In an upcoming—but not altogether surprising—Facebook update, the social media powerhouse has announced they will be making some changes to business pages. The changes come after years of steady declines in the visibility of business page posts among user News Feeds. As the base of active users on Facebook increased, the demand for information and business pages seemed to also plateau. Couple that plateau with the surge in businesses arriving on the platform and you’ve got the recipe for fierce competition.
In the wake of continued scrutiny following blunders of the likes of the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook has been making concerted efforts to provide increased utility to users. These business page changes are no different. They—so Facebook claims—are being made as a way to make business pages more useful to customers, not just the businesses that run them.
We believe Facebook business pages are—and will remain—a necessary tool for connecting businesses and consumers. And so, we’ve rounded up the top three things you need to know as these changes roll out.
- Useful information will be highlighted: As a consumer, have you ever visited a Facebook business page and struggled to find the information or features you need? Whether it’s a “call now” button, appointment setting feature or even recommendations or reviews, business page features that are useful to customers will now be given prominence. This is a prime example of how providing greater utility to consumers will ultimately also benefit businesses as well.
- Reviews tweaked in a small, but meaningful, way: If you run a business, and have a Facebook business page, you’ve certainly experienced the wrath of the 1-star review with no comment left. Of course, the opposite also happens in the form of the coveted 5-star review—also with no commentary. One good, one not so much—but neither provides great utility to other consumers. What’s so great or not so great about the business? Facebook recognized this challenge, and in an effort to make reviews more useful, they will now require a 25-character minimum. This is a good thing for your business page.
- These likely aren’t the last of the changes we’ll see: There are other changes being rolled out as part of this update (for more on this round of changes, follow @VIVIAL on Facebook and check out our coverage of Facebook Business Page Updates). But these are definitely not the last changes we’ll see out of Facebook. Facebook’s own VP of Local, Alex Himmel indicated that they will continue to discuss ways to continue to “help businesses make sure their meaningful interactions add value and are ranked well in the feed.”
Regardless of the changes Facebook is making to business pages, one thing remains unequivocally true: Facebook is still a necessary tool for any local business to connect meaningfully with their customers. Here’s hoping these changes facilitate those connections.