This week, Facebook announced several new features that may allow businesses to more precisely target their followers and effectively encourage them to complete a certain action.
New Call to Action Feature
Over the course of the next several weeks, Facebook will be unrolling an optional call to action button that sits on the header of Facebook business pages:
Once your page has been updated by Facebook, there are currently 7 different calls to action that you can deploy:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
When the call to action button is clicked by users, it can link them to a webpage or app of your choosing. Judging by feedback from the lucky few that were given early access to this button, the signs are good:
Dollar Shave Club reported that over the course of a 3 week test they ran, the new sign-up button “delivered a 2.5 times higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition.”(allfacebook.com) This could prove to be a powerful and versatile new feature for driving traffic to your site, or to a specific promotion that you’re running.
Organic Post Audience Targeting Tool
As Facebook has continued to throttle back the reach that organic (non-advertised) posts receive, it’s become harder and harder for businesses to reach a significant percentage of their audience without putting money behind posts. However, a new tool currently being unrolled to businesses allows you to target your posts to a specific portion of your audience based on their interests.
This isn’t an indication that Facebook has reversed their throttling trend – you won’t necessarily be able to reach a larger portion of your audience with organic posts. But you will be able to target posts to a more specific subset of your fans, in theory increasing the likelihood that these fans will engage with your post and be happy to have it in their newsfeed.
Unlike the advertising version of Facebook targeting (which allows you to target posts by interest across the entire platform) it’s important to note that this organic tool only allows you to target by interest within your pool of fans. Unless you have a large fan base, you’re probably better off keeping your targeting categories broad, because otherwise you run the risk of actually further reducing the reach of your posts.
Make Your Facebook Posts Disappear
Going forward, you’ll now have the option of setting organic posts to expire on a certain date. Although this won’t delete the post from your own Facebook page, it’ll ensure that it doesn’t show up in the timelines of your followers. This is helpful if you’re running a deal or promotion that’s time sensitive.
Facebook Smart Publishing
Although still not widely available, the point of this tool is to post the most important stories on your website to Facebook based on automatic curation completed by Facebook itself. (MarketingPilgrim.com) Facebook scans your site, finds the info it believes is most sharable, and then shares it with your fans. However, these posts don’t show up on your personal Facebook page, so it can be difficult to know when posts have gone out. Plus, unless you buy into this feature entirely it seems that you run into the possibility of redundant posting. (In the case of you and Facebook being great minds that think alike.)
Time will tell how well these new features work in actual application. But if you’re interested in your organic reach and engagement on Facebook (which you should be!), all of them are worth trying to leverage as they become available.