Facebook, They Are A-changin’
Peter Panda

“Come gather ’round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon, you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times, they are a-changin’”

Legendary musician Bob Dylan, who received a Medal Of Freedom this week, certainly wasn’t referring to social and digital media when he penned this song in 1963, but the sentiment applies here. Facebook is releasing a host of changes for their business users, which is what we’ll detail here. Google is finding new ways to force businesses and users to Google+, as Courtney explains. And to top it all off, we’re t-minus 6 months until the Mayan Apocalypse.

Cue the fireworks.

Promoted Posts

Facebook’s first major post-apocalyptic IPO push is Promoted Posts for Pages. A budget is set for a post to appear in the news feed of a certain number of users who Like the page. Any type of post can be promoted, but it will appear with a “sponsored” mark on it when the user sees it.

As it is for any new paid placement product, potential returns are unknown but there are opportunities with this new tool. Think of it as a more interactive, conversational advertisement – if the content is engaging enough to get Likes, comments and shares, the “bang-for-your-buck” ceiling is pretty high. There’s also the opportunity to jumpstart specific campaigns or highlight major news through these posts.

If you want more direct information, Facebook put together a nice little informational video. Make sure your wallets are away while watching – the video has a decidedly “it’s only one cent a day to help” vibe to it.

Scheduled Posts

Another major, and long-awaited, addition to the wacky world of Facebook for business is the ability to schedule posts to your page. You can schedule posts up to six months in advance, though we don’t recommend that as you never know what zombie apocalypse could happen in that much time – your marketing strategy could totally change as you appeal to the undead.

Other than getting some much-deserved freedom back, with the ability to preschedule weekend or evening posts and schedule many at a time, these posts have a unique benefit to planning content and overall campaigns – you can get the live link prior to publishing. Once a post is scheduled, you can head to the Page’s Activity Log and click the timestamp, which will take you to the page where the post will live once it’s published.

Sounds small, but don’t underestimate the power of this ability. Search marketing long ago discovered the strength of customized landing pages, and Facebook posts can move in that direction with this ability. Television commercials are already directing people to a Facebook page – how long until they send them directly to a post through a custom link? Or an out-of-home piece sending a user to a mobile post through QR code? Even if it’s simply directing Twitter users to a Facebook post to engage there, the integrated planning potential here is an added bonus.

Administrator Roles

Similar to scheduled posts, administrator roles have been on the wishlist of Page managers for awhile. In the old structure, some corporate pages had upwards of 50+ people with the ability to do everything from post a video to create an ad or even delete the page. With the new structure, there are six different roles with powers ranging from full access to only viewing insights. The handy chart below was borrowed from TechCrunch.

page-permissions

As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, on Twitter, or our lovely Facebook page. If you have any questions about how these changes, bacon or how an unnecessary knowledge of the science of waffle making can affect your business, contact us. Unless you are a waffle maker, in that case, we welcome you for a challenge.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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