Holy Changes Batman! Facebook sure has rolled out a lot of them to kick of 2012! Feel like it s a full-time job keeping up? We’ve condensed some of the most important changes to Facebook so you can be “in the know” quick. There are plenty more changes that aren’t listed here, however the ones below are the most commonly used by Facebook users and business accounts. So here they are…
* COVER PHOTO (this being the most obvious)
This was the subject of our last blog. You can find all the info on cover photos here
* BUSINESS PAGES CAN NOW INTERACT WITH ANYONE!!!
This has been a frustrating set-back for many small businesses utilizing FB in their marketing strategy; especially localized businesses. But now FB has allowed the Pages to be able to interact with personal profiles!
You will see the buttons on your left on new business pages giving the user (using personal profile) the ability to LIKE the page but also send the page a message. NOTE: Pages do have the ability to disable this feature. This is good & bad for business: Good because it allows consumers direct communication with the brand they’re connecting with but bad if the page is not managed properly or a customer-service strategy is not in place. Not knowing about these messages can result in no response back from business and an upset consumer. The lack of response, or very late response, can actually do more damage than you think.
TIP: Put Customer-Service policy together now. Include response time, guidelines of what will be addressed and establish chain of command in problem solving the issues presented by consumers.
* PAGES CAN NOW APPROVE POSTS BEFORE THEY APPEAR ON THEIR PAGE
I’m sure a lot of you are wiping your foreheads in relief at this new feature. This new feature gives organizations more control over what appears on their pages and could help keep spam and inappropriate content off the wall. From the “Edit Page” dashboard under “Manage Permissions,” page owners can select a new option titled, “Only show posts by [your page] and friend activity on your page until reviewed by an admin.” This hides posts made by other users until a page owner indicates “Allow on Timeline” from the new activity log. (SEE BELOW)
NOTE: This does not seem to affect posts in the “Friend Activity” section of a page, as users always have the ability to view posts that their friends have shared with them. It also does not seem to affect comments on page posts. The option only hides posts users make to the wall.
Pages that address more sensitive topics or that have had issues with spam will want to enable this feature. For pages with less frequent activity, this function might not even be necessary. On the other hand, pages that are very active with fan-to-fan discussions might not want to hide wall posts either so they don’t limit the amount or pace of interaction.
* REAL TIME INSIGHTS (Statistics on traffic & interaction on your page)
This is great for businesses that track their marketing campaigns, growth and reach of their brand. This enables businesses to see effectiveness of posts, blogs, pictures vs text, etc.
* “DOUBLE-WIDE” IMAGES FOR STARRED CONTENT
If you have a flier, image, video, etc that you want to stand out on your page MORE than the other posts, Facebook has integrated a Starred Post Option. This takes the image from a thumbnail to stretch across the entire timeline page (See Below). This allows businesses to showcase specific areas of interest, products, promotions, etc more than others.
* FACEBOOK MESSENGER FOR DESKTOP HAS ARRIVED!!!
So maybe it came a little before Facebook wanted it to, due to some leakage of info, but nonetheless it’s here! For all those desk workers this will be incredibly handy! No more switching windows, browsers, etc.
Messenger allows for and accomplishes the following:
* Persistent access to chat will increase engagement and ultimately draw their FB friends in for more time spent on site
* Continuous access to notifications, friend requests, messages, etc will lead to increased visits to site per day, ultimately increasing Facebook’s overall engagement rates
DOWNLOAD FACEBOOK MESSENGER HERE
* Current version only available for Microsoft Desktop Windows 7… We’re sure Apple will come soon after for all you Mac users
* DEFAULT LANDING TABS ARE GONE!
Well, not exactly. They aren’t gone… they just aren’t allowed to be the primary landing page for non-fans (new users). For those of oyu that have custom tabs, don’t panic. They are still incredibly useful, important and visiable. You can direct traffic to these tabs through News Feed posts.
DID YOU KNOW: 85% of all Facebook interaction and click thru’s come from the News Feed!
As you can see from the picture of Westar Design & Development’s Facebook page, the custom tabs of Welcome, Gallery and Testimonials is still
visible, just placed in a different area, which we think is actually better placement (but will take some getting used to for users). These boxes
obviously need custom images to be associated with them now, which AMG is more than happy to design along with your timeline photos/image.
You can also order these boxes and include up to 12. Click the last box listed to pull up the remaining apps and custom tabs.
* FACEBOOK NOW HAS OFFICIAL FACEBOOK OFFERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Does your business thrive on new consumers? We’d hope so if you want to continue growing… Well here’s a great way to incentivize them to try you out! Facebook Offers is a new type of post that allows brands to freely distribute coupons to fans that can can be accepted straight from their web or mobile newsfeed.
*Offers also can be promoted through ‘Reach Generator’ ads to a wider, targeted audience. One click (or tap on mobile) sends the offer to your email account. From there, the voucher can be used at a bricks-and-mortar store or entered as a coupon code into an ecommerce site. When you accept a Facebook offer, a story is generated and may be shown in your friends’ news feeds, increasing the viral reach of the promotion
More info on Reach Generator HERE
* FACEBOOK ADS TURNS INTO “SPONSORED STORIES”
Facebook wants user to build a story and timeline of their interest, likes, brands they use & connect with, etc. They have repositioned everything including the verbiage and user experience of what was previously known as Facebook Ads. Facebook’s Global Business Director, Mike Hoefflinger says: “We are evolving from ads to stories. Ads come from anyone at anytime. Stories come from people and things that you’re connected to.”
While we anticipate the layout to change, this is an example of a sponsored story. Notice it lists the friends that have already liked it beneath the ad.
‘Featured stories’ are amplified page updates linked to users’ social graphs, with their friends and other fans actions driving recommendation and therefore effectiveness. These are not ‘ads’ in any conventional sense of the word, but a new combination of brand conversation and word of mouth.
Whew… that’s a lot of info to take in… and we are only half way down our list of changes! To save you from reading further into this novel post regarding Facebook, we will list some additional changes and follow up with future blog posts explaining each in more detail. Please CONTACT US with any questions you may have regarding any of these changes.
OTHER FACEBOOK CHANGES YOU WILL NOTICE SOON:
- Multiple admin levels allowing access to only portions of the page and statistics associated with it to individual admin users
- Facebook photo viewer change
- Ability to approve posts before they appear on your wall
- Heritage timelines for brands with history and a story to tell. If you’ve been around for a while or are known as a staple brand for your area, definitely fill in your heritage with images, info, dates
- Content of the Week allow pages to highlight specific content that they are promoting during that particular week
LEARN BETTER THROUGH VIDEO? CHECK OUT A VIDEO FROM FACEBOOK EXPLAINING THE CHANGES THEMSELVES!