3 Facebook Changes You Need to Know About
As the world’s largest social network, Facebook constantly fine-tunes its products for both regular users and business users. Over the past month, Facebook has announced multiple new/upcoming features that we feel are particularly interesting due to their applications for private companies and public agencies. Here are the top three new features:
Facebook is offering Page owners the opportunity to “Build Community Around Your Page” by creating your own Group that is linked to your Facebook Page. “Facebook Groups let people connect with your Page and each other. Now you can interact with Groups as your Page, and your Page can be an admin of these Groups.”
As with other Facebook Groups, the new linked-to-your-page Group can be either Public, Closed (Anyone can find the group and see who’s in it, only members can see post), or Secret (Only members can find the group and see posts). This new Group option is especially useful for cities lacking online “watering holes” that discuss City business, policies, programs and events. Or you could use the Group for personalized customer service with clients.
NOTE: Before jumping into creating a new Group attached to your Page, check your organization’s Social Media Policy to determine how staff would be able to interact with other members in this Group, if at all.
Group Insights will enable you to better understand what is happening in your Groups and help you decide how to best support your Group members: “Group admins will be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement and membership — such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.”
Post scheduling has been a feature on Facebook Pages for a while, so it makes sense to add this function to Groups as well: “Group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.”
Your Facebook Page ‘Cover Photo’ is a great opportunity to showcase your brand. Now, you can make the Page Cover a little more dynamic by adding a short video (which will loop) and a text overlay.
According to Facebook: “We recently started testing the ability on desktop to upload a video as the Page cover. Once a cover video has been created, video will render when people visit the Page. By making cover video available, we want to help you create more engaging interactions and drive more rich experience for your audience by letting you spotlight your creative content in one of the most prominent spaces: your Page cover.” Note that this feature is still in the testing phase, so you may not see it as an option for your own Page right now.
Your Cover video (mp4 and MOV file formats are preferred) can be anywhere from 20-90 seconds long and should be at least 820×312 pixels. The video will automatically play when someone visits your Page and has a mute/unmute option in the bottom right corner, like other videos on Facebook. The default setting is muted, so think about how effective your video is without sound enabled.
The second, new Cover feature is a text overlay for Cover photos — an additional opportunity to communicate your organization’s mission or motto, or to promote an upcoming event. The text is limited to 100 characters and, by default, will run across the full width of your Cover photo. As of this writing, you are unable to format the font: it will be white, sans serif text.
Pro Tip: You will notice in the screenshot below that our Cover text fits nicely on two lines. To force a line break, first compose your text how you want it in a text editor program such as TextEdit or NotePad, then copy/paste it into the text field.
Tripepi Smith stands ready to help you take advantage of these Facebook features. Contact us today to find out more about how we could help with your social media management needs.