Facebook Plans to Overhaul Small Business Pages to Focus on Utility as Feed Reach Declines

Facebook small business pages will put utility at the forefront in the future, as the social network announces plans to revamp the user interface…

The recent decrease in user engagement means more than less advertising revenue for the social corporation. It also means with well over 2 billion users and 1.6 billion of them connected to small business pages on the platform, less visibility. While some SMBs believe it’s part of a leverage strategy to squeeze more ad dollars out of them, part of it is due to the present dynamics. That is, with so many Pages and plateauing demand, exposure is harder to achieve. 

Facebook Small Business Pages Redesign Planned

The reality is people are beginning to interact less with ads on the network. In fact, Facebook’s own internal data shows the typical user now clicks on a median of 8 advertisements per month. That’s down from 10 ad clicks reported only three months ago. (Although, it’s important to note, this change is due to user behavior, not necessary the ads’ appeal.) 

Unfortunately, this trend also impacts SMBs. Page reach experienced a decline of 52 percent alone in the first half of 2016. Other metrics also point to reach shrink and less user engagement. As a result, Facebook will revamp Pages for the 80 million which have a presence on the site.

First, the company will place a greater emphasis on user actions, such as appointment-making, calls, table reservations, and menu browsing. Second, the site will increase its reviews character limit to a minimum of 25, forcing users to leave more information for others. Third, the company will allow Pages to post ephemeral Stories (think Instagram Stories or Snapchat). Fourth and finally, Facebook will add a Local bookmark to its desktop platform — very important for nearby events. (Currently, 700 million people connect to local Events each month.)

Here’s what Facebook states it’s doing, quoted directly from its official blog:

  • Updating Pages: We’re redesigning Pages on mobile to make it even easier for people to interact with local businesses and find what they need most. For example, you can make a reservation at a restaurant; book an appointment at a salon; or see most recent photos, upcoming Events, and Offers. You can also now see Stories on Pages to get to know the people behind the business.
  • Making Recommendations from your community more helpful: People use Recommendations to ask their communities where to go, where to eat, or where to shop. We’re making those Recommendations more prominent on Pages.
  • Continuing to build Events: 700 million people use Facebook Events each month to find things to do in their communities. This includes organizations like CUESA, a local agricultural nonprofit, that uses Events to connect local farms with shoppers in person. And if want to get tickets to an event, you can buy them right from the Event on Facebook. Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook have seen two times more people getting tickets than when they’re ticketed on a website alone.
  • Expanding our jobs tool to help more people find work: Local businesses create more than 60% of new jobs. We want to help people find those jobs and help local businesses hire the right people, so we’re expanding our job application tool to everywhere in the world.
  • Taking steps to make finding a local spot quicker: You can now browse a “Local” section in your Facebook app and a standalone Facebook Local app for businesses around you, see what places are most recommended, and check out which events your friends are attending.

To learn more about the upcoming changes, read the complete announcement here.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.