Just when you thought you had finally made sense of the new layout changes Facebook has introduced over the past months, they go and introduce even more! The difference this time is that the focus of the changes is not your personal profile – it is your Facebook Page: where you market your business to the Facebook masses.
Rest assured, these changes are not immediate game changers and will not create too much work in the short-term. Facebook, like many social media sites (including Twitter and LinkedIn), want to put the focus back on the newsfeed and increasing engagement with relevant content. In order to do this, they have streamlined the layout of Pages to help support this initiative.
Whether you are familiar with Facebook marketing or are a newbie, I’ve compiled a list of the changes (as of now) that will be rolled out to all Facebook Page owners in the coming weeks. I’ve also added short descriptions of the benefits of these features for marketing your business on Facebook.
The features below will be visible to administrators of your business’s Facebook Page – so when you take a look around the new layout you can follow along using the right interface. So make sure that you are viewing your page from an administrator account to check out all of these new features.
Now, let’s share those new features!
1. Main Navigation Bar. In order to streamline the look of pages, as well as move the newsfeed items closer to the top of the page, gone are the old TABS (which used to appear as a row of small rectangular boxes underneath your cover image). In their place will be a main navigation bar – very similar to that which you would see on a website, or on Twitter. The new buttons will be Timeline / About / Photos / Videos / More (which will include existing TABS). While the loss of TABS will annoy some, having your content pushed right to the top and more highly visible should increase engagement.
2. Reorganized Timeline Layout. As you will see, some items have been shifted around to make way for the new streamlined look. Now instead of having your posts appear on two columns running down the page, they will all appear in one column which will run down the right-hand side of the page. The left hand-side will now be devoted to one column all about your business. Included in this column will be your map, operating hours, website URL, phone number, photos, videos and more. This enables you to present your information in an easy to read format that is intuitive to navigate.
3. Administration Tools – Easier Access. Whereas you used to have to scroll to the top to view ‘likes’, advertising campaigns, messages and notifications – these will now appear on a floating menu that will always be visible, no matter where you are on the page. Also, the top management bar will get a facelift and be easier to use with larger buttons with more useful choices. Again, this simple change will save time when managing your page.
4. Pages to Watch. Of all of the features, I think this one is going to be the most important for those of you out there who are serious about Facebook marketing, especially when it comes to measurement and analysis. Rather than having to go through the sticky Insights (which I’m not 100% sold on), this new “Pages to Watch” feature will enable you to add Facebook Pages that you want to keep an eye on (AKA your competitors’ pages) to one section where you will be able to measure their growth against your own. This will enable you to measure their new ‘likes’, posts, engagement and more in real time. This is a wonderful way to keep up with your competitive analysis and see how you stack-up against your competitors on a daily basis.
Overall, Facebook is trying to bring focus back to the timeline posts – which is a wonderful thing. On the other hand, they are also trying to push more companies towards dipping into their advertising model. My thought on this? Before jumping into advertising on Facebook, make sure that you have a compelling content and outreach strategy that you have tried out and measured for a few months. In order to see how effective you are on Facebook, you need to identify what results you want, how you want to get them, and how you will measure success. Without these items, you can be shooting in the dark. If after all of this you still need a bit of a boost while you are marketing on Facebook, then look into ads – or just call The Go! Agency toll free at 866-926-2636.
Facebook is a crucial element of your online marketing strategy – so don’t take its importance lightly.
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