Facebook recently updated the design and functionality of its brand/business fan pages, and while previous redesigns have been met with some resistance, this change certainly gives more than it takes. As of March 11, 2011, all pages will be automatically converted to the new design, which, as a page admin, you can preview as well.
Essentially, Facebook has updated fan pages to more closely resemble profiles, and along with that come a few notable updates. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major differences:
Photos are more prominent on the page. They will display across the top, under the page name. This is a great opportunity to post and tag great images showcasing your brand, product, service or events. If you allow fan photos to be posted on your page’s wall, they will also appear there. (Here’s an example from one of our clients, Books For Kids.)
Landing Pages are changing. Tabs have been moved underneath the main profile photo in the left column of the page. More importantly, however, Facebook is changing the way landing pages are created (bye bye, FBML), although previously created tabs will continue to live on the fan page. Whether you choose to learn the new way yourself or hire a digital marketing firm, make sure you’re ready for this switch.
Posting as the brand. Facebook now allows you to “login” as a fan page, which means the brand can like, comment and post on other relevant pages. This provides a chance to increase visibility for your own page on other communities that have a large fan bases. The only exception is that brands cannot post on personal profiles.
Wall post filters and admin view. Wall post filters have been simplified – for better or worse. You can set the default view of the content on the page to either “Everyone” or only posts by you. The latter option is straightforward, but “Everyone” automatically organizes the content by popularity, which Facebook determines on its own. This means some posts by fans may not get as much visibility. One remedy is to use Admin View, which allows you to see page posts in chronological order along with content that has been hidden as spam.
Favorite pages. Admins are now able to more prominently feature pages that the brand already “likes,” which makes promoting related products/pages more useful.
Moderation blacklist. This new option filters out entered keywords, including profanity, competitor names, etc. Posts that contain those keywords are immediately flagged as spam and removed from the public wall.
If you haven’t done so already, activate the preview mode on your Facebook fan page and start experimenting with the new platform. That way you can work out the kinks before the mandatory switch happens in a few weeks. As always, if you need a helping hand with your social media page you know where to find us!