You’ve probably noticed your Facebook page has undergone a digital facelift. The upgrades affect the look of brand pages and will affect how you use Facebook to promote yourself, your business or your organization. Don’t fret, we’ve done the research on the new features. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Now, you can use Facebook as a page.
One of the changes creating buzz online is the option for admins to use Facebook as page. This allows marketers to interact with other Facebook users and pages as a brand, meaning marketers can use their pages like a Facebook profile. They can comment as a brand as well as experience their own specific news feeds. Mutual friends and interests are now also shown on the page. This gives community managers the opportunity to give their brands some personality, amplifying brand identity. Pages can interact by leaving comments on other pages or even on fans pages, which allows for conversation away from their own news feeds. Pages can ‘like’ other pages, which in turn features them on those liked pages – great for cross-promotional purposes as well as additional exposure. Fans can discover friends and interests they have in common with specific pages. Facebook has provided marketers with more flexibility to interact with friends, fans, affiliates and possibly even competitors.
2. Better notifications: get them on ‘now’ time
Administrators now receive real time notifications when fans interact with a page by liking it, posting comments or interacting with the page in another way. This allows admins to quickly reply to users who are engaging with them. The notifications mean no more repetitive checking back for new comments or posts in the feed. It means better customer service and better issue control.
3. More info your page news feed
Facebook pages now have their own news feeds, offering an easy glimpse at posts from liked pages. It’s easier to stay informed about the latest things that are important. The “everyone” feature allows brands choose and highlight their own top wall posts, offering the ability to draw attention to specific news. With new impression indicators under posts, marketers can use percentages to count and measure the number of comments and likes per impression, which will help to fine-tune content and feedback for future posts.
But, there are drawbacks. Since the changes, some of the biggest problems and complaints have been about the loss of chronological order for wall posts. Facebook now automatically orders wall posts by relevance. However, wall posts can’t be answered in order of submission – customer relationship management from this angle now becomes extremely difficult. For now brands will have to have a plan set in place to deal with this type of transparency and (dis)organization.
4. Show off your faces with Featured Owners
With the new page, brands can showcase Featured Owners. Use this feature to show off your transparency. The feature makes the admins visible, making clear the people behind the brand and who keep the Facebook page running. Fans can now literally put a face to the name.
5. Fresh but familiar visual changes
Pages now look like Profiles. The more vibrant look forces brands to be more visual by featuring photos across the top in a strip (just like the recently updated profiles). Unfortunately, pictures posted by brand pages are in a random order. This is a challenge to manage, especially if the only images uploaded on a page are visually redundant corporate logos. Another change is the new location of tabs to a left hand list format. Another big change visually is the lack of tabs. There are no tabs on Pages anymore; instead info and applications are in list form on the bottom left hand side.
What we think:
It may seem like Facebook rolls out more changes than Lada Gaga does costumes, but at Invoke we think these changes allow businesses to improve and spread their brand awareness and identity.
Facebook interaction is stepping towards engaging even more on an individual basis. We believe these changes will create a more targeted and better social customer experience within Facebook. That said, some of the changes are causing a stir in the online community. For now, businesses are banding together creating pages in protest and finding ways to circumvent what they see as problems.
Question to our fellow marketers — have you experienced the positive or negative effects of the recent changes and in what way? How will you use these new features to create brand awareness?