Whether you love it or hate it, if you’re looking to promote your business online, Facebook is one platform you can’t ignore. It can definitely be a bit of a mystery, even if you’re well-versed in Facebook marketing, but when done right it can yield great rewards. To make the whole experience a little bit easier, and to save you precious time, I’ve put together 10 Facebook hacks and tricks that you might not have heard of before. OK, so I can’t promise you these tips will equal instant Facebook success – it’s never that easy! But remember, a little bit here and there adds up to a lot. And, if you still want more at the end of this article, you can check out our ultimate guide to Facebook for business.
11 Facebook Hacks and Tricks That You Probably Don’t Know About
1. Backdate your posts
If you’re kicking off your page and want to go live with a decent amount of content in your feed, you can backdate your posts and spread them out over a number of weeks. Just schedule a post as you usually would, but instead of selecting a date in the future, opt to ‘backdate post’ and select your preferred day and time.
This is a nifty trick to avoid a sad, empty Facebook page come launch day (or even to cover your tracks from your boss if you forget to post on time!).
2. Prevent fans and followers receiving notifications when you update your basic profile info
This one is simple but really worth keeping in mind when you’re using a Facebook business account. If you’re setting up or editing your page, spamming your followers’ feeds with irrelevant updates is an amateur move you want to avoid. For some reason, the default setting means that when you fill out your address, phone number, and other personal info, it all finds it’s way into users feeds as separate updates (!).
You can dodge this Facebook faux-pas by going to your ‘General’ settings and clicking ‘Page Updates’. You’ll see a box next to the option ‘Automatically publish posts when info is updated on this Page’. Make sure the box is unchecked before hitting ‘Save Changes’. In fact, there’s no real reason why you need this activated at all, so once you’ve unchecked that box you can simply forget about it and get on with your day!
3. Discover your ‘secret’ inbox
On Facebook, everyone has a second inbox where ‘message requests’ from anyone who isn’t a friend end up. In some cases, it might be spam, but there is the chance you could be missing genuine messages that you want to respond to. Facebook categorizes these messages for you to avoid your inbox being flooded with rubbish and spammy ads (great), but it doesn’t notify you when you receive these messages (not so great).
In fact, many people aren’t aware this inbox even exists! The only way to know what’s there is to check, which you can do by going to Messages and clicking ‘Message Requests’ (‘Recent’ is the default). Do this regularly to ensure you don’t miss messages from potential customers or clients.
4. Boost your chances of getting your content seen by not posting on the hour
More often than not, brands and businesses will schedule their content for something o’ clock. It could be 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 6 o’clock… and of course, this means that you’ll be posting at the same time as your competitors, potentially throwing your posts into a content abyss and risking that your post won’t get seen. Check out when your direct competitors are posting, and select an ‘odd’ time shortly after (say 13 minutes…).
Don’t forget to track your reach to see what kind of an impact your new posting time has.
5. Use Link Preview posts to generate traffic
Link preview posts are optimized to drive traffic to your blog post or landing page due to the fact that the entire image, title and meta description are clickable – so make the most of it! If you want to get click-throughs, you should create content that is going to work well on Facebook as a preview post, rather than creating content and then sharing it on Facebook as an afterthought.
Your post should be interesting and enticing, with just enough information to hook the reader, but not too much that you tell the whole story in the post itself. It should go without saying that the content itself has to provide value, though. Clickbait is so 2014. Of course, driving traffic might not be your focus – there are plenty of other important KPI’s to track on Facebook that will indicate how valuable your content is for your audience.
6. Integrate your Instagram feed into your Facebook page
Displaying your Instagram feed on your Facebook page is a great way to cross-promote your content. If you don’t have a technical team to build an Instagram widget for you, you can use an app such as Woobox or Iconosquare’s Instagram feed tab, which embeds and displays all of your Instagram posts under a separate tab on your Facebook page.
Even though the Instagram feed integration isn’t offered by Facebook itself, it’s actually really easy to add. All you have to do is connect your account, click ‘install’ and follow the step by step. Done!
7. Manage your Instagram and Facebook messages from the same inbox
Keeping on top of the tons of messages you receive across every channel can be exhausting, so it’s nice to know their are options to make it easier. As of November 2016, Facebook allows you to view all of your messages in one place via the Facebook Pages Manager app. So, if you’re Interested in saving yourself some time every day, you’re going to want to give it a go!
8. Pin Posts to the top of your page
Have you recently posted an article that is just too good to let slip to the bottom of your page? Don’t make people scroll and scroll to find your masterpiece – pin that post to the top of your page where it will get the attention it deserves!
How do you do this? Just click on the 3 dots at the top of your post to reveal a drop down. There, the first option you’ll see is ‘Pin to Top of Page’. It’s as easy as that. I recommend using the pinning feature to push certain time-bound campaigns or special offers that you’re running, so they get the maximum amount of coverage and, hopefully, help you to reach your goal faster.
9. Promote your page to your email contacts
I don’t want to raise your hopes too much with this one, because from doing a bit of research it seems this feature may have been recently removed OR is only working for a limited number of pages. What am I referring to? The ‘suggest page’ feature, which allows you to upload your email list as a CSV file and promote your Facebook page to them directly via email.
If you’ve got this feature (fingers crossed!), you’ll find a ‘Suggest Page’ button when hovering over those 3 dots at the top of your page. If you don’t, you can always create an email newsletter that displays social buttons linking directly to your page with a CTA encouraging your list to follow you on Facebook. Offer them an incentive, such as the potential to win something from your store, or access to discount codes only released on Facebook. Who could say no?!
10. Enable HD uploads for better quality photos and videos
You’ve taken some great quality photos that you want to share with your followers – maybe it’s a behind the scenes look at an event your business was part of, maybe you had a photoshoot to promote a new product. You upload them to Facebook. But then, to your dismay, you see that your lovely photos have been minimized and distorted. All that effort…!
But don’t worry, it could be that you haven’t enabled HD uploads on your account. When activated, HD uploads makes all your photos look much sharper. To easily fix your fuzzy photo issues, go to your account settings on your Facebook mobile app. Make sure you’re in the settings of your personal account associated with the business page. Then, simply select ‘Videos and Photos’ → ‘Upload HD’.
11. Pay attention to the tips featured in your business profile sidebar
You know what they say – you should never look a gift horse in the mouth! So, if Facebook are going to offer you tips to improve your business page without you even needing to search for them, why not give them a try? If you have a business account you should be able to see at least 3 suggested page tips in your profile sidebar. They might be on building up your community, creating effective posts or expanding your reach, amongst other topics. Keep an eye out for anything that might be useful for you, as it could save you time and money in the long run.
And that’s a wrap! These Facebook hacks and tricks should help you get more from the platform and leave you with more time to focus on the bigger picture (ie. your strategy!).
If you want to learn more about using Facebook for Business, starting with the basics through to defining, monitoring and adapting a successful strategy, check out our guide “Facebook for Business: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners”