social media how to

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your Facebook Page?

Are you taking advantage of the latest Facebook features?

It’s critical that Facebook Page managers take time to regularly audit their Page and ensure that they are not missing out on new features.

This Facebook Page audit guide outlines 11 key items to review to help maximize your Page’s potential.

Facebook Change Audit

Facebook changes often—audit your Page to keep up!

#1: Maximize Your Page Cover Image

Facebook recently updated its guidelines and loosened the restrictions on what you can display on your main Page cover image. (View updated Facebook Guidelines.) This prime location now lets you display your web address, a call to action and more.

The key is that text cannot exceed 20% of the cover image area.

Cover image example Facebook

Facebook now allows creative uses of the timeline cover image.

If designed creatively, cover images now afford Pages a powerful new opportunity to communicate key pieces of information to visitors. Make sure to take advantage of this change.

#2: Evaluate Your Profile Image

Your profile image is used whenever you post and it is the first thing users see when glancing through posts in their news feed. Your business should not have a picture of Joe the owner in the profile unless Joe is the brand! Your logo can help reinforce company branding.

Note that your profile image should be uploaded at a size of 180 x 180 pixels; Facebook sizes it down to 160 x 160 pixels.

Starbucks cover

Profile image that reinforces the brand name.

Facebook profile image

The Mashable “M” is a profile image that serves as a brand-awareness tool when seen in the news feed.

Key Tip: It’s best to upload a square-designed image.

#3: Review Your Tab Thumbnails

Your tab thumbnails appear below your cover image and lead to the apps in use on your Page. You have the opportunity to showcase three tab apps that are always visible to visitors on your Page. Make sure these capture attention.

The best way to do this is to use simple fonts. Shorten the callout to a few words and consider using your cover image to point to them.

Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer, does a nice job with clear, focused tab thumbnails.

Grandma cover tab thumbs

Great use of simple, highly focused tab thumbnails.

#4: Maximize Use of Tab Apps

Tab apps are great ways to boost engagement on your Page. They offer interactive and incentive options that can draw visitors to your Page and boost engagement.

They are commonly used for running contests and offering deals. In fact, using a third-party app is the only way to run a contest or deal that meets Facebook’s promotion guidelines.  At a minimum, Pages should feature a tab app that lets visitors sign up for the company email newsletter list.

Make sure that your apps stay up to date and that your most important apps are visible in the three slots below the cover image.

#5: Use the Short Description

Your Page can show a brief description of approximately 155 characters that displays below the cover image and the profile image at the top of your Page. This is great space to outline a concise statement about your business and list your website URL.

To update this area, go to Edit Settings in your admin panel, and under Basic Information look for Short Description. Amy Porterfield makes excellent use of her Short Description.

Amy cover

Example of a Short Description that is focused, descriptive and includes the URL.

Key Tip: Include your website address in the Short Description so it is always visible to those coming to your Page.

#6: Optimize the About Section for Search

After adding your Short Description, make sure to review and complete the remainder of the About area, which has subsections such as Company Overview, Description, General Information and Mission. The About area is indexed by search engines, so make sure it contains your keywords. The exact subsections you see will vary depending on the Page category you have chosen.

Complete the Company Overview, Mission and Products fields to help optimize your Page for product searches. Include your address, city, state and zip code in General Information to optimize you Page for local search.

Tabsite about

Review and update your Short Description and complete the About section.

#7: Customize Your Facebook URL

If your Facebook Page URL still has “pages” and a set of numbers in it, it’s time to move up to a custom username!

You can customize your Page web address by selecting a unique username that contains letters or numbers but no dashes, etc. Your Facebook URL can be changed only once, after it is originally set, so choose wisely.

Adding a username to your Page makes it easier for people to find your business on Facebook, and your Page’s custom url can be used in marketing communications and more!

Page URL

Example of a Page that has not set its username.

Key Tip: Use the shortcut “” instead of typing in “”. The abbreviation to “fb” works for any Facebook web address.

#8: Review Your Category, Especially if You’re a Local Business

Facebook offers quite a variety of category options, many of which are similar and some that offer different features for your Page. One of the biggest feature differences that any local business should take advantage of is the Check-in option.

If your business has a physical brick-and-mortar location where you want potential customers to visit, be sure to change your Facebook Page category to Local Business.

This will allow users to check into your location, which is helpful for at least two reasons. First, it can raise awareness of your business and location with friends of the user checking in. Second, check-ins can be part of Graph Search results, so that if a Facebook user is searching for a restaurant in Chicago that friends have visited, check-ins appear in results.

Local business

Graph Search result with check-ins of friends listed.

To check or change your Page category, go to the Admin Panel and select Edit Settings. Then go to Basic Information, and find Category at the top of the list.

#9: Activate Replies to Comments

Replies is a new Facebook feature that was released in March 2013. When the feature is enabled, it allows Pages to offer their community the ability to reply to a specific comment in a thread. This threaded comments feature allows for more specific and richer interaction around a comment.

Previously, adding to a discussion required you to tag someone (using the @ symbol and their name) and hope that other readers understood which of the previous comments it related to.

Facebook threaded comments

The new Replies feature shown in action.

The Replies feature is activated by going to the Admin Panel. Select Edit Settings and then Manage Permissions. Toward the bottom of this section is the Replies area with a checkbox to activate. Be sure to click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Facebook replies

Admin area to activate Replies feature for Pages.

#10: Review Admins and Roles

An often-overlooked item is ensuring that admins with access to manage your Page are up to date. Are the Page admins who are listed still part of your team or working with you to manage your Page?

There can be frequent staff transition or marketing support changes and this is an important item to check and ensure that only those you trust have access.

Facebook admin and roles

View of the Page admins and roles in admin panel.

You’ll also want to review the roles of each person listed. Is the role accurate based on their involvement with your Page? Facebook offers multiple roles with varying degrees of power and access, so make sure the permissions are set appropriately for each admin.

Facebook admin roles chart

Facebook admin roles for Pages.

#11: Check Your Notification Settings

It is definitely recommended that Page managers take the time to go to the Your Settings area and review the notification types that are active. These are specific to you as an admin of the Page.

Even as I was reviewing the Facebook Pages I manage while writing this article, I discovered one area where I needed to make a change! In order to respond quickly to comments, posts and messages for my Pages, I like to have all notifications on.

I found that I did not have Onsite Notifications active. This is important, as it will send me a notification on Facebook when people post, like, comment or send me a message.

Facebook notification settings

Notifications setup area in Page admin panel.

Being aware of visitors’ interactions with your Page is the first step in good customer service. You have to know about interactions to be able to respond to them!

Now It’s Your Turn!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items to audit for your Facebook Page. Hopefully these 11 items can help you review your Page to ensure that your information is up to date and that you are utilizing Facebook’s newest features.

What do you think? What would you add to this list? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • The cover photo is huge for the new visitor’s impression.

    If you’re serious about your Facebook marketing, if need to be updated with your best design if you haven’t done so.

    The tab part of the page: Would it be fine if there were not that many in there? I don’t feel like adding so many.

    Just my feeling though.

  • Thanks, Mike – I hadn’t realised the cover image rules had eased up so I’d better get my designer onto that again!
    Do you know of somewhere that lists the different features that come with each category? I’m not a local business so checkin doesn’t apply, but am wodnering if I’m missing out on other useful features.

  • Very excellent piece of information. These steps would definitely ensure better management and outcome of Facebook fan page. I am working towards improving my fan page experience, and these tips would be definitely useful for me. Thanks for sharing such a precise piece of information.

  • Glad to assist! I find that too often we miss some obvious and most helpful little items that can make a BIG difference. Plus, Facebook changes often so it is important to stop and do quick audit on your Page to ensure you are using well the newest features!

  • How many tabs you use is often dependent upon your goals and strategy. At a minimum it is often helpful to have a Email sign-up tab so that you are offering a way to get on your email list!

  • The interesting check is replies. This is a new one and I think it impact to graph search.

  • Glad that item was helpful to you! Another one coming to watch for is #hashtags. There has been talk and since it will be of value in Graph Search, I think we’ll see it sometime in the next 3 months.

  • @Mike – You give me complete shot of Information within a single post which I had missed due to my official work. Again thank you very much Mike 🙂

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  • Thanks for the reply Mike!

    Yes, I do have a tab that offers my free eBook about getting traffic.

  • Excellent!

  • The local business category is the one that has the big difference, that being the Check-in option. The others only vary more slightly. I’m not aware of a comprehensive list of the unique features of each. Perhaps someone in our audience is??

  • Anna Pham

    This list is excellent with very simple tips but somehow I even forget to include them in my daily task as a page admin. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Dara Khajavi

    I was not aware of all these possibilities. This is a great post! I will definitely use what I learned. Keep the great posts coming!

  • Thanks for sharing these 11 checks. I really believe in using that short description with a link as it can turn one interaction into another with one click, thus increasing the time someone spends with your brand.

  • Yes, the short description with URL in it is an important item to check and implement!

  • Great @google-386442252cb2e87d914f3b0f5cb967cb:disqus! Glad it is a helpful resource.

  • Yes, @google-6c17b880f08e92b754536030bfe082d3:disqus, that’s the idea. The items are not earth-shaking or totally unknown, just important to go through and to take the time to implement!

  • Jo Lynn

    Hi Mike,
    These are great tips and reminders. I have a question. I never receive notice when someone tags my page on their page. I have all notifications checked. Do you know anything about that issue? Whenever I tag a business page, they know and often come and comment. But I never see it in my notifications or in my emails. I’ve even tested it. 🙁 Thanks so much!

  • Jo Lynn

    By tagging, I mean when they post a comment on their own page and tag my business name in the comment.

  • Great post Mike! It’s so important to keep current with all the changes and Facebook is a moving target! And so nice that you gave a shout-out to Grandma Mary’s page 🙂

  • Thanks for the great info, Mike! I went through my page while I was reading your post and this was very helpful. I even realized my onsite notifications were turned off as well, so I decided to activate them. Thanks again Mike and SME!

    ~Stay inspired!

    John Lee Dumas

  • This is one the best articles on “Facebook” that I’ve seen in awhile. Clear, concise and easy. Thank you!

  • Hey there John! That’s exactly what my hope was, empower people to check and if they found 1 item, they weren’t doing but wanted to, then we added value! Thanks for letting me know.

  • @55ac1868c0815cb63a37a63b7415d87c:disqus, no, Thank YOU for taking the time to offer your kind words!

  • Change, change, change! That’s how we’ve got to roll! 🙂 Great work on Grandma’s cover and tab images!

  • Notifications can be a bit buggy so it could be that you have it all set but are not quite getting them all. That’s why it is of value to use additional monitoring and listening tools. Make sure to review your personal Notifications at facebook .com /settings and go to Notifications and look for Pages you Manage as well.

  • If a page makes a news feed post on their page and tags my fan page in that post, I get an alert on my page in the “Recent Posts by Others” section. However if my page is tagged in a comment reply to that post, I may not.

  • Jo Lynn

    Yes, this is what I’ve found too. It adds work to go back and check daily to see if they engaged. I am always afraid of missing something.

  • Deval ‘Pino’ Shah

    Excellent information! Many Thanks

  • Glad to provide this @google-9dfe2e4bc9220ad956e9dba285bd1e3b:disqus!

  • Glad to have provided something of value @DeveshVerma:disqus!

  • Paul

    Is there a setting that needs to be changed so the short description shows up under the cover photo/profile photo? All that is there on my page is that I am a local business, the city I am located in, and my phone number. The short description is only available after clicking the “About” link.

  • Paul, that is one of the differences of Local pages. Local category pages offers “Check Ins” but this category also then changes that short description area to not be available for viewing.

  • Felicity Fields

    I really love the “replies” feature. It’s probably the best update Facebook’s rolled out in years. 🙂

  • MMASpecialist

    I don’t understand the email list on FB ~ where do I find this? How do I do it?

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  • Kaushalam, one thing to mention about replies in comments, they don’t work on mobile devices. On mobile devices, they won’t be threaded.

  • Hey Mike,

    Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate your suggestions. I am looking forward to some more informative and interesting articles from you. Thanks once again!

  • Alyne de Winter

    Thanks for this. Great article! As a fiction writer who is a bit burned out on social media, articles like this help spur me on. I like the way its laid out in do this, do this, do this… 🙂

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Nice insights . Thanks for sharing.

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  • International Taxation books o

    Nice Article! This is a very informational
    article. Thank you for this fantastic tips you have posted. I definitely
    appreciate it. And I’ve learned a lot from this post. I’ll surely take note of
    all of this. I’m also hoping for more updates from you.

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  • You bet @7775649ee152d34508f820e02e903173:disqus. Glad it was helpful.

  • Awesome feedback @14beae180495a2caba8ccdac880ebb22:disqus. Glad this simple action list was valuable.

  • It is a helpful new addition for sure!

  • Thank you very much. I do hope to continue to contribute!

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  • Guest

    WooBox tabs are brilliant! Fully optimised view of Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter for your Facebook page! Best thing, they are free!

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  • Marlo

    This is a great post, thanks so much. I am now trying to customize my pages for our business but when I click the “Check Availability” button, it doesn’t go anywhere. Any suggestions? I

  • Sounds like you are trying to set the custom username URL. Perhaps try a different browser to see if the effect is the same.

  • Michael Wilson

    This is a very good post! Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the entire world and every single marketer should make it a top priority in the social media marketing strategy. I am a big fan of the replies feature that Facebook rolled out recently, it gives more people the ability to discuss even further a posting that a page made. You should send this post out to every social media marketer out there, I thought it was that helpful.

  • Mariah

    My short description is not showing up. It shows my hours, city etc and I can not see where I can change this. Help!

  • Hi. It sounds like your page category is a local page. That is the information local pages displays by Facebook. This is one of the differences of Local pages. Local category pages offers “Check Ins” but this category also then changes that short description area to not be available for viewing.

  • Sounds good @disqus_cmD7kLrvVg:disqus! The reach of Social Media Examiner is over 200,000 strong so we are attempting to get the word out there to all!

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  • Rebekah

    In #6 I think that only applies to certain categories of pages – I am under professional services and it shows my location, phone #, and my hours – which don’t apply to me because I only work by appointment and don’t have a location. Is there any way to show my short description instead of this info? Or do I have to change catergories? Thanks!

  • We were outlining apps on tabs like our TabSite Email App allowing you to add a email sign up form from your email marketing service such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another provider.

  • Frank D’Angelo

    Thank you Mike, great concise info. I would love to tweak my FB business page, but I am having one huge issue that FB will not help with. My business page seems fine, but my main FB page is messed up. I click Admin settings and it shows my primary e-mail. If I click “edit” under e-mail my Primary email is blank, and I cannot change it. If I try to add another email, it says “you must choose a Primary email”. but it does not allow me to. Until I fix this, no one can find me, my picture is blank, it shows no newsfeed, friends or anything. I do not know where to turn. If anyone could help I’d appreciate it…

  • Ritika Verma

    Great article! All aspects mentioned to maintain an updated Facebook Fan Page are crucial. Interestingly – Page tabs can also be used for Facebook Apps – which would also help to make your Fan Page increasingly popular and engaging. Clear images, instructions and interesting activity can be just the right mix for a successful Fan Page.


  • Yes, @0d3582b84e924d6ae8beeb385e97e70e:disqus, I believe you would need to change categories.

  • I’ll open this up to others so that if anyone else has seen this or has a tip, they can feel free to contribute and answer you.

  • Thanks @c17406de2bc339855b24c1b3ad04b7a8:disqus!

  • Frank D’Angelo

    Thank you Mike, that is very kind of you. It is very much appreciated!

  • Patti Vincent

    Great post! Your useful information walked me through making some upgrades to my page. Thank you!

  • David dG


    Remember to check that you have the required number of likes to register your custom URL. It’s 25 min if I remember well.


  • David dG

    Great post Mike! Love the step by step writing… so much easier to follow for people who have little time to spare searching and summarising the steps from an article.
    Hope to see more!

  • Sure Patti! Glad it was useful.

  • Very helpful feedback David! Glad the step-by-step did what I intended….make it a easy checklist to follow!

  • Thank you very much. Valuable tips.

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  • amr

    Hi Mike, wanted to ask you when you name a Facebook Fan Page, what is the best practice
    for new Brand name?

    I have two options:

    Facebook Page Title=
    “Brand Name”(For example: “Groupon”)


    Facebook Page Title=
    “Brand Name+ Slogan”(For example: “Groupon : Best Deals”)

    that my brand
    is still new, i would prefer the second option, but i almost see no one adding
    the slogan to the page name?!!


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  • Are there any best practices about how often a company or brand should switch-out/refresh a Cover Page…so as to [hopefully] initiate Fan engagement?

  • Bridget

    Excellent post…very helpful. Thanks!

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  • Jennifer

    The short description does not display on my page. Any suggestions?

  • Since the changes to allow for more options, changing more frequently is a good thing to do. It can coincide with events, new product releases, even weekly focus points.

  • Glad to hear it!

  • Yes, this is most often due to your category. See some comments below. Some categories such as local businesses and those with hours listed do not get this option.

  • Robyn

    How can I invite fans to an event? Fb seems to only allow my personal friends to be invited, buy I prefer to keep my personal & business connections seperate.

  • With Page-created Events there is not a method to message all invitees – you can only send an “Update” to those who have joined and you can share the event via your Page news feed posts. You can also create an ad for a event.

  • Thanks, Mike. Those are definitely my thoughts. I’ve done a tiny bit of testing, but nothing quite as large scale as I’m intending to do this coming month.

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  • Emily

    I have just opened a small business and thought a facebook page would be a great idea to get my name out etc. I am not a confident facebook user and am not sure if I have set my page up correctly. I know what I would like available for my customers but am not sure what apps I need to load on my page. Also I am unable to inbox customers unless they inbox me first and I don’t have a search box? I’m not 100% sure if any business pages have a search box or if it’s because my page is stand alone and not linked to a personal account. As you can tell any advise/help would be appreciated, Emily.

  • Great checklist. I was surprised to see that I’m actually up-to-date.
    The only thing that I changed is that I used my own icons for the tabs.

    I have a question as I saw it in one of your screenshots above. Is it possible to somehow link to your blog using a tab? If yes, how can I do that?
    (I’m refering to the tab with the red background where it says “Hot Blog Posts”.)

    Thank you so much for this great article! 🙂

  • Hi. You can create tabs using tools like our RSS Engagement app (TabSite) to create a tab that pulls in your blog RSS feed. Or even your entire website with our Website ReSizer app.

  • Hi Emily. Mike Stelzer of SME did a great podcast on Facebook marketing for Small Businesses, you can find that here:

    I’m not sure what you mean by the search box. The ones showing in the screenshot are because my account has the new Graph Search tool. This is rolling out to all users.

    You are not able to message fans directly via a fan page. That has spam potential so Facebook doesn’t allow it. You need to engage fans in the news feed by your posts and get them to participate and comment. I’d recommend you check out the link and more resources in this site!

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  • Emily

    Thank you so much for your reply and the link I really appreciate it. I have also had a look at all your tips and will definitely be using them to promote my page!
    Thanks again,
    Emily :o)

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  • Michel

    Mike, thanks for your post. I just updated my page (that badly needed it!). Nevertheless I have issues in finding out how to add the tabs. Is it category depending? I cant seem to find how I can add the banners. thanks!

  • Tabs are something that are added via apps on Facebook. For example our tabsite apps are added via our online tools at our site. We try to make it easy to do without knowing code or using the facebook app developer area. Try our tabsite. com site for free basic or free trial of all features.

  • Sounds good!

  • Elena

    So much to learn, so little time ;o) Thanks so much for sharing this! This is great information! I am definitely pinning to my social media board :o) Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Thanks Elena! Hope your week has gone well and you’ve had a chance to review the checklist for your Page!

  • Definitely just the brand name. Slogans in the name gets too confusing for consumers.

  • Glad to hear it @cmoneyspinner:disqus

  • Thank you so much for this excellent information. I can see I have work to do!

  • Glad it was helpful!

  • Michael O’Brien

    Mike, Just want to say one of the best examples of how to run a comments page . A true Professional in word & deed !

  • @disqus_sbfTOB5gTi:disqus, Appreciate your words! Yes, there is nearly another few posts of information and some good interaction here in the comments area!

  • Christian, Thanks for the more details, I don’t have an idea of mobile app capability before.

  • Roxy

    Have looked at Am not understanding how to locate anything related to the tab developer area or free basic or free trial of all features as mentioned in this note above.

  • Roxy

    Ritika says: Interestingly – Page tabs can also be used for Facebook Apps – which
    would also help to make your Fan Page increasingly popular and engaging.
    Clear images, instructions and interesting activity can be just the
    right mix for a successful Fan Page.

    It is English but I am not understanding what this is saying. Could you revise the wording or clarify for me?

    this entire article has been helpful. So many things I’ve struggled with are covered here. thanks.

  • @b7c16b2dc92f9dff34e2fe11f03164d9:disqus Thanks! Page tabs are added to Facebook pages by using Facebook apps. Many companies offer software to make it easy to build a Facebook app for things like a email signup or to run a contest and then this is deployed on a tab on a Facebook page.

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  • Ritika Verma

    Hi Roxy,

    What I’m attempting to say is that:
    1. You can use Facebook Page tabs to install Facebook Apps (these can be third party apps or you can also get a custom Facebook App developed).
    2. These Facebook apps can be used for to – hold contests, giveaway coupons, sell from Facebook and more.

    – These engaging activities would have made your Facebook Page more active and engaging.

    3. I had made this comment prior to Facebook updating its promotion policy regarding promoting from Facebook Timeline (earlier you were not allowed to promote from Facebook Timeline; and now you are allowed to promote from Facebook Timelines). So, now you don’t really need Facebook Apps for conducting promotional activities – you can do them from your Facebook timeline itself.

  • Hmm, the Sign-up button is the one to go to in order to try the 14 Day Free trial, The page outlines all features of each plan level. You really don’t need the Facebook developer area if you use tabsite.

  • Timeline contests and tab contests have different advantages and disadvantages. Both have value, and tabs are still the way to go if you want to capture leads. Read more on the recent SME post by @AndreaVahl

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  • Elvira Csonka

    Hello! I think your article was very helpful, thanks for that- I have just one question, and maybe you know the answer for that: on the “About” section how can I add “General Information” and “Company Overview” – if my from just not shows such possibilities?

  • John E Engle

    You’ve made some very good points Mike… things I need to check into for my 2 Facebook pages.

  • Michael Bian

    nice post. it would help me a lot, thank you so much!

  • Glad to hear that @johneengle:disqus!

  • Great! You’re welcome!

  • You would need to adjust your “page category” in the Page Admin area of your Facebook Page. Facebook gives different features for different categories of Pages.

  • Bob Main

    I use TabSite to populate all of the tabs on Facebook pages I manage. Is there a way I can see the activity in a tab? I am concerned that most average users don’t know how to expand the tabs section to see them all.

  • Renée Eloise

    how do you remove brought likes from a facebook business page please ?

  • Another great report about Facebook. Now all I have to do is to take action 🙂

    Thx for sharing, Mike

  • Hey Bob! As you know the app images are in the left area visible now. The key is making sure you post about apps regularly to your fans so they have the opportunity to see about them in their news feed where they spend the most time.

  • It sounds like you are asking about “bought” Likes. I see no way to do that except by banning those users one by one if you can identify them.

  • Thanks for letting me know it was valued Alex!

  • Como melhorar na tags que consta no website bem como facebook fanpage? Meu marketing é por descrição e por palavras chaves!!

  • Hey Mike, is there an updated version of this post? FB has changed visually a little since this one. TIA …

  • Anita, you’ll find the latest Facebook articles here:

  • Thanks Cindy but not quite the same. I’m doing an audit and would like an update on this one in particular. Don’t worry, I’ll improv.

  • I like the article, but bit confused, all the URL and links Click by Mobile App, count as DIRECT or REFFERAL?

  • Anita, you can find recent articles on Facebook here:

  • One Question Mike, Apart from company Facebook Company Page, can I do this same thing on personal Facebook profile, I mean promotion. Please let me know….

  • How can I get Traffic to All my posts of my blog which is attached to my website, Is this same rules Apply.


  • max11

    hello. Do you know if I can make that short description visible?thank you

  • max11

    hello. Did you manage to make that short description visible?thank you

  • max11

    I did manage, but I lose the rating system 🙁

  • max11

    I did manage, but I lose the rating system…

  • Weng Nian

    Good info. Thanks.