Once you’ve established a Facebook page for your business, it may seem as if you’ve done as much as you can to put yourself out there. But the reality is that setting up a page, updating your status, and starting a discussion is just the tip of the functional iceberg for Facebook. So what are some of the more advanced features of the social media giant?

Linking Facebook with Twitter

One of the best things you can do to reinforce your social media strategy is to link your Facebook account to your Twitter page. When you do this, your Facebook statuses will be updated on your Twitter feed, and, in turn, your tweets will show up as Facebook statuses.

To do this, just log in to your Facebook account and type “Twitter” in the search field at the top of the screen. Select the first application that comes up (this is a legitimate application made by the same company that created Twitter).

Linking Facebook with Twitter

Select “Go to application” and choose “Allow.” After the application has been installed, you’ll be prompted to enter your Twitter username and password. Once you do this, your Facebook messages will show up on Twitter. But if you want to send your tweets back to Facebook, there is one more step: Head back to your homepage and click on “Allow Twitter to Update Your Facebook Status.”

Allowing Twitter to publish your Facebook status

Synching up your social media sites provides a uniform message and cuts down on the amount of time spent on each individual site. However, your followers on both sites may tire of always seeing the same updates, so try to post unique content from time to time.

Adding events

If you have an upcoming event that you’d like to share, such as a seminar or luncheon, you can use Facebook to promote the date. While Facebook certainly shouldn’t be the only way that you invite people to your event, it can be a great way to remind people to attend, especially as the event approaches.

If you want to promote your event on Facebook, click on the calendar icon below your status update. Fill out the title, date, and location, then use the status area to enter additional information about the event. Publish the event by clicking “Share,” and your followers will soon receive your event information in their home feed.

Adding events to Facebook

If there are specific people who you want to invite, either on or off Facebook, you can send them an event invitation by clicking on the event name, then choosing “Select guests to invite.” Remember that social networking sites are subject to compliance regulations, so you may need to clear any invitations with your compliance department.

Entering event details into Facebook

Privacy

On a business page, the default settings allow all of your followers to post on your wall, add pictures to your page, attach links to your wall, and add videos. If you’re not comfortable with some of those features, you can easily change those options. Simply click on “Edit page” under your user picture. Then, click on “Edit” under “Wall settings.” Next to “Permissions,” simply uncheck the boxes that you don’t want your followers to access.

Setting your Facebook privacy features

Setting custom tabs

When first-time visitors who haven’t “liked” your business yet visit your page, it’s possible to set it up so that they visit a specific tab or section of your profile. For example, if you want them to land on your “About Us” page first and see your “Wall” only by clicking on it, you have the power to do that.

To set custom tabs, click on “Edit page” underneath your user picture. Then, under “Wall settings,” click on “Edit.” The second option here says, “Default landing tab for everyone else.” This is what you’ll want to change in order to adjust the home screen for new visitors.

Setting custom tabs in Facebook

Creating multiple streams

Unless you create multiple streams on your Facebook profile, all the updates posted to your page – whether posted by you or one of your followers – will appear on your main wall. Of course, it’s possible to make it so that only you can post on your wall (see the previous page, “setting custom tabs”), but it is possible to allow your followers to post updates while still creating a clear differentiation between the posts.

Click on “Edit page,” then, under “Wall settings,” adjust the “Default view for wall.”

  • If you want all the wall posts to reside in the same stream, choose “All posts.”
  • If you want your posts and posts by others to reside in two separate tabs, choose, “Only posts by page.”
Creating multiple streams in Facebook

Back on the home page, you’ll notice that there are three separate tabs – one to view only posts by you, one to view posts by both you and everyone else, and one to view only posts by others.

Viewing your multiple streams on Facebook's home page

Mobile updating

If you don’t have a Facebook app on your phone, or if you simply choose not to use one, there’s another way that you can update your Facebook profile on the go: Each Facebook page has a dedicated email address the user can use to update their status or send pictures to their account. To find your address, click on “Edit page,” then go to “Mobile.” Your page’s unique email address will appear in the box.

To update your status from your mobile phone, just send an email to that address with your desired status as the subject line and a blank message body. If you want to include a picture, just attach it to the email, and the subject line will serve as the caption.

Updating Facebook from your mobile phone

You can also use the mobile feature to set up text message updates, so even if your phone doesn’t have email capabilities, you can update your Facebook page as long as you have your cell phone in-hand.

Gain more exposure with tagging

One great way to gain additional exposure on Facebook is by using the tagging feature. This can help you gain access to new followers, especially when you first join Facebook and are trying to build a following.

If you post a status update and mention another person or business on Facebook, instead of simply typing out their name, you can tag them in your status. This means that your update will appear on their page in addition to your own, increasing your exposure by a great deal of followers and potentially bringing you a few new fans. To tag a business or person in your status, you have to be a fan of theirs. Then, start typing their name with the @ symbol, and a list of names will pop up as you type. Simply highlight the name you want to include in your status, select that business, and the status will be updated in your home feed, as well as the other business’.

Tagging on Facebook

Facebook has many advanced features that can help you create a page that’s tailored to your needs. Tagging, custom tabs, and multiple streams are just some of the ways that you can direct your follower experience. Through mobile updating and the Twitter connection, there are multiple ways you can update your Facebook profile. But whether or not you take advantage of all of Facebook’s diverse options, be sure you’re using the site to its fullest potential.

Heather Trese is the associate editor of the Agent’s Sales Journal. She can be reached at HTrese@AgentMedia.com or 800-933-9449 ext. 225.


Advance to Day 15 of the Social Media Boot Camp
Users’ Favorite Social Media Helper Sites
Catch up with past boot camp tutorials
Why Social Media for Insurance Agents — and Why Now?
Getting Started with LinkedIn
Getting Started with Twitter
Getting Started with Facebook
Choosing the Right Social Media Site for You
5 Ways for Agents to Build LinkedIn Connections
Using Twitter to Grow Your Business
How to Promote Your Insurance Practice on Facebook
Group Mentality: Finding Like-Minded People
Making Time for Social Media
Twitter External Sites: Part 1
Twitter External Sites: Part 2
Mastering LinkedIn’s Advanced Features