Facebook very quietly rolled out three cool features that should have anyone who does online marketing taking notice. While each update is relatively small by itself—and long overdue in the case of two of them—they signal an interesting shift in Facebook’s attitude towards marketers who use, and sometimes heavily rely on, the service and its 900 million-plus users.
Native Facebook Post Scheduling
It’s almost baffling this feature hasn’t existed until now, but page admins can FINALLY schedule posts natively from Facebook. This is one of the original reasons why marketers started using 3rd party tools such as HootSuite to control their posting, so it will be interesting to see if page owners (especially for non-enterprise level businesses) start posting straight from Facebook more often.
Instructions from the Facebook Help Center page:
- Choose the type of post you want to add to your Page
- Click the icon in the lower-left of the sharing tool
- Choose the future year, month, day, hour and minute when you’d like your post to appear
- Click Schedule
This is particularly interesting to me because study after study has shown that 3rd party platforms—even white-listed ones—seem to have their status updates appear in the News Feed less often than posts pushed through Facebook itself.
5 Levels of Facebook Page Admin Access
This was actually announced two months ago at the Facebook Marketing Conference and should bring a large sigh of relief to any organization with more than one person managing a Facebook page. Previously, anyone listed as an Admin to a page had the ability to do whatever they wanted to it. So, if you wanted to allow a newly hired intern to pull Facebook Insights or make an update to the page’s About section, you were also giving them keys to the entire castle.
Now, natively through Facebook, you can grant each individual admin access to only what they need. Passing out admin status to people solely for the purpose of doing data analysis or moderation just became a whole lot easier (and less stressful!).
Complete breakdown can be found on its Facebook Help Center page.
Facebook Promoted Posts for Pages
Further blurring the line between paid and earned media is Promoted Posts for Pages, which allows page admins to pay Facebook for the privilege of having a status update reach a greater percentage of fans than usual. Now available for all pages with 400 or more likes, this new ad unit is sure to conjure outrage from marketers who are squeamish about the idea of paying for exposure in what has traditionally been an organic section of Facebook.
Normally, any single page post reaches only a small percentage of people who like the page (and the percentage tends to go down the larger the fan count). This new addition will allow marketers to pay to reach a greater percentage, which some would argue should be happening already. I can hear the conspiracy theorists now: Facebook is purposely devaluing brands who do not spend money on Promoted Posts!
Final Thoughts on Facebook Changes
The first two items are particularly interesting because they signal a shift from Facebook to get marketers to rely less on third party tools. There has been a great deal of discussion about the consolidation of social media management platforms lately—Buddy Media and Virtue were both recently acquired, for example—but no one has really talked about Facebook absorbing one of these companies themselves. If Facebook’s goal is to get marketers to spend more money on advertising, giving them more intuitive and robust tools to do so would be a great start.
What do you think of these changes? Are they good or bad for Facebook marketers? Let us know what you think in the comments section!