Bethany

Facebook Pages: New Layout, Strategies

In Facebook, Strategy on February 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

Yes, Facebook has done it again …  a new layout!  This time, the change is for Pages (vs. your profile).  And like with any change, it takes a little time to get used to the location of items.  More exciting though, you’ll be happy to hear how you can utilize these changes for your business.  Honestly, I think these are some of the best improvements to the pages! :)

Here we go…this information is from Mashable (one of my favorites) and Facebook’s Guided Tour:

1. Photos: Take ‘Em, But You Can’t Leave ‘Em


When the photos across the top of Facebook profiles first appeared, people were in a panic. Now anyone could tag you in a photograph, and it would automatically show up at the top of your page. You can, however, “X” them out, if and when you notice them. You can also remove your name from photos when tagged by others. On Pages, fans cannot tag or post an image and have it show up at the top. They appear based on images you post to your own Page wall as well as images where you tag your Page.

Be strategic: If photographs are part of what you do, this is a nice showcase. If images aren’t as relevant to what you’re conveying, this can begin to look random and distracting. Upload several key images to your Page’s photo area and remember to keep it pruned in order to present a cohesive and clear visual message.


2. Navigation: Farewell Page Tabs, We Knew You Well


Not to sound the panic alarm, but tabs as we know them are gone. Facebook tries to assure us that this is fine because it is “Just like on people’s profiles,” but that brings us back to the question “Why does a business want their Page to look like a person’s profile?” The reduction in prominence of the tools that helped communicate your company’s calls to action is a blow to the effectiveness of Pages.

Be strategic: One thing that the new navigation forces you to do is to examine what superfluous tabs you used to hide next to your six visible tabs. Now all someone has to do is click the “More” link below the first six “tabs” and see the entire list of links including Discussions, which most Pages hide or remove to avoid diverting comments from the Wall to yet another area that requires community management.


3. Wall Filters: And The Top Posts Are…


Facebook is providing two Wall filters: Showing posts by your page and top posts from everyone. This ostensibly gives people a way to see the most “interesting” stories first. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they see the stories that are most important or relevant to the messages you hope to communicate to the public. If you’re the only one posting updates, this becomes moot. But imagine what will happen to the view for Pages where the fans post very frequently.

Be strategic: For best engagement, you will want to show “Everyone” as the default setting. For more control — which isn’t always advisable if you are looking to provide people with compelling, interactive content — set the default view to just your Page posts.


4. Admin View: Sign-In as a Page on Facebook


You, as the Page or the brand, can now interact with other parts of Facebook. Before, you could only post to other parts of Facebook as yourself, the admin behind the Page. While you still cannot post to people’s personal Facebook profile Walls as a Page, you can post to other Pages as a Page. This can be useful, but also confusing and potentially disastrous.

You have to make sure that before you post to a Page that you are in the proper setting (human or brand). Also, for less scrupulous brands, this is a new opportunity for spam. You may need to be more diligent about checking for posts from your competitors displaying their brand to your fans. You can view most recent and hidden posts while in Admin view

Be strategic: A good use of Page-to-Page Wall postings is when you have multiple Pages for brands you own. Or when you want to do co-promotions with business partners who have Pages. If you manage Pages for multiple partners, you could also do some thoughtful cross-posting, with your clients’ permissions, of course.


5. Settings: Getting in Control


One of best Page changes for brands is that you can now get e-mail notifications when someone posts to your Page or comments on your post. This has been a long time coming and an invaluable feature for helping you monitor your Page activity. You can change your e-mail notification settings for each Page.

In Settings, you can also set the default to how you post –- as yourself or your Page -– and specify which featured pages will appear down the left side of your Page. To choose the pages you want to show up under Favorite Pages, go to “Edit Page” and choose “Featured.” This is similar to choosing your featured friends. You can also feature Page owners or admins if you so choose. This is a big change from the previously hidden identities of admins.

Be strategic: While there will be much debate about whether or not you should post as a brand or as a person, the best practice is to post as yourself. One of the tenets of social media communications is transparency. Posting behind the banner of your brand is fine on your Page, but moving into other spaces as a brand can be invasive and unwelcome.

You can get to your e-mail and posting preferences by going to “Edit Page” and “Your Settings.” If you own multiple Facebook Pages, you can switch over individually or take the plunge and upgrade them all at once, but you’ll still have to go into each admin area to manipulate individual Page settings.

If you have any questions, or would like guidance on making this ‘upgrade’ change – feel free to email or call. :)  It has been neat to see how many of my current client family members have reached out to learn more about the changes & to set up a quick 30 min one-on-one. :)

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