Well yesterday was the day! The day Facebook business pages automatically changed over to the new design bringing them more in line with the design and functionality of personal pages. If you haven’t already looked, your business page may look a bit different today when you log on.
So what are the differences?
One of the first things you’ll notice are the tabs have gone from the top of the page. The navigation is now down the left hand side. There on the left...yes there, can you see them? Small aren’t they?!
According to Facebook it’s what we all expect, so that’s where they’re staying. I’m sure at first the ‘navigational links’ will not get used as often as the tabs were – which could mean lost opportunities, but it does mean we’ll have to be a bit more creative in letting people know about them and, like everything else in life, after a while what once seemed new, weird and different will become second nature.
Another change that will take some getting used to is the fact that wall posts now go through a filtering system and are no longer shown in chronological order. This can be very annoying and confusing, especially for admins - and comments left on facebook’s help pages certainly seem to bear this out. A post made by an admin yesterday for instance could show further down the page than a comment a fan made last week, AND it’s different for different visitors.
Why have they done this you may ask? It’s confusing for you as an admin but apparently not for your fans or visitors. It allows the posts to be more relevant, in a social capacity – rather than placing the most popular post at the top. It also ties in with how many, if any, of your friends have interacted with, commented or liked a post. This is a social network after all and by doing this they are given greater preference to more ‘social posts’ rather than the “shouty” sales pitch that we may want to deliver. But again it just means we have to be more creative and engage with our visitors a bit more, which aint necessarily a bad thing.
Whilst some might see the changes listed so far as negative there are some good amendments. You can now ‘like’ a page and ‘comment’ on wall posts of pages that you have liked. This means that you can go off and find relevant pages to your business and ‘like’ them, which will then show up on the left side of the profile page, under your tiny navigational links, and will rotate with each page refresh. Then, as long as their wall is set to open where others can post freely, you can “like” posts, leave a comment, or post something up yourself. But be careful not to fall into the trap of liking dozens of other businesses and posting comments everywhere just so you get in front of loads of people. This could and should be seen as spammy and could get you banned and cause more brand damage than it’s worth. Think about what and where you post and don’t do it just for the sake of it.
There are other more techy changes to get your head around too, but from what I’m told these are going to make things a lot easier. So, gone is FBML and in comes iFrames. Anything using FBML previously will still be ok, but as of today you’re going to have use iFrames. This, should open up a whole range of possibilities. You can basically put some content onto your website, ensuring its 520px wide, and then embed that page into a relevant navigational link (tab).
And that’s about it really. I could go on and talk about the five thumbnail pictures you’ll see at the top of the page or the fact you can see the activity summary when you log in or about spam monitoring or the fact you can now feature administrators to give your business page a more personal feel...or...or...or, but I think I’ll leave it there for now and let you discover the rest for yourself. Feel free to get back to us with any tips or hints on the new Facebook business pages and we’ll post them for everybody’s benefit!