It’s no secret that more and more service organizations are riding the swell of social media to attract customers — and Facebook, which nearly everybody uses these days, is central to their efforts to engage customers online. The how-to, however, often remains a bit of a mystery — but recent changes to how Facebook handles business pages makes the approach a bit less murky.

Experts in SMB marketing, including SocialTract’s Joe Pulizzi and The Service Coach’s Steve Teneriello, have spoken with The SmartVan about Facebook’s utility to SMBs, even if managers are somewhat uncertain how to proceed. The good news? The changes to Facebook Pages will allow businesses to make their profiles more personalized, engaging and effective. Lisa Barone, writing for Small Business Trends, identifies several changes that will have the biggest impact on small businesses. A few highlights:

Businesses pages get their own identities. Users now have the option to interact on Facebook as either themselves or as their business. “Because brands are now people too, your brand page will also receive its own news feed and you’ll be able to set up email notifications to alert you any time a user comments, posts or likes something related to your brand,” writes Barone.

Photos front and center. Similar to recent changes for personal profile pages, Facebook will display a strip of the most recent photos at the top of each business page. The change will bring more personality to business pages. Barone cautions that businesses that allow outside tagging could see unsavory photos at the top of their profile, but the risk is likely small for SMBs.

Automated wall filters. Page moderators are now able to dictate keywords that are automatically removed from their company’s Facebook wall. Profanity is a usual suspect, but the added functionality will give users more control over their page without requiring a time sink.

Read more social media content on The SmartVan