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By now you’ve probably heard the news that Facebook is making it even more difficult for businesses, brands and media to market their businesses. They are back to focusing more on interpersonal relationships between family and friends and are going to give very little (if any) organic reach to businesses that aren’t paying to promote their content.

Yep, there’s been plenty of panic and I’ve talked a few clients off the ledge recently, but at the end of the day, Facebook is an amazing platform and over 70% of adults are still using it daily. Which means you still need to be there and just have to get more creative with content and make it even more engaging! I’ll share all the information I can as time goes on to help you navigate these changes.

While Facebook is making some things more difficult, they’ve also launched some new features for business pages that you can leverage to engage your audience and make the most of your time on Facebook. Here are my top five:

1. Facebook Groups Connected to Business Pages

Facebook groups are nothing new, but what is new is the ability for a business to create it’s own group and then to connect it to their business page. Once inside the group, you can post and respond as yourself or as your business profile.

Here’s a little ninja tip for you, because we want as many people as possible to see your group and request to join, make sure you position it at the top of your profile. To do that, go to your page Settings, then select Edit Page (in the left column), then go to the Tabs section (in the right column) and drag your Group to the top of the list. You’re also going to need to promote the group and invite people to join. You can do that via social media posts, direct messages, emails and more, but don’t make the mistake of adding people to the group that didn’t express interest in joining.

2. Stories

I LOVE stories!  They are such a fun, quick and easily consumable way to connect with others by sharing events throughout your day. It’s so much more intimate than posts are and stories features like text, filters and stickers are just so much fun!

There are two ways you can add stories to Facebook now.  If you are an Instagram user and create stories there, you can simply go into your settings, then story settings, then turn on “Share Your Story to Facebook.”   You can also now create stories right in Facebook!  Just go to your business page in your mobile Facebook app and click “Create Story.”

And if you missed it, our last blog was all about creating stories in case you need a few tips to get started!

The 7-Step Social Media Strategy Guide

3. Business Page Polls

Polls have also been around awhile and have been really useful tools in groups. But recently Facebook made them available as a post type for businesses. What an awesome way to acquire feedback from your followers! And guess what? Polls get great engagement because people can provide feedback with a simple click. Get creative with this and work them into your content schedule to increase engagement and to learn things that will help you better serve your audience.

4. Facebook Shows

Facebook has actual Show Pages and for those of you that enjoy visuals, it’s a killer alternative to a podcast. To access shows, just click on the little TV icon at the bottom of the screen when you are in your Facebook app. Facebook is being pretty selective right now with who can have a show page but a few of my favorites are Gary Vee and Marie Forleo.

I’ve requested my own Show Page, but Facebook hasn’t deemed me worthy just yet. But guess what…I don’t need to wait and neither do you!  I’m in the process of creating a Facebook Show called Thinking Big with Bobbi B that I’ll broadcast using BeLive.tv and Facebook Live. This is our way to beat the new Facebook changes while providing even more value to our audience. Watch for more info on this soon because I’m super pumped about it!!

5. My Story

Remember back when Facebook first launched and we only had personal pages and this robust profile to complete about ourselves? We shared hobbies, favorite TV shows, books and movies, quotes and so much more. OK, that stuff is still there, but when was the last time you actually looked at the “About” section of anyone?

Well, Facebook has created what I think is a similar opportunity for businesses called My Story. You’ll find this on your business page, on the right side just under your cover image. Facebook is going to chose the photos that are there and will grab a short description from your profile. I highly recommend that you go in and edit that space to add some personality to your profile. Because the photo you select stays in the space, it’s almost like you have the opportunity to market two cover photos! And this story feature provides you a very visible space to connect with your audience and share your values, your passions, and the reasons why you do what you do. Get creative and make this space worth reading!

Make sure that you are doing a monthly audit on your Facebook business profile so you can spot new features as they come out. Sometimes Facebook tells us about them, and sometimes we have to do a little self-discovery!

Be sure to stay tuned for details on our new Thinking Big with Bobbi B show where I’ll be interviewing small business owners that have Social Media success stories to share and experts and influencers that have tips and strategies to share so you can better market your small business!

As always – if this was helpful and you’d like to get more tips from us on how to more effectively manage your small business social media and digital marketing, here’s a few ways to connect to make sure you don’t miss anything:

Bobbi Baehne

Bobbi Baehne

President, Think Big Go Local, Inc.

My mission at Think Big Go Local is to create a “buzz” around our client’s businesses online and in social media platforms so their message reaches their desired audience.  We know that relationships are built and maintained online each and every day and work to make sure our clients are building credibility, authority and attracting new followers and clients .  We don’t work in a cookie cutter environment, each of our clients is unique and their accounts are fully managed using their voice, talking to their specific audience and sharing value that keeps them coming back.

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