Facebook changes Pages again
Hold the phone!
Alert the media!
Put tape on the windows!
Go to the store and buy milk!
Facebook changed its Pages again!
Facebook quietly rolled out some HUGE changes to their ‘Like’ or ‘Fan’ or ‘Business’ Pages, whatever you like to refer to them as. These changes are optional right now but all Pages will be changing to this format in March. Again, I am not going to spend a whole lot of time on the specific changes because you can read all about them here, here, here and here, you also can get a tour when you switch over to the new format (if you are the Page admin).
What I do want to do is talk about how I think this is a game changer for businesses. With the new layout, you have much more functionality in the Page; you can interact with other people’s content as your Page and you have just about the same functionality as your personal Page.
So here are 5 reasons I think these changes are a game changer for companies:
- Alerts and Notifications for your Page – This. Is. HUGE. Previously if you were adding Facebook to your marketing strategy, you had to make a conscious effort to go digging around on Facebook regularly to see if anyone interacted with your posts, pictures or links. Now, if you are logged in as your business on Facebook, all those alerts are sent to you as notifications. No more digging around. I know, for us, it was hard if someone commented or ‘liked’ something that wasn’t in our most recent content. For example, if someone commented on a photo in one of our older photo albums – we wouldn’t see it until much later and we lost that opportunity to interact with that person.You also get an alert when someone new ‘Likes’ your Page. If someone ‘Likes’ your Page, that means they have some vested interested in your business and your content. You can almost see this as a notification every time someone enters your sales funnel. You can also choose in “Your Settings” to receive any and all of these notifications in your email.
- Feel more secure on Facebook – We work primarily in the B2B space. Many of our clients who are trying out Facebook don’t even have a personal account. You still will need to set up a personal account but users can be more comfortable that their actions on Facebook will be the voice of their company and not as themselves. If you want, you can log in as your company and never even use the personal account side. If you do have a personal Facebook account, sometimes you see something that you want to comment on or ‘like’ but you don’t want your personal Page to interact with posts and content we see as for ‘work’.Businesses are also afraid of what people will post on their Facebook Pages without their consent. Now you can take some steps to feel more comfortable. There is a function in the ‘Manage Permissions’ section where you can set a Profanity Blocklist. From Facebook: “Facebook will block the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the broader community.” You can also moderate words on your own that you don’t want to appear on your Page.
- Interact AS your brand to build your reputation – Now businesses can interact with content on Facebook as their business or brand. You can enter feedback to something you see as your business. This is a great way to build the reputation of your company (and not just a person in your company). Now, right on Facebook, you can interact with bloggers, thought leaders, partners etc. on behalf of your business.
- Create a powerful dashboard of related industry news – Now, as a Page, you can ‘Like’ other Pages. Before, that was for personal accounts only. With this functionality you can create your own real-time news of content based around your business! As your business Page you should find and ‘Like’ your partners, customers, industry leaders, conferences you attend, bloggers you like etc. and you will create a powerful aggregator of your own. You will be able to see alerts about upcoming events, specials or new offers from vendors, what your customers are up to and so much more. I plan on spending a good amount of time optimizing this dashboard for the Facebook Pages that I am an admin for. The opportunity here is big.
- Value added spots – One of the features that hasn’t gotten a ton of attention in the media reviews that stuck right out to me was the ability to select the ‘Liked’ Pages you want right on your Business Facebook Page. You choose up to 5 ‘Liked’ Pages to always be the ones rotating on your Page. That is a total value added piece for me. If you are planning an event, working with a partner or tying your business to other organizations you can add them here. For example we plan and host the Social Media Breakfast’s in Maine. Each month, we have sponsors to help with the event. This is a great sell to tell sponsors that they will be displayed on our Facebook Page for the entire month that they sponsor a breakfast! How can you use that section? There is some opportunity here.
Of course there are more but those were the 5 biggest implications I saw right off for businesses. Facebook has taken some major steps to make participating as a business more tangible for everyday users. In the past, Facebook has been seen as something for young people, early adopters or for people that had the time and energy to spend lots of time on the site. With these new changes, Facebook is easier for a business to add to their workflow, to show return on your efforts and add value to the business experience on Facebook.
As a business, what do you think of these new changes? Does this make you want to use Facebook more, less or do you still want nothing to do with it?