Objective: Provide an understanding of features on Facebook Pages.
When Facebook changed to the timeline format, there were some new features added that are not always fully understood and/or are underutilized. Below we highlight a few of them. Mashable–an online magazine devoted to social media, first posted these tips. We recommend you peruse their site often for very helpful up-to-date information. See also Facebook’s own info page on their design here: The New Design for Facebook Pages.
On the post you want to promote, click on the Pencil icon on the top-right, then select Pin to Top. That post will remain at the top of your timeline for seven days, or until you pin another post.
Why is this important? During a crisis, or any dynamic situation, the flow of information is rapid. On Facebook, when you post something new it is automatically placed on the top of the feed. However, you might want critical information, such as evacuation maps or shelter locations, to be the first thing citizens see. This feature allows you to do that. Only one item can be “pinned.”
Reposition photos you’ve posted to ensure they look as great as possible when people are browsing your timeline. Again, you will be doing this by clicking the Pencil edit icon on a post. Select the Reposition Photo option and move the image around within the frame. Hit Save when you’re happy with how it looks.
Why this is important? Pictures aren’t always perfect. A little flexibility regarding the position of the shot goes a long way.
3. Turn Off Messaging
Although the ability for people to message your page can be vital during a crisis, it can however, become a nuance if the page becomes a spam magnet.
4. Share Other Facebook Pages to Your Profile
Why is this important? During a crisis you will want to highlight other pages that are posting good content relevant to the event. This could be a new community volunteer page or a local government page. By sharing it with your followers it not only brings attention to the content, but also demonstrates collaboration. With luck, they will share your page as well.
5. Create a Poll
You can ask an open-ended question, or if you click on Add Poll Options, you can provide set answers on which people can vote.
Why is this important? Getting feedback from your page followers is a daily activity–simply by monitoring comments. But are the comments reflective of what everyone thinks? By creating a poll, you can gain information from more people, provided they answer. Sunderland Fire was disappointed by the fact that few people responded to poll showen above, even after the page administrator pinned it to the top of the page. However, that low rate led him to believe people weren’t interested in the question “Should we post calls to our page” and therefore he stopped posting calls.
6. Highlight posts
To make a post more noticeable you can highlight them, meaning they stretch across the double width of your timeline.
To do this, hit the Star icon on the top-right of the post you want to enlarge — it will then become highlighted. To change a post back to normal size, or to make a Milestone post smaller (as these are automatically highlighted), click the Star icon again to Remove from Highlights.
7. Edit Your Favorites Boxes
You can change the order of some of the boxes that appear beneath your cover photo.
Click on the Down arrow that appears to the right of the boxes to see the edit options.
The Photos box stays in place, but the others will either display a Pencil icon or a Plus sign. Click on these icons to either swap the boxes around or add in more apps — such as videos — to your favorites section.
8. Create a Featured Likes List
While it’s easy to “Like” other pages and brands, there’s a cool way to highlight these “Likes” to visitors to your page. Once you’ve “Liked” the pages you want to highlight, go to the Edit Page option on your Admin Panel. Select Update Info, then Featured from the menu on the left.
Why is this important? As you “like” pages related to your community, you should keep the most relevant public safety organizations at the top of the list.
9. Make Use of Your Activity Log
If you want to find a past post quickly or review certain types of content, rather than scrolling down your timeline, use the activity log as a quick tool.
To access your activity log, click on Edit Page, then select Use Activity Log. Your activity log displays a time-ordered list of every kind of activity on your page, back to when it was created. Clicking on the All option at the top-right of the page lets you narrow down the content displayed by type, such as info updates, comments, posts by others, etc.
10. Remove the “Recent Posts by Others” Box
You may not want to draw attention to recent posts by other people to your timeline. If this is the case, remove this box all together. Head to the Edit Page option on your Admin Panel. Select Manage Permissions.
Next to Post Visibility. Uncheck the box that reads Show the box for “Recent Posts by Others” on the top of [Your Brand].