One thing remains constant in the Facebook world: Change is happening quickly. Here are five reasons why page administrators and marketing management should enjoy the most recent changes.
1. More Control, Less Mess
- Some pages, due to their community importance, have been forced to discontinue the user’s ability to post on their page’s wall because of the high number of comments. Pages that were meant to be social spaces were made messy and unreadable. Now, the ‘comment container’ houses the most recent comments for the public to see, as well as a see-all option to scroll through the history.
- The timeline now features a direct message option. It serves as a social extension of customer service or management departments and gives admin personnel a way to remain anonymous. This feature can be removed, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The admin panel that launched with the new timeline for pages gives a snapshot of how the page is acting and reacting to its users. The admin panel highlights page notifications, new likes and messages since the admin’s last visit. Previously, a generic indicator flag sent admins on a proverbial goose chase to track the activity, creating more work while wasting time. This new feature makes it easy for page activity to be tracked and measured in real time.
- Administrators can hyper-manage their page by using the activity log. Page updates, user comments, photos and interactions are listed here in chronological order. One click allows a non-admin post to the page’s timeline, either highlighted or as a comment, to be hidden from the page or deleted from existence.
2. Socially Speaking
- The timeline gives us the first look at how Facebook is revolutionizing the Internet into a smarter, more intuitive, semantic web. Let’s say your favorite brand was Harley-Davidson and you were visiting a Harley-Davidson page. Now not only do you see which of your Facebook friends are connected to the page, you also are served up a post or an update made by one of your friends about that specific brand. Facebook has begun populating pages with relevant posts made inside or away from the page. A recent link, social mention or conversation that included the brand’s name is prominently placed within the timeline. Using an application that connected your family members? Although Facebook hasn’t confirmed it yet, posts by a family member are presented more often.
- These changes have encouraged users to visit pages that had been generally neglected. On average, Facebook users like around 115 pages. That number nearly doubles within the 25-30 age category due to their five or more years of social activity. With the new timeline pages, each visit to a page is essentially a new social experience.
- Since the timeline for pages rolled out in early March, pages have seen an increase in engagement. The combination of the face-mash and recent posts about a brand have spurred both on-and off-page interaction, hitting on the list of reasons to ‘like’ this improvement.
3. Visually Appealing
- The new design changes have introduced the cover. This can’t-miss image comes with its own set of guidelines, but allows for a first impression that can either go well or the opposite direction. This billboard-like image should give users a taste of the brand free of a desperate marketing message. The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings true here.
- If you are currently using custom applications, you have dealt with the various changes in this arena already. Facebook has expanded the width of apps from 515 pixels to 810 pixels, and everybody likes more space.
- Facebook pages are a space to tell the story of your brand, feature your company culture and have a little fun with your audience. An additional feature that sets up timeline to be more visually appealing is the ability to highlight an update. The highlighted update spans both columns of the timeline within its respective date. Take advantage of this attention-grabbing option and create content that garners your audience’s approval.
- Historical preservation is not just for encyclopedias anymore. Facebook pages now have the opportunity to tell their story with milestones much like personal timelines. Major breakthroughs, important company accomplishments or significant dates make for interesting content for readers. Keep in mind that milestones are not meant to be created for every new hire or product created, unless of course there has been five years since the previous one.
- Although it isn’t directly connected with the timeline rollover, users can also now make any picture posted on Facebook into a full screen image. Images are still limited to their original size before Facebook’s automatic truncation when seen in their timeline or newsfeed. The expansion takes an image to its largest capacity, so there’s no need to have unreadable text!
4. Strategy More Important Than Ever
- If you’re not already implementing a social media strategy, take some time to plan one to manage your content, integrate multiple campaigns and keep the team on track. The ability to pin an update to the top of your timeline is now available. Previously, updates would be pushed down the page in chronological order. On active pages, posts would be archived after just a few days, thus requiring recycling content to keep important information at the top of the page. Now, important updates can be placed as the first post for up to seven days.
- One of the changes timeline presents is the discontinuation of fan-gating. Fan-gating refers to an application that met new page visitors with specific content, generally insisting that a user should “Like” the page in order for exclusive content to be revealed. Automatic fan-gating was replaced with specific urls for applications. So, when you’re using Facebook as your page be sure to utilize those specific URLs to drive traffic and your message.
5. Need a Name Change?
- The name of your page is important because of the search component. Although it has nothing to do with the timeline, the page name has everything to do with the end-user. Pages with less than 100 likes are able to make changes to their page name with little more than a click of a button. Pages with more than 100 likes can now make a request to change a page name. Keep in mind that this is not just the vanity URL, It is also the way your page will turn up in search results and how it appears on your newsfeed.
With these changes bring new opportunities to create experiences for your audience. Be sure to try them out and see which work within your strategy and which do not.
Take social media head on with a team of content, web development and design experts to back you up. The bold social media approach is complete and gets noticed. More questions about the new Timeline for pages? Tweet @boldstephanie.