Facebook Quietly Tests Professional Services Feature

by Ashley Stafford on December 21, 2015

“Find local businesses with the best Facebook reviews and ratings”

local businesses

As we all know, Facebook is constantly testing and releasing new features – some with small test groups, some rolled out publicly, and some simply slipping under the radar. Recently, Facebook has taken the latter route with a new unannounced feature called “Professional Services.”

This new tool allows users to search for a category of local businesses (such as electrician, car dealership, or pet store) and displays the search results alongside each page’s contact info, Facebook rating, and a review snippet. It seems to use a smart algorithm to decide the order of listings, taking not only rating into consideration, but also customizing the results to the user to some extent.

search results

Which category a business will show up as a result for depends on the category and subcategories that the business selects on its page’s info section.

Not only is this new feature potentially going to be a fantastic tool for Facebook’s user base, it will also provide businesses with more motivation than ever to finally join the Social Media movement. Facebook remains the most used social network and the most used mobile app, so it makes sense to meet your potential customers where they already are. The Services tool could greatly expand local business discoverability. Additionally, should the testing go well and Facebook continues to develop this tool, it could potentially offer real competition to sites like Yelp, which has had controversy regarding authenticity and ‘not recommended’ reviews.

Currently, this feature is only available on desktop. This is likely because Facebook has not made an official announcement of this feature yet, so it is probably still in the early stages of testing. Presumably, once the first testing phase is over, they will be releasing a complimentary version of this tool for their many mobile users, which will likely be even more popular as people use it to discover local businesses in towns they are visiting (usually without their computer). For now, it can be accessed directly through the Professional Services page, or by clicking the category listing on any Facebook page.

fb services category

If your business is ready to join Facebook, contact us today to see how our Social Media Managers can help you!

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Top Three Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Facebook Ads

by Ashley Stafford on November 18, 2015

Despite their prevalence and success, the power of Facebook ads is still not being fully harnessed by a surprising number of businesses. Whether they don’t understand them, had bad results in the past due to flawed campaigns, or just don’t have the time, many businesses are simply missing out. If your business is not yet taking advantage of this powerful social marketing tool, here are three reasons you should reconsider:
Fb ads

  1. Facebook ads have a huge potential audience pool.

As you probably already know, it seems like everyone is on Facebook these days. The numbers back this up – according to recent stats, Facebook had an average of 1.01 billion DAILY active users in September 2015. And monthly, they have an average of 1.55 billion users logging in. With these numbers on your side, you can be sure that whatever your audience or niche is, there’s a way to reach them through Facebook ads.

  1. Facebook ads have unparalleled targeting ability.fb ads targeting

We all know Facebook has been steadily collecting all kinds of data on its users for years. Why not harness that power for your own business? Unlike most traditional advertising platforms, Facebook ads give you the ability to narrow your ad audience by specific interests and demographics. Looking to target your ads to women ages 30-40, who live around the Los Angeles region and are interested in basketball? You can do that with Facebook ads. Targeting options include gender, age, location, language, income, job, education, specific interests, and more! Facebook also offers a custom audience selection called lookalike audiences, which targets “potential customers who share similar characteristics with [your] current ones.”

  1. Facebook offers multiple types of ads with different goals.

fb ad campaign typesTraditional online ad campaigns typically offer a straightforward service – gaining clicks to your website in order to increase sales. While this is certainly still a top priority, it’s not always the only goal your marketing campaign has. Facebook understands that and offers multiple ad solutions in addition to the classic clicks to website campaign. Some of these alternatives include: gaining fans on your business page (which increases awareness and improves the marketing ability of your page posts), increasing awareness of your local brick and mortar storefront, raising RSVPs to your Facebook event, getting people to claim an offer, increasing video views, and more. Additionally, you can promote individual posts you make on your Facebook page to help combat low post impressions or to simply promote a specific sale, promotion, or new item.

As you can see, Facebook ads are a hugely powerful tool to have as part of your online marketing strategy. If you would like to get in on the action but don’t have the time or aren’t sure where to start, call Triangle Direct Media today to see how our Social Media Marketing experts can help! 919.228.2475

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Accurate Sizing Guide for Your Social Media Graphics

by Claire H. on September 23, 2015

When a potential customer visits your business’ social media profiles, the first things that will greet them are your profile graphics. Crisp and appropriately sized images on your social media pages will promote a professional appearance online, and foster trust in your brand. Therefore it is important that you pay attention the specific sizing requirements for each social site to ensure that your graphics are cropped and positioned accurately.

Here are the official guidelines for many of the dimension requirements encountered on social media sites:

Facebook Images

Facebook has several different image positions to consider. Here are the most important ones that you are most likely to use:

Profile Picture

Although profile pictures display in a slightly smaller size, your image still needs to be at least 180×180 pixels for optimal clarity. If your image is too small, Facebook will enlarge the image, reducing quality and causing blur. If it is too large, Facebook will prompt you to crop the image and reposition it so that it fits.

Cover Photo

facebook 2015
On computers, cover photos display at 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. It is important to keep in mind that several parts of your cover photo will be overlapped by the profile picture, call to action buttons, and the headline of your page.

For smartphones, however, cover photos are 640×360, so portions of your cover photo will be cropped out. Keep this in mind when designing your cover photo, because mobile users number in the millions!

cover photo dimensions
facebook mobile facebook layout 2015

Images Posted to Your Page Timeline

There is some leniency in sizing for Facebook timeline and newsfeed posts. Officially, 1200×1200 pixels is the ideal size to post since it will use the entire space Facebook provides in the timeline with the highest quality picture. You can still post images that aren’t confined to this size, however, as Facebook will scale it to best fit the space. This may result in some empty space to the side, however.

Facebook will automatically adjust timeline posts at a 1:1 ratio for desktop or mobile appearances, so if you follow these guidelines your post images will always be viewed the way you intend!

Twitter Images

A Twitter page also has several different image sizes to be aware of. Their function is certainly similar to Facebook images, but their dimension requirements are very different.

Profile and Header Photo

The recommended size for your account’s header photo is 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high. The profile image should be 400×400 pixels, and will overlap a portion of the header photo.

Tweet images

An image that you share in a Tweet can be any size, but Twitter’s in-stream preview will show images at a 2:1 ratio, with a minimum of 440 x 220. However, your image will be automatically scaled to fit the 506×253 frame on desktop.

twitter images

Google+ Images
Google+ allows for some variance in the required image sizes, but abiding by their recommendations will give your profile images a cleaner and more professional appearance.

Profile and Cover Photo

The cover photo will be positioned to the right of your profile picture with neither one overlapping the other.

The recommended size for the cover photo is 1080 pixels wide by 608 pixels high, but it will accept images that range from 480×270 to 2120×1192.
The profile picture will be featured as a circle, so you need to keep in mind how it will be cropped when you are uploading a square image. The minimum size for a profile picture is 250×250 pixels, however, it is recommended to use a larger size.
Post Photos
The size of timeline post photos in Google+ will vary, and it is easy to find what works best for you within the guidelines set by Google. The minimum width of an image must be 497 pixels (the display height will be scaled accord to your image size), and the maximum upload size is 2,048 x 2,048 pixels.

new g+ logo

When you share a link, the thumbnail will appear as 150×150 pixels.


The photograph used for your profile picture on Pinterest will be in a circle frame, and if you create a Pinterest account that is linked to Facebook, then Pinterest will pull the profile image you have from there. Otherwise, when setting up an account linked to an email address, you can upload a square image that Pinterest will crop to fit the frame. The image will appear at 165×165 pixels on the home page, and while the largest uploadable size is 10 MB, the larger your image is, the better it will look.

Crisp and accurately framed images contribute to the appeal of your brand and promote a more professional online presence. If you’re still struggling to get the look you want, our social media team can provide custom, high-quality graphics for your page that will accommodate all of these social graphic guidelines!

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How To Handle Facebook Reviews for Businesses

September 15, 2015

You might be aware that some Facebook business pages display a 5-star rating system where users can publicly review their experiences with that company. A few of the obvious benefits of enabling your ratings include valuable word-of-mouth endorsements, increased trustworthiness, and established credibility. However, did you know that the star rating also affects the organic […]

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Facebook Rolling Out Changes to Facebook Pages

September 9, 2015

Facebook recently started testing a new format and look for Facebook Pages. The updates are on a trial basis and small so you may not even notice that this happening. The new layout could have an impact on how your page looks and functions. The first noticeable difference will be the Profile Picture. It will […]

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Mastering Social Media Marketing is Time Consuming

July 31, 2015

Facebook is used by 57% of all American adults online (PEW Research). For this reason, Facebook has become a necessary part of the ‘to-do’ list for online marketers. Posting regularly on Facebook is an easy way to keep potential and current customers up to date on what is happening with your brand/service, and it also […]

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Improve Response Time and Customer Service with a Social Media Manager

June 11, 2015

A company’s social media page is often the first destination for customer complaints, praise and inquiry. People are increasingly turning to their smartphones and computers to gather information and voice their opinions about brands. This makes prompt customer service imperative on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Responding to concerns expressed on social media in […]

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Google and the ‘mobile friendly’ Browsing

May 21, 2015

Google and ‘mobile friendly’ browsing for smartphones and tablets. The recent change will have a big impact on how millions of people shop, eat, and locate retailers. The new Google Algorithm which was released recently will potentially rank sites higher that Google has deemed as ‘mobile friendly’. If your website doesn’t fit the predefined mobile […]

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Social Signals and SEO Rankings

March 10, 2015

SOCIAL SIGNALS and SEO We all know that social media is a great way to help increase traffic. When connections are made by friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and others it shows user engagement with your brand. If we are focusing on great content and the content is frequently […]

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Have you been hit by a panda or penguin?

February 3, 2015

Yes, as the subject line suggests, there are thousands of businesses suffering months and even years later from the dreaded Panda and Penguin updates. Many people we speak with talk as if it is their destiny to never get that pre-update traffic and visibility back in Google. NOT SO FAST!!!! When affected by algorithm updates, […]

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