few articles and resources to check out:
- Promote Your Page Posts – Facebook Help Center
- Facebook Rolls Out ‘Promoted Posts’ to Extend Reach of Your Page’s Content – Hubspot
- Facebook Launches Promoted Posts, Pay as Little as $5 for More Fans to See Page Content – Social Fresh
Facebook Announces Scheduled Posts
If you’re someone who likes to schedule your Facebook posts like I do, you have to use a third-party app for that. Now, Facebook will be rolling out the ability to schedule posts right within the social network itself.
I think this is smart and much-needed change. Although you can still use third-party apps such as Buffer and Hootsuite, I think this will be a simple way for page managers to plan their interaction on Facebook.
Also, tucked within this update, is the ability to assign user roles for everyone that has admin rights to your page. This is a welcome addition – especially if you have several people with access to a page.
It appears admin rights are already showing up on pages, but there’s still no word on when scheduling will be available. Keep your eyes peeled for this in the coming weeks.
Read these for more:
- At Last! Facebook Allows Pages to Schedule Posts, Assign User Roles – Hubspot
- Facebook Chips Away at Marketing Providers By Adding Native Admin Roles and Scheduled Posts – TechCrunch
Google Rolls Out Local+ Pages
If you’re a local business, chances are good that you have a Google Places page. Or, at least, you did.
This week, Google automatically transformed your old Places page (you know, the one with the map and reviews) to a Google+ Local page. Clearly, this is Google’s latest move to further integrate search and social.
But, what does this mean for you? Here are a few highlights:
- Your Google+ Local page will now be available within the Google+ social platform. If you’re a Google+ user, you should be seeing this new tab available. This allows you to discover Local pages right within Google+.
- The Google+ Local page will also be available through maps and regular search, making this an important web property for business owners.
- Instead of Google’s own review system, it’s now integrates Zagat’s reviews.
- The new Local Pages are more visually interesting with photos across the top, much like the Google+ pages.
If you own a Google Places page, I would take a few minutes to update your page to make the most of the new format. And, if you haven’t yet set up a Local page, now is the time to do it!
Here are some great articles to check out to learn more:
- Google Places is Over, Company Makes Google+ the Center of Gravity for Local Search – Search Engine Land
- Still Avoiding Google+? Bad Move – John W. Ellis
- Local—Now with a dash of Zagat and a Sprinkle of Google+ – Google Official Blog
What do you think about these changes? Have you read any other good articles about this?