Fan page administrators take note: Facebook is tweaking again – they’ve added a “Voice Toolbar” and also recently shared how reach is defined for page posts.

If you are an administrator for one or more Facebook fan pages you’ve probably noted the new tool bar at the top of the page that reads “You are posting, commenting, and liking as (your page) – Change to (your name).”

facebook voice toolbar

Facebook announced the change on the Facebook Marketing page saying:

To improve the Page admin experience, we recently launched the voice bar, so admins can clearly see whether they’re posting, commenting, and liking from their personal account or as the Page. To change between using Facebook as yourself or as the Page you manage, go to the top of your Page and simply click “Change to.”

Facebook Voice Toolbar – small change, Big Help

It is really a little change, but it has been a great help to me personally.  Having that little reminder there helps keep me focused on which voice I am using when I am posting on a page I manage.  So, when on a page you manage you can select which voice you want to use, your personal voice or the business’s voice.  Simple and straightforward.

use facebook as tool barUsing the voice toolbar does not log you in as the page and when you leave the page you return to your personal voice.  So, if you want to interact as the page beyond your own page you still need to use the “Use Facebook as” tool.

But what seems like a small change on the surface involves some other changes in the background. Here’s the scoop from Inside Facebook:

The voice reminder doesn’t follow users to other parts of the site and it doesn’t give page owners options to switch to using Facebook as a page or change their posting settings. Those two features were always buried and not explained particularly well. Now, Facebook has eliminated the “posting preferences” option from page settings. This means that users cannot set a default for whether they want to take action as themselves or as a page. When page owners visit their pages, the new feature defaults to the most recent “voice” used for that page, which may or not be helpful for different people.

Facebook Defines How Post Reach is Calculated

Another unheralded change occurred recently and to me this is a larger story.  I received a little notification in the admin area while posting for a client late this past week which led me to the find this in the Facebook Help Center:

How is Reach defined for each of my Page posts?

Reach is the number of people who have seen your post. Figures are for the first 28 days after a post’s publication and include people viewing your post on both desktop and mobile. Your post counts as having reached someone when it is loaded and shown in news feed. Note that data from before July 2, 2012 only includes people viewing your post on desktop.

To sort your Page’s posts by how many people have seen them, click Reach in the Page Posts section of your insights overview.

That last note in the first paragraph (which I bolded) caught me totally off guard.  I had (incorrectly) assumed that previous post reach data had included mobile views.  But, that’s is just not the case.  All along us marketers where only getting a glimpse of the true numbers for post reach.

In the run up to Facebook’s IPO there was a good bit of chatter about the number of users who access Facebook via mobile apps.  This was primarily because mobile users do not ads which is a big cash cow for FB.  In February of this year TechCrunch shared the following about monthly mobile users on Facebook:

Earlier analyst estimates from December had pegged the monthly active users of Facebook’s mobile apps at around 300 million per month. This number includes smartphone apps, like those for the Android and iPhone, but also apps that run on BlackBerry, Nokia, and feature phones. At the time, that number equated to roughly 40% of the company’s overall user base.

Facebook hadn’t revealed an official number for monthly active users on mobile since September, however, which was then at 350 million users for both mobile apps and mobile web combined. Today, thanks the Facebook IPO filing, we have an update to the official numbers: there are now 425 mobile monthly active users as of December 2011, out of Facebook’s total 825 million users.

So, don’t be surprised if your post reach numbers take a jump as roughly 40% of  your audience has not been counted in the past.

What do you think?  Is the voice tool bar a good thing?  Are you glad you’ll be getting better post reach numbers?  Or maybe you are astounded that a huge social network that prides itself on it’s technical mastery wasn’t including mobile users previously.  Either way, let me know what you think in the comments below.


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