Facebook’s latest page timeline design — more closely imitating a user’s personal timeline — started popping up in March, but the company announced Wednesday that it is rolling out the design worldwide.
By the end of this week, all pages should have access to the new design, which places tabs in the sidebar and eliminates the post shifting when a user scrolls down.
Facebook announced this in a blog post:
In March, we announced that Pages would be getting a streamlined look to make it easier for people to find the information they want, and give Page admins easy access to the tools they use most.
Earlier this week, we announced that Facebook now has 30 million active small business Pages worldwide. And now, starting later this week, all existing Pages — including the 30 million active small business Pages — will have access to the refreshed design, as well as more control over the functionality of their Pages.
Scared about tabs? Read more about tab placement here.
Page admins, if you haven’t seen it already, will see a prompt to switch over to the new design and take a tour of the features. Regardless of the decision page admins make at this time, the design changes will take hold 2 weeks after a page admin takes the tour.
Facebook stresses that the new timeline design puts more control in the page owner’s hands, as they’re able to customize the order of the sidebar (after the people and about info sections, which are stuck at the top automatically). The new design also places key stats such as notifications, page reach, and new likes in a right-hand sidebar.
When the page design was first announced in March, Facebook put out an FAQ section for page admins and marketers.
Readers: If you’ve had access to this new design, what do you think of it?
BIA/Kelsey predicts that U.S. social media advertising revenues will reach $15B by 2018 and locally targeted social advertising will see a year over year growth rate (CAGR) of 31.6 percent. Local SMBs are spending more of their marketing budgets on social media because they can strategically target the right consumers at the right times.
Check out these 5 Facebook ad tools that are helping SMBs increase customer acquisition and ROI.
1. News Feed ads
Ideal for increasing engagement as well as promoting events and special offers. These ads appear on the desktop or mobile newsfeed just like regular status posts, and they can include links, photos, videos, offers, events and more.
2. Geo-targeting, Interests and More
If you’re a small business looking to build a local following, you want razor sharp targeting. Geo-targeting helps you find the right customer base for your business, provide content to your desired audience and generate leads in your targeted location.
3. Custom Audience Targeting
Sometimes the most valuable audience you can reach is one that you already have a connection to. Small businesses can now upload their email or phone list into Facebook to create a targeted audience based on existing contacts.
For example, if you are a real estate company you can upload the list of customers who recently signed up for your first time homebuyers course on your website and then create an ad that’s targeted only to them.
4. Facebook Retargeting
Facebook retargeting empowers businesses to reach people on Facebook based on specific actions they’ve taken online, (such as visiting your website). For example, it may be more valuable for a real estate company in Tel Aviv promoting a new apartment building to show their ad to someone who has visited a number of websites over the past few weeks and has searched for “apartments in Tel Aviv.”
5. Conversion Tracking
When you advertise your external website and there’s a specific action you want people to take as a result of your ad (e.g. buying something), you can set up conversion tracking pixels so you know whether or not your ads are paying off.
After a conversion tracking pixel is set up on your website, when you create an ad for an external website, you’ll see the option to track conversions in the pricing section. If you track conversions, these will be reported back to you so you know exactly how many actions occurred as a result of your ad.
Does your business advertise on Facebook? Has it been effective? If not, do you intend to give it a try? Let us know in the comments!
Allison Freedenfeld is the Director of Product Marketing for Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Zibaba.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Square is announcing an acquisition today–BookFresh. BookFresh is an online scheduling service aimed at small business owners. We’ve described it as an OpenTable for everything but restaurants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read More
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Editor’s note: Hemant Taneja is a partner at General Catalyst and an investor in Stripe, Snapchat and Tunein. Follow him on Twitter @htaneja.
It’s been an exhilarating time for small business owners. Twenty years ago, they lacked the tools to expand outside of their niche markets. Today, the Internet opens a flourishing global market of consumers ready and willing to engage with businesses of any size. As Patrick Collison, co-founder of Stripe, once told me, the company’s largest customers may not even exist today. Anyone can turn a living room idea into the next Fortune 500 company.
Yet for all of the Internet’s opportunity, small business owners have never felt more overwhelmed. The demands placed on them are mammoth, from effective search engine marketing to online payments, logistics, customer support, and operations. Even today, much of their daily work is done with paper and pencil, even while the world transitions to mobile-first. It’s little wonder that our nation’s small businesses face such tough odds.
That’s why I’m excited about the development of next-generation business platforms that provide small business owners with simple and beautiful tools to compete. We’re finally moving beyond byzantine processes and complicated workflows to mobile-enabled software centered on clarity and accessibility. As a consequence, we are slowly witnessing the genesis of a “new economies of unscale,” in which small businesses aided by these platforms can suddenly defeat even the largest of corporations – and become household names.
We’ve seen this dynamic already in payments with Stripe and Square as well as in the back office with Xero and Expensify. I believe payroll is next for disruption, which is why I invested in ZenPayroll this past week. All of these startups are taking advantage of this new world, offering us a case study on how to leverage economies of unscale to give small businesses a decided marketplace advantage.
For those looking into the small to medium business space, there are three key lessons to focus on. The most prominent is that businesses are rapidly shifting to mobile. Small business owners are used to running their personal lives on Gmail and iCloud, yet when they arrive at work, they are forced to regress 20 years back to clunky desktop software (or worse). They expect the next wave of platforms to scale with their usage of mobile devices, and they are ready to adapt to new workflows.
Square has vigorously taken advantage of this shift, offering a product that not only replaces the legacy of cash registers, but also offers whole new options for small businesses. As anyone walking by the Ferry Building in San Francisco can attest, artists and photographers can now accept credit cards right at their tables. This not only increases convenience for customers, but it also allows these artists to track their sales and easily analyze their profits. In this mobile world, we suddenly have access to a point of sale anywhere, at anytime. And with Expensify mobile, web workers, freelancers and road warriors can now easily create expense reports by snapping pictures of receipts and submitting them on the go.
However, next-generation business platforms shouldn’t just clone ancient systems onto mobile devices. Instead, they must consider seizing the opportunity to expand the dialogue between technology and owners. For instance, we’ve learned a lot over the past few decades about what makes great companies work. The best startup founders understand that owners don’t have the time to consume all of that research, but instead bake those insights directly into the design of their products.
The second lesson then is that these new platforms are focused on the person, and surfacing the human relationships which underlie how we work. ZenPayroll was designed to place employees and employers as equals in the compensation discussion, inculcating a culture of trust within a company. Furthermore, it enables employees to dedicate part of their paycheck to a nonprofit organization. That not only makes contributing to charity easy, but it also encourages a culture of giving, which can have positive ramifications for company performance.
The final lesson is that new business platforms have to be open in order to be most effective. Small and medium businesses hate walled-off data stores and complicated workflows. Given the diversity of small businesses, no service can possibly hope to serve everyone with their own product. Instead, developing platforms for others to build upon is crucial. Take the small business accounting service Xero, which offers dozens of “add-ons” on its platform in categories as diverse as inventory management, time tracking, point of sale, and eCommerce. Xero gets to leverage the efforts of these other developers, while simultaneously building up its core value to business owners.
Any one of the 28 million firms in America today could become a leading company using the economies of unscale created by these next-generation business platforms. Our work, though, is only partly finished. We need better platforms to handle worker training, recruiting, sales management, product development, intellectual property, customer service, and the list goes on. With more open platforms to grow upon, new companies can better grow quickly and sustainably, and that’s not just good for entrepreneurs, but for our nation.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch