Ins & Outs of the New Facebook Brand Pages

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?

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Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

18 Reactions
  1. This is clear and concise information. For relatively new Social Media users such as myself, do you have a resource on how to initially set up a business page? Thanks.

  2. My users have been unable to tag photos with my brand, and I can’t find anything on how to tell them to do it. Are we sure that photo strip works the way we think it does?

  3. They’ve completely destroyed pages. Wall posts are no longer in chronological order; instead, post order is determined by an algorithm. As a result, old posts are popping up to the top, and timely posts at the bottom or on another page. This is having a serious impact on business and nonprofit pages. Facebook is not responding.

  4. Linda (and Meg)-
    I remember reading somewhere (sorry, forgot where) that tagged photos will not appear on the photo stream at the top of a business page like they do in a personal profile. Only the pictures that the page admins upload will appear.

    Which is probably a good thing because people would go around tagging photos as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Coca Cola’ to get them some big distribution.

    Barbara, your issue with the non-chronological order is easily the most widely disliked aspect of the new system. People really hate it.


  5. From the comments it seems like there are some bugs that still need to be exterminated.

  6. On the new buisness page can we show Events, Photos, Vidios on the left side bar? On the old page it allowed us to showcase all the cool stuff we are doing and offering our fans. The new page makes the busisness look kinda boring?

  7. I like the ability to interact as my page giving my business more exposure. Another great feature is the news feed of all the pages you “liked”, just like your profile page of all your friends.

  8. Great insights here Lisa! Overall, it seems the changes will help small businesses. However, those who had custom FBML pages, and convert, are experiencing pain especially if they don’t have the technical skills on hand should it not convert gracefully.

  9. Great post, Lisa! I personally love the new Facebook Pages functionality, though of course there will be some backlash. It’s one of those “why didn’t they do this earlier” sorts of moments!

  10. I agree with Barbara – the whole chronological post thing (or lack thereof) really has me scratching my head. I just had someone comment on a post that was not even a week old, and I couldn’t find the darn thing 🙂

    Above and beyond what has already been mentioned, I find that the photo bar, while great for alot of businesses, is tough for those than don’t have a tangible or visual aspect to their business.

    On a positive note, I love that you are now able to play around with your category, something that you were not able to change before.

  11. This is really important information for any business using Facebook. (Which every business should in my opinion)
    I needed this information. I heard of the changes, but sadly, not a lot of concise info out there! Really helpful article!

  12. The loss of chronological appearance of posts is devastating to many businesses and non-profits. It would seem that the result of this disastrous change also runs counter to FB’s business plan since these are the people who buy ads and bring users to the page. FB is being very quiet, but I hope that means they are scrambling behind the scenes to come up with a way for admins to choose, just as is possible on personal pages. I’m guessing that 95% of all admins would choose chronological – maybe all would. I’ve heard some scary scenarios of consequences, a few of which are already happening. I do applaud most of the other changes, especially the ability to interact as the brand. Not too fond of the “light box,” but working around it is just awkward.

  13. Hi Lisa, Thank You for sharing! You might also get value from to Submit and List Facebook Page URL, Products, Services, City, State, Country of Business and to Explore and Find Facebook Page URL of Business. Kindly share it with your friends! Best! Shakti Saran

  14. why cant my personal friends list be linked in so i can see them when using fb as my page. A view all content toggle would be useful for the brand page. its good that can view just want my audience have said, or the highlights but mostly i would rather view my page timeline in real time. Promotions such as ‘first to like wins this prize’ on pages are being ruined. I have seen a number of heated discussions between people who each argue that they are first and should win, when infact tens of viewers and the page owner all have a different name.