With over a billion active monthly users, you’d think a social media platform would be easy to use and understand. But in the nine years since Facebook opened to any user over age 13, there are many of us who have spent time scratching our heads. Even stupid stuff, such as why Facebook at one point took away the “poke” (and what-the-heck did a “poke” really mean anyway?), has taken up brain cells that might have been put to good use otherwise.
So now, just because I love Midlife Boulevard I’m going to answer some burning issues about Facebook Pages that have bubbled to the top in discussions on the Facebook Group, Women of Midlife.
1. What is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Timeline?
First a bit of history that might help. Facebook began with “profiles.” People would open an account, “friend” some people, and write on their “walls.” When you went to your Facebook you would see your own wall or profile. Since 2012, we’ve been seeing status updates from friends on the “newsfeed” instead. (We can still get to our own Timeline by clicking on our photo in the top tool bar.) Facebook invented the “Page” to attract businesses and public figures. In the beginning, in order to qualify for some “Page” features, a person (or brand) had to have a certain amount of “likes.” For a while, after Facebook introduced its privacy settings in 2012, non-business users were encouraged to drop their “Pages” and just use their timelines. However, many people, brands, and celebrities still rely on Pages to communicate with their fans. Another important difference: Facebook Pages offer metrics so you can track whether people are reading your posts or acting on your offers. The Facebook Timeline does not offer metrics.
2. How do I edit a post on my Facebook Fan/Author/Professional Page?
You can edit any post your write on your Facebook Page the way you do on your Facebook Timeline. In the upper right hand corner of the post, you see a downward facing arrowhead in gray. Click on that and your post will turn into an edit box. When you’re finished, click done. Be aware that anyone who has administrative privileges can edit your page. You can keep track of edits by clicking the word “edited” that will now appear on your post.
3. How do I add photos to my Page?
On a computer browser: if you look at the top of your page, you’ll see several tab options: Timeline, About, Photos, Likes, More. Click on Photos, and a box will pop up that says “Add Photos.” Click on that, and it will take you to your hard drive. Any photo in your hard drive can be added to your photos (just as it can on your Timeline). Also, any photo that you’ve used for a post that’s still on your Page will appear when you click on that tab.
4. What is the best way to advertise on a Facebook Page?
You have several choices for advertising. For a “Sponsored Story” you first need to choose between “boosting” a page or a particular story. A “Page Like” will show someone a friend who liked a page and then ask (with a “like” button) that person to like the page as well. A Page Post story will show an excerpt from a the post you choose (instead of the whole page) and then ask the person (with appropriate buttons) to “like,” “share” or comment on the story. You can also write an ad promoting your website (instead of your Facebook Page) or start an ad campaign, an event or a promotion. Your Facebook Page has a lot of information and will clearly take you through steps while you choose your goal (boost your audience, get installs of your app, and so forth) and decide how much money to spend. You can choose to pay for cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (the number of times a post is displayed, whether or not anyone clicks.) For this reason, many people think they get more bang-for-their-buck with CPC.
5. Is maintaining a Facebook Page worth it because of “the algorithm?”
For quite a while, Facebook was using an algorithm that basically made it impossible for a Page to appear in anyone’s newsfeed unless the Page owner was taking out advertising. (This was called “pay for play.”) Facebook now says that everyone has equal ground, but people still complain that they are no longer getting the page views they used to. So pay attention to your metrics. If it all sounds too complicated, you can kill your Page and maintain a public Timeline (and use privacy settings when you are posting something for just your friends). Facebook can be great for your brand and a fantastic way to sell, say, your self-published book. But if you’re not making back what you’re putting out, it might be time to change tactics.