If you have logged into your Facebook Page recently, you may have noticed that the site is in the process of launching a new layout for Pages that looks very similar to the recent Profile redesigns. But the new Page updates are more than simply design changes. Many of the updates will affect the way a Facebook Page administrator interacts with the Page – and how fans interact as well.
If you’re curious but not sure you’re ready to change yet, you can “take a tour” to preview what your Page will look like prior to permanently switching to the new layout. These changes will automatically be launched across all Facebook Pages on March 10. So, we created this list of 10 important changes you need to know about the new Pages – including changes to look and feel, user activity, and administrator interaction.
Look & Feel
1) Photos Give Life to Your Page.
Just like with the recent Facebook Profile redesigns, photos are featured on the new Page layout front and central, at the top of the page. This offers more visibility to images you use to showcase the personality of your brand. It also means that Brand Pages that are more frequently uploading photos will demonstrate a thriving, dynamic web presence, while those with no photos may be viewed as not invested in truly participating in social media.
2) Tabs Are Featured on Sidebar.
Facebook tabs will no longer be featured on the top of the Page. Instead, they’ll be placed below the Page’s avatar image on the left sidebar. For businesses that have had custom tabs and landing Pages created on Facebook, it will be important to think about the strategy for driving traffic to those tabs.
3) Page Avatar Image Size Changes to 180 by 540 Pixels.
Once you change over to the new Profile, the avatar image will resize to the dimensions 180 by 540 pixels. Now that tabs are featured on the sidebar rather than the top of the Page, designing a Page image means seriously considering the optimal length of a Page image, because the longer the image, the further down the Page your tabs will be.
4) You Can Change your Page Category and Add a Subcategory.
In the past, when you initially set up a Facebook Page, the category you selected was permanent. Now, you’ll be able to change to any category, and you can now select a subcategory, giving you different options for the type of information you can provide in your Page description. Simply go to “Edit Page” and choose “Basic Information” to make this change.
5) The Default Wall Setting Shows Everyone’s Posts.
Your Facebook wall will be getting a facelift too, and content posted to your wall will no longer be purely chronological. Now, it will be weighted using an algorithm that orders posts by what’s “most interesting,” giving fans more exposure and creating a greater need to monitor what’s happening on your Page. If you want to change this setting so that the wall posts created by your Page are the default for what is shown on your wall, go to “Manage Permissions” and select “Only Posts by Page” from the “Wall Tab Shows” dropdown menu. Users will be able to toggle back and forth between messages from “Everyone” and messages from just your brand using links located on the upper right hand side of your wall.
6) Comments and Posts Can Ping Email Notification.
Luckily, given the enhanced visibility of fans on the Facebook Page’s Wall, you can now enable alerts whenever someone posts or comments on your Page. To customize email notifications, simply go to “Edit Page “and click on “Your Settings,” where you can change the options for email notifications.
7) Your Facebook Page Can Interact with Other Pages using “Use Facebook As Page.”
You now have the option to use Facebook as the Page you administer. Essentially, this means your Brand’s activity on Facebook is not limited to your own brand Page anymore, offering new ways for your brand to extend its presence on Facebook. To use Facebook as your Page, go to the “Account” tab and select “Use Facebook as Page.” You are now navigating and using Facebook as the page rather than as your Facebook Profile. This enables the Page’s likes and comments to show up in the notifications bar rather than your Profile’s notifications.
With this change, Pages can now like other Pages, enhancing the interactivity among brands. For Pages your Page has liked, you will now be able to comment on them as the Facebook Page itself rather than just using your personal Profile. Pages can’t comment on walls or statuses with user Profiles, unless a user has set their privacy settings to allow everybody access to their content, but this greatly enhances a brand’s ability to interact on the site. Be aware that you will need to manually toggle back to your profile under the Account tab using “Switch Back to Profile” to interact on Facebook as yourself.
8) Your Page Gets a News Feed.
When you select to use Facebook as your Page, you will view a news feed that will filter content from Pages that your Page has liked. This will help you better filter and view news from other Pages and extend the brand’s Page presence by commenting on and sharing the content from other Pages, such as publications and thought leaders.
9) Admins Can Comment on Page with Personal Profile.
In the past, Facebook Page administrators were limited to interacting on the Pages they administered as the Page itself. But, now they will have the option to interact as a personal Facebook Profile on the brand’s Facebook page as well. This will allow you to interject more of your individual personality and presence into your brand’s Facebook presence.
10) You can Feature Page Admins for More Transparency.
Have you ever gone to a Facebook fan Page and wondered who manages it? Now, you can give more transparency to your Facebook Page admin by highlighting their personal Profile on the Page itself, giving a face to your brand. Though this gives the brand more transparency, keep in mind that many people use their personal Facebook Profile just to interact with friends and family. So, you should think through whether or not you want to promote administrators’ Profiles on the Page. Ask them how they feel, and talk about the implications this change would create, like how to administrators should handle potential friend requests from consumers.
All of these changes amount to more opportunity and flexibility for Facebook Pages. But some of them also require more strategic thinking to determine exactly how your business can use Facebook to connect with local consumers and engage with your community. So, before you make the switch (or before it’s made for you on March 10), take some time to consider these updates and the implications they’ll have for how you’re using Facebook to market your business online.
Bonus: Here’s a helpful Pages manual Facebook provided that outlines some key terms and changes to help you understand the updates. Thanks to John Jantz of DuctTape Marketing for highlighting this great resource.
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