Posted by Jeff Adelson-Yan (@jeffadelsonyan)
Facebook’s newest changes for company pages will most definitely have an impact on your social strategy. Some of them, like the implementation of Timeline, are immediately noticeable, while others are more subtle (see an example). Regardless of whether or not you like these changes, it’s important to understand how they can change (and improve) how your brand interacts with and is perceived by users on Facebook. Below is a list of the new modifications. Learn how to use them to your advantage. You may even discover some that you have yet to notice. And if you’ve already started incorporating Facebook’s newest changes into your social strategy, tell us about it by including a comment below!
1. Pages Timeline
The most noticeable of the changes, Timeline transforms the entire layout of your business profile page. Below, we will go into greater detail about the Timeline specifics and how best to utilize them.
2. Cover Photo
Instead of the smaller individual profile image, you now have the opportunity to add a larger 851 x 315 pixel cover photo. This is a great opportunity to convey your brand image and really grab the attention of your consumers. There are a few restrictions, though. You are not allowed to include pricing or purchase information in the display area. Other prohibited info includes contact information or calls to action. Facebook says these restrictions encourage businesses to behave more like people and interact with their customers as so. This is a great branding basic that sometimes gets lost in the hustle, and I’m happy to see it returning to the forefront.
3. Reach Generator
This service could potentially change the Facebook game. Previously, only a low number of fans on average would see your post. With this premium application, you will be able to engage up to 75% of your friends and fans. In other words, to effectively reach more customers on Facebook, you may now have to pay for it.
4. Pinning and Highlighting
With the new Timeline layout, the organization and display of information has changed. This new, scattered layout also includes the opportunity to provide focus and attention when necessary. Now, you can pin important messages to the top of your page, where they can stay for up to seven days. A new highlighting feature also lets you draw attention to specific posts or images by making them larger than the standard posts. You can only have one pin at a time and as many highlighted posts as you desire, though both applications cannot be used at the same time. This is a great opportunity to direct the eye and steer the attention of your fans.
5. Direct Messaging for Businesses
This is an optional feature that allows consumers and businesses to send private messages to each other, as opposed to communicating on their Timeline. This is great news for businesses; it allows you to keep the conversation on your wall positive and expands Facebook’s functionality as a customer service tool.
6. Admin Panel
A new admin panel has been added which allows you to separate the back-end features and management functions of your pages. Here, you can read the direct messages from your fans or configure and manage your Page settings. Best of all, it’s in one, easily accessible place.
7. Apps and Tabs
Within the new Timeline format, only four apps or tabs are visible on the top of your page. Though you can have more than four, the rest will be hidden, and, unfortunately, most users will not take that extra step to find them. Prioritizing your tabs will help determine what features and promotions are more important for your page.
These Facebook changes may seem overwhelming at first, but a better understanding will help you find your own unique way to use them to your advantage.