If you’re a small business owner who uses Facebook brand pages as a way to market your business, you may have noticed a little prompt asking you to update your page recently. It’s all part of a major brand page overhaul that Facebook says is designed to help business owners better manage communications, express themselves and increase user engagement. Sounds good, right? So what’s new over at Facebook, what do you need to be aware and which features aren’t so vital?
Below you’ll find some of the highlights.
Pages get their own “identity”
Perhaps my favorite of the Facebook upgrades is the new toggle switch that allows business owners to interact with other pages, walls or users as either themselves OR the brand they represent. As a business owner, this is something I’ve wanted for a while because it means I can comment on my company’s brand page as Lisa Barone (not just a logo) or comment on other Facebook pages as Outspoken Media (instead of Lisa Barone). Essentially, this new functionality is going to go a long way in increasing brand engagement, partnerships, and present new ways for marketers to draw people back to their company profiles. Because brands are now people too, your brand page will also receive its own news feed and you’ll be able to set up email notifications to alert you any time a user comments, posts or likes something related to your brand. I imagine this could get overwhelming for a large brand, but for SMBs it’s the perfect way to stay engaged with people interacting on your page. I’m really, really excited about this feature because it means you can pick, per interaction, if you want to be yourself or your company. So much more flexibility.
Photos take center stage
Taking a cue from the updated user profiles, Facebook brand pages will now get a photo strip located at the top of the page. This strip runs horizontally and displays the photos most recently tagged with your brand. Do be careful because if you allow users to tag you in images, then it’s possible you’ll have some “interesting” photos appearing on top of your page. However, for most small business owners this shouldn’t pose too bad of a security risk.
While we’re on the subject of photos – users on your page will also see an interests and mutual friends panel that displays photos of people in their network who have common interests or friends, presenting a nice way to establish some trust and credibility early on.
Tabs become navigation
Your Facebook tabs? Don’t be alarmed if you can’t find them. They haven’t disappeared; they’ve just been moved to the left-hand side of your screen as navigation. Some have raised concerns that this will make people less likely to navigate through the different areas of your site but I actually think it makes the page more intuitive for the average user. Web searchers have been trained to look for left-hand navs. They don’t always operate in tabs. I think this is a good change.
Stronger wall filters
If you’ve had difficulty keeping order on your page, Facebook is giving you a hand by uppting the moderation and spam settings on your wall. Brands can now specific a list of words or terms they want blocked from showing up or up the profanity blocklist. Hopefully this hasn’t been too much of a problem for you but, if it has been, there you go.
The folks over at Wildfire did a great job breaking down ALL of the major Facebook brand page updates, however, the updates mentioned above are the ones I think small business owners will be most interested in. Have you switched over to the new brand page yet? What are your thoughts?