In addition to the major Facebook profile and pages updates that occurred in the past month, Facebook has tacked on a few more changes you and your organization should know. Here are the four updates:

Fan page like buttons: A change in the functionality of the like button essentially gives it the same basic functionality as the share button. In the past, when you would press like for a fan page, it would give you the option to edit what it posted to your wall. The editing option is gone and now when you “like” a page it is shared with your network via a post on your wall.

This can be beneficial for business fan pages because once someone likes your page, a link leading back to your page or website is shared on your new fan’s newsfeed. This new function is a great medium for exposure and a way to drive traffic back to your Facebook fan page.

Messaging system: The new messaging system allows users the ability to communicate through whatever vehicle they choose, be it SMS, email or IM, all in real-time. All users are offered an @facebook.com username that matches their public usernames. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, listed seven characteristics of the new messaging system, which are modeled less like mail and more like chat: seamless, informal, immediate, personal, simple, minimal and short.

This is beneficial to you and your business because of its immediate and simple way of communicating. Think – if there is a comment made on your fan page wall, you can be notified immediately and quickly respond and create conversations. You can also add your clients’ @facebook.com email addresses to your Outlook, Gmail or other address books and use it to communicate. By using real-time vehicles to communicate with your connections you increase the ability to stay in contact with not only your current followers but also with potential clients and leads.

Conversation history: Each and every chat you’ve ever had with a user now appears as a single conversation. It is also archived in your Facebook account. This is a great way to track your organization’s conversations, whether it is client relations, staff relations or simply general communication. It’s also a great addition to your compliance management strategy by tracking and archiving each and every conversation. Take note: It is easy to delete your chat history, and you can do so by managing your conversation history through Facebook messages.

Social inbox: An email system setup to filter only the messages you wish to see. You can create folders and decide from which users you’d like specific messages to land. This can be beneficial to you and your business because, much like Facebook lists, it allows you to filter your personal professional messages into separate folders. That way, you can organize and manage your personal and professional relations more successfully.

It would seem the majority of the changes are working in our favor. The like box updates should give your brand more exposure, and the messaging system changes give you the ability to stay in better contact with your current and prospective clients. Take advantage of the conversation history changes and use them to enhance your compliance management strategy. Finally, use the social inbox filter to manage your personal and professional relations. Check out Financial Social Media’s Facebook fan page and contact us if you have any questions.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.