Facebook has been working hard over the past few months to roll out all kinds of new tools to help administrators of Facebook Pages.  Since almost all of our clients use Facebook, we thought we’d round up these new tools to show you both what they are and how best to use them.

New Analytics Indicators on Status Updates

Below each status update on your  timeline, you can now see an indication of the type of reach that post had.  You’ll see bot the number of people reached and the percentage of your total audience.

Pretty cool, right?

How to use it

Numbers are great if you use them.  Pay attention to your status updates to help you determine:

  • When to post.  If you consistently see higher reach numbers in the morning than the afternoons, post more often in the mornings.
  • What to post.  You now have the ability to discern if your audience loves funny updates or behind-the-scenes photos or well considered links. Do more of whatever makes them happy.

Increase Your Reach with a Promoted Status

This is pretty awesome. Facebook has rolled out “Promoted Statuses” for brand timeline pages. Now when posting a status from your page, you have the option to “Promote” the post by spending between $5-$100.

You get to decide the reach of your post based on how much you want to spend, much like Google’s Pay-Per-Click AdWords.  The more money you spend, the more people you’ll reach.

All of these changes have been introduced alongside an interesting stat that on average, just 16% of fans see content that pages post. They estimate that with the Promoted Posts mechanism, visibility rates are up to 75%.

How to use it

You’re obviously not going to pay to promote each and every status update, but you should absolutely focus on the posts that are directly related to your revenue stream. Paying to promote a status is a great way to show your business off outside your “sphere of influence.”

  • Accolades and articles:  Published recently in the Wall Street Journal?  Pay to show the world.  Speaking at a conference?  Let everyone know.
  • New products or courses or events.  Trying to sell something?  Promote it. Trying to fill a class or event?  Promote it.
  • Job postings. Facebook is a great way to spread the word about your job openings, and a promoted status is generally much cheaper than Monster.com or other job boards.  Maybe not as specific, but that’s how this viral thing works.  Someone knows someone who knows someone.

Facebook Pages Manager App

The arrival of the Pages Manager app (iTunes store link) means you get notifications to your iPhone and can post or respond to comments directly through the app rather than having to login elsewhere in response to the email notification.

You can track multiple pages if necessary and do all of the standard Facebook interactions you can do from your browser, like posting photos, commenting, and posting status updates.

Most importantly, the Facebook Pages Manager app will also give you push notifications for any interactions that happen on your page, so you can engage your fans right away.

Obviously, this creates better engagement between page owners and their fans because the owners can respond to messages faster.

The most important feature of the Pages Manager app is that it allows page admins to get access to their insights page from anywhere. Keeping up-to-date with your page’s reach, views and new likes is important for admins, and being able to do it from anywhere should help to greatly improve overall efficiency.

Scheduled Posts

While we’d all like to think we can be on-call 24-7 to attend to our community’s needs, it’s just not possible.  You want to stay visible, timely and authentic, but you also need a vacation.  The ability to schedule posts is one of the main reasons we’ve had to rely on third party apps like HootSuite.

Not any more!  Now, you can schedule a post directly from the Update box on your page for any time up to six months in advance. I suggest you line a few up every time the mood strikes.

Facebook Page Admin Permissions (Roles)

Having access to a business Facebook Page potentially gives you a very high level of responsibility. Not everyone has the ability to instantly communicate under the guise of a brand to what could be hundreds of thousands of fans at the click of a button.

Now, when you make someone an admin of your Page, you can set a specific role for them.  Perhaps you just want them to be able to create posts and moderate comments, but not schedule advertising or view your Insights.  Facebook has created 5 user roles for your admins so that you can decide who has access to what.

Of course, you manage these Roles in the same place you manage your page.

Whew! That’s a lot of changes that all seem pretty helpful for a small business managing their social media presence – and from what we’re reading, there’s a lot more rolling out this summer.

Have you used any of these new tools and with what success?