[tweetmeme]If you follow social media at all, you probably know that Facebook rolled out some new features to its business pages last week. I saw a preview of this back in December, when the company accidentally leaked some of the changes. Here’s a summary of the new design that you can review.
As a small business owner, you will find some features to like and some that may annoy you – I know I have! Here’s my take on the new design:
What’s Good about the New Facebook Pages
1. Comment on other pages
You can easily switch from profile view to page view and more importantly, you can now comment on other pages as your page. For instance, I can comment on an article I liked on Mari Smith’s page as “Gloria Rand – SEO Copywriter” instead of just Gloria Rand.
The implications of this are huge for business owners. It’s like commenting on a blog now. If there’s a page that you want to connect with on Facebook, you can comment directly on their wall. As long as you’re contributing something useful to the conversation, it’s a good way to get your brand noticed. BUT – don’t take this as a license to spam! It will only hurt your online reputation.
2. Likes & Comments
Another nice feature is that when you’re logged into Facebook as your page, you can see the latest numbers of people to like the page, and the latest comments.
It’s a great way to keep track of your page’s popularity.
What’s Bad about the New Facebook Pages
1. Tabs are gone
As I noted in December, what’s bad about this new design is that tabs are eliminated. The content is still there, but they’ve been moved to the left side of the page:
I’m really curious to see how big companies are going to like this. JC Penney was one of the first retailers to allow people to buy products from their Facebook page. They’ve made the change to the new format already as you can see:
Granted they have over a million fans, so if people shop on Facebook, they’ll figure it out. But if you’re a small business owner trying to sell jewelry, for example, you might have to remind people on the wall once in a while to visit the “shop” icon to browse your products.
2. Chronological wall posts can only be seen by admin
One of the biggest beefs I and others have with the new changes (even more than tabs!) is the fact that posts on the wall are no longer displaying in chronological order. Instead, the default post view is “Everyone” which means Facebook is using an algorithm to display what it feels are the top posts. But I’ve seen comments from admins saying that it doesn’t make sense to display a post about Thanksgiving in February, for example, just because that post may have been popular!
As an admin, you can view the posts in chronological order by clicking on “admin view” but if the users of your page are trading comments back and forth, or providing helpful hints on a subject, the info may get lost in the “everyone” shuffle.
The full rollout of the Facebook changes isn’t due until March 10, so hopefully the complaints will be registered and FB will make “everyone” a choice, not the default view.
What’s “ugly” about the New Facebook Pages
Wall Images Display Randomly
If I had to pick one “ugly” feature about the new design, it would concern images at the top of the wall. While it’s great to have images on the page, they don’t act like they do with the profile, where some people have been quite creative in utilizing this feature:
Instead, the images display randomly on the page, so you can’t use each image for a different word to display a message, for example. However, you can slip in some “calls to action” in your image display like I’ve done here:
In the note that goes with that “Free Report” image, I included a link to my website that people can click on and sign up to receive that report. If you come up with a creative way to use images on the Facebook page, please comment below!
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