3 Hidden Ways to Improve Your Facebook Page

Dana Sheehan/ Digital Marketing, Marketing, Social Media

Facebook is a staple in a marketing strategy, and it’s an easy and inexpensive way to reach your audience. Pew Research Center shows that 71% of adults who are online use Facebook and 70% of those use Facebook daily. People spend 20% of mobile device time using Facebook, which equals 46 minutes a day. Bottom line: there’s a lot of people using Facebook and they check it a lot.

The challenge here, of course, is that where there are people, there are businesses trying to vie for their attention, and much of what is seen in a person’s newsfeed depends on Facebook algorithm. That makes it harder for the little guys to be seen among the crowd. While I highly recommend spending some advertising dollars on Facebook (which I’ll talk more about in a future blog post), there are a few things you can do to improve your Facebook page, which will increase views and interactions, that don’t cost anything but a little bit of time. Even better, they’re lesser-known strategies, so you’ll really put yourself ahead of your competitors.

1. Pick Your Audience

Facebook allows you to add a preferred audience for your page. This is one of those things you probably skipped over when you were setting up your Facebook page. It’s instrumental in getting your page in front of your ideal audience.

This, of course, means that you need to know who your audience is. If you’re not sure, download this worksheet to discover your audience.

Now that you know who you’re trying to reach, go to your Facebook page. Go to your settings and select General. In the list on the right, go to Audience Optimization for Posts and click edit. If this isn’t checked, check it. Now you have the ability to designate certain audiences for your posts.

Facebook-Audience-Turn-On

When you post your next update, click on the target icon on the bottom bar.

Facebook-Post-Audience

A new window will pop up with two options on the top – Preferred Audience and Audience Restrictions. Under Preferred Audience enter the interests that your audience has. As you type, suggestions will appear.

Facebook-Preferred-Audience-InterestsSelect Audience Restrictions if you want to limit the people who will see your post. This means that if you select women ages 18-25 who live in Pittsburgh, PA, your mom and dad aren’t going to see it. There may be times when you’ll want to use this feature, but most often you won’t need to.

Facebook-Audience-Restrictions

When you’ve finished, select Save.

2. Add Products or Services

Facebook recently added new Shop and Services tabs to their pages. Whether you see Shop or Service depends on your type of business. Because I don’t sell things, but services, my Facebook page has Services.

When you go to your page you’ll see either Services or Shop on the menu bar below your cover image.

Facebook-Services-Tab

On the Services tab, click the blue Add a Service button. As you add services, the newest ones appear above the previous one. Currently there’s no way to re-order them, so take a few minutes to decide which services are the most important and enter them in the opposite order so that the least important ones are on the bottom. Also, the first three will show up above the posts on your Facebook Page, so those should be your top three options.

Facebook-Add-Service

A new window will pop up. Enter the service title and a brief description. The title needs to be under 40 characters (including spaces) and the description can be up to 200 characters. If you have a price to post, include it here too. I don’t post prices because each of my services depends on my client’s needs. You can also add an image, which I suggest you do. The images are square and also show up on your Timeline tab for the first three.

Facebook-Service-Info

When you go to Timeline tab you’ll see the top three services prominently displayed.

Facebook-Services-Timeline-Tab

If you have the Shop option, click Add Product, then enter the information and at least one image. Keep in mind that the better the image, the more appealing your product is. Here’s Facebook’s page about adding products to the Shop tab: www.facebook.com/business/help/529846727168849.

3. Get Verified

If you’ve ever seen a Facebook page with a blue or grey check next to its name, that means it’s been verified by Facebook to be authentic. It’s something you expect the Big Brands to have, but you can get a check too! It immediately legitimizes your business and increases your ranking in Facebook search results.

There are a few things you need to do to become verified, but before I get into the details, there are 2 types of verification. The grey check is for businesses and organizations, and the blue check is for personalities including celebrities, public figures, and sports teams. Basically, are you promoting you or your business? This process reviews how to get the grey check for businesses and organizations.

First, you need to be official. That means your business needs to be a real, registered business. Go to your Facebook page and click on Settings and then General.

Facebook-Page-Verification-Settings

You’ll notice that my page has already been verified, but yours will have a Verify this Page link to start the review process.

Click on the link and then Get Started. At this point you will need to supply Facebook with information in order for them to verify that you’re legit. The fastest way is by phone. Enter your business phone number and Facebook will call you with a four-digit verification code that you then enter onto the page. However, because my phone number isn’t publicly listed as for my business, that didn’t work for me. So, on to Plan B.

This is where it gets tricky because now you need to send Facebook an official business document that shows your business name and address, and they confirm it with public records.

On my first attempt I sent a photo of a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue showing my Employer EIN, but they didn’t accept it even though it had all of the required information. On the second try I sent a photo of my letter from the IRS giving me my Employer EIN. I don’t know what made the IRS letter better than the PA one, but I’m verified!

Side note – you need to upload this document on their web page. Chances are, you’re going to take a photo of the document with your phone. What I did was upload the photo to Google Drive, then download it onto my computer and upload it to Facebook. A little tedious, I know, but since it was a one time thing (on in my case a two time thing), I didn’t mind.

The notification about my verification (or rejection) came the next business day. They were very fast.

Congrats – now you’re verified, with a lovely checkmark to show the world!

Here are the full steps using a phone number.

  1. Go to your Facebook Page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on General
  4. Click on Page Verification and then Verify this Page
  5. Enter your phone number
  6. Answer the call fro Facebook and get the four-digit verification code
  7. Enter the number into the popup window

Here are the full steps using a business document.

  1. Go to your Facebook Page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on General
  4. Click on Page Verification and then Verify this Page
  5. Click on Verify this Page with documents instead
  6. Take a photo of an official document on your smartphone
  7. Upload the document to your computer
    You will need to upload the document to a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox, or email it to yourself. Then go to the place you sent it (Google Drive, Dropbox, email, etc.) and download it to your computer.
  8. Upload the document to Facebook (there will be an option to browse to find the document)
  9. Facebook will contact you in about one or two business days by email to let you know if you have been verified or not.

You’ve Done It!

Way to go, you’ve taken a few little-known steps to improve your Facebook page! Share your Facebook page with me at www.facebook.com/littlebirdiecom.