Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

4 Newer Facebook Features to Consider

4 Newer Facebook Features to Consider

If you’re a business looking to increase awareness of your company, build a community of customers or prospects, and advertise online in a highly targeted manner, Facebook continues to be the dominant social network. With some more recently added features, you can enhance the way you manage your Facebook Page and Instagram account together, raise funds for your business, and more.

1. Facebook Business Suite

Manage your Facebook Page and Instagram account at the same time using the Facebook Business Suite. You can also manage and receive messages, notifications, and alerts from both platforms in one place. You can also post, send messages, access insights and advertise in the Suite. Before you start using the Facebook Business Suite, link your Facebook and Instagram business accounts by going to your Facebook Page Settings and selecting Instagram then following instructions to add your Instagram business account. If you don’t yet have an account on Instagram, you can also add one through your Facebook Page and they will be automatically linked. Save time by using the Facebook Business Suite tools to create and schedule posts to both your Facebook Page and Instagram account. You can access the Suite through or through the Pages Manager app on your smartphone.

2. Try a Hashtag (Yes, Really)

Facebook adopted hashtags years ago, however, marketing experts soon stopped recommending the use of hashtags on Facebook, worrying that posts on Facebook Pages would be made less visible, not more, by Facebook. Facebook recently began to encourage the use of hashtags by offering hashtag use metrics in their post composer. The post composer also has a feature that recommends hashtags to use when you type in the hash mark or pound sign. Hashtags should be used sparingly on your Facebook Page post – one hashtag should suffice – and only a highly relevant hashtag should be used to potentially increase post visibility, particularly when people click on a hashtag.

3. Text in Image Ads

For years, Facebook limited the amount of text allowed on a graphic used within a Facebook ad to less than 20 percent. While Facebook still asserts that ads consisting of images with less than 20 percent text perform better, they’ve lifted this limit and claim they will not penalize ads that contain more text. If you have an idea for a Facebook ad that requires more text on the image, give the image a try. As with any ad campaign you run, consider creating more than one version of an ad to see which one performs better. Facebook allows you to change your campaigns at any time. If the ad with more text in the image is doing well, keep it going. If not, you have the option to pull it and use a different image.

4. The Social Business for Good hub

If your company is looking to do well by doing good, Facebook unveiled a new resource for businesses that is a guide to resources for companies with social-good business models and companies looking to make an impact by operating with Corporate Social Responsibility. The special section on Facebook’s website for businesses includes information about fundraising for a cause leveraging the popular social network and ways to integrate Facebook-owned channels such as Instagram and WhatsApp into awareness and community-building initiatives. While the resource also leads to tools for nonprofit organizations, Facebook offers tools to help businesses raise money – as non-tax-deductible contributions – as well.

As with any new feature on a social network, first consider your business goals, audience and the actions you want them to take to determine if that feature will be useful to you. Facebook, like all the popular social networks, continues to update features on a regular basis. Before you try one, make sure to read up on it, look for examples of the feature in use, and plan out how – and why – you will use it.

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