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    12 Facebook Features And Tips You're Probably Not Taking Advantage Of

    1. Message Fans

    Last year Facebook made it possible for you to message your fans as your business page. This is invaluable to you as a business as a means of contacting your customers to complete sales or perhaps to inform them they have won a giveaway on your page. To message someone just look for their comment on your page and click the message button there.

    If you have a lot of comments, use Ctrl F to search for their name.

    messageto fans

    When you reply, it comes from your page and includes a copy of the post too.

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    2. Scheduled Posts

    This feature has been around for ages but still goes unused by many page owners. You can schedule weeks or months’ worth of posts for your page, up to a 6 months in advance. This comes in handy if you don't have time to be there each day and great if you were to go on holiday and want your page to run as normal. You can save yourself a lot of time just by sitting down at the start of the week and planning out and scheduling all your posts.

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    Facebook automatically schedules in your country's time zone.

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    3. Facebook Ads

    There is a lot of misinformation out there about Facebook ads but done right you can grow your page with a targeted audience very quickly.

    We recommend reading blogs by Jon Loomer (widely regarded as one of the best Facebook Ads experts out there!)

    Before starting to run ads, you’ll need to decide what your objective is. Do you want to grow your fan base with more likes? Or more engagement on your posts? Perhaps you want to drive traffic to your website? Knowing your objective will determine what sort of ad you run.

    We recommend starting with a small budget while you find your feet with Facebook Ads, then when you're confident they are working well, you can increase it.

    4. Like As Your Page

    You can like other pages as your business page and they will appear on your page timeline. This is a great way to show who your business supports, especially if you have sponsors or other businesses you collaborate with. Just head to the page you want to like and under their cover photo click the '...' and choose ‘Like As Your Page’.

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    5. Blocking / Banning

    For a long time there has only been two ways to block someone from your page.

    a) By expanding the entire list of people who have liked your page and searching them out which only worked if they had liked your page.

    b) Waiting for them to comment and then banning them from there.

    This left your page completely open for people to send you unsolicited messages and spam. Now you can ban people straight from your Inbox too just by opening their messaging and clicking on the cog wheel on the right hand side and choosing 'Ban From Page'.

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    6. Invite To Like From A Post

    You can invite people to like your page if they have liked a post on your page. Go to a post and click on the list of people who have liked it. You will see 'Invite' next to the names of people who haven't liked your page. Bear in mind, some of people do not like receiving these invites.

    invite to like

    7. About Section

    Your About section is so important for your page. Not only does it tell people all the important information they need about your business such as who you are and what you do, but it is also picked up and indexed by Google so make sure it’s full of key words and phrases. Complete this section as fully as you can so people have enough information to make a decision about whether to like your page or buy your products or services.

    8. Facebook Web Address

    Head to your About section and under Page Info you will see your Facebook Web Address. This is where you can choose a custom URL for your page to get rid of the horrible long string of numbers. It looks tidier and it makes your page easier to find in search too. Try choosing one that matches your page name and check your spelling as you can only change this once.

    E.g. www.facebook.com/your-business-name-684612395478234 would become www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname

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    9. Your Cover Pic

    Your cover pic is one of the most important pieces of real estate on your page and is the first thing your customers see when they land on your page, so make it eye catching and update it regularly (say once a month). Use a well-designed cover with images of your service or product. If you're not in a position to make your own cover then go ahead and get in touch with one of our Graphic Designers who offer great rates on these designs, it will be worth every penny! Make sure your cover is the correct size because if it is even 1 pixel out it will make your cover look blurry and grainy. Facebook often changes image dimension, including those for cover pics, so check this page to get the latest dimensions or do a Google seach for 'Facebook Cover Pic Size 2016' for example.

    10. Unpublished Test Page

    Create an unpublished Facebook page to use as a test page where you can upload new covers, profile pics and posts to check they look good before publishing it live on your real page. If you run a Facebook Group then you can use this idea too. Remember that image dimensions for pages and groups are different.

    11. Facebook Groups

    A VIP or Sales group to run alongside your page can be a great addition to your business. You will need to run the groups as yourself (not your business page) as business pages cannot join groups. The advantages of having a group are being able to build stronger customer relationships plus you can use it as a place to offer special deals, discounts, giveaways and sneak peaks of new products. Since groups can't be advertised, you will need to use your page to funnel people into your group. Include the link to your group in newsletters and shipping notifications to your customers inviting them to join. Groups are also great for getting feedback e.g. new ranges or new designs.

    12. Back Up Admin

    Recruit a backup Admin for your page or group as insurance in case something happens to your personal profile or you get locked out of Facebook for any reason. If your page is attached to only your profile and you lose access to your account then you won't be able to get onto your business page either. Ask your partner or a trusted friend to be a backup Admin on your page. They will need to be a full Manager, so make sure it’s someone you trust. They will probably want to turn off notifications for your page in their personal settings.

    Do you have any tips or secret Facebook features we may not know about? Please share in the comments!

    Image attribution - Facebook graphic from StartBloggingOnline.com