Facebook has been making major changes to it’s Profile and a few subtle changes to it’s Pages. I expect Facebook will be bringing the new Timeline to Business Pages which is great news for Business owners because
- it will allow better branding (You will have a big banner on the top of your Page)
- all the content will be easier to find
But, at the moment the Timeline hasn’t rolled out to all Profiles yet, so it will be a while before it happens.
Some things have changed:
1. You can no longer send Updates to all your Fans
To be honest the updates went into an “other messages” box which I doubt that most Facebook users know exists, so I don’t think it will actually make a difference. Did you know that you had an “other” message box?
The only way you can find the “Other” Messages is by clicking on your messages (either the icon at the top or the word “messages” in the sidebar). In effect, your updates to your Fans were caught in a spam filter.
I have read that some Pages have had a message icon appearing which means Facebook may be testing the ability to send or receive messages between you and the people who have liked your Page. It will be interesting to see what happens here.
2. Apps require SSL
If you haven’t customised your Facebook Page with apps, this doesn’t affect you and you don’t have to read any further and you can skip to the next change.
If you have customised your Facebook Page, the clearest explanatation I could find came from Mari Smith who says:
“What that means in plain English is when Facebook users browse the site on a secure connection (HTTPS://) if your own custom images/videos on your Welcome tab are not hosted on a secure server, then that content simply won’t be displayed, and visitors/fans will see a message *on that tab* stating the content is not supported. Everything else on your fan page will still be completely visible, and everyone can still see and engage with your posts.
To get an SSL, a) contact your website hosting company, or b) use an app like TabSite.com that has an SSL, c) or if your fan page designer hosts your images ask if they have an SSL, or d) get an account on Amazon S3 to host your media.”
3. Likes are no longer required for people to leave comments
The implication of this is very important to you. When people click on the “like” button they will get your Page’s posts in their News Feed which mean they automatically subscribed to your Page. Now anyone who comes to your Page can interact with it without having to subscribe to it first. What this means is that you will need to work on building engagement on your Page. The number of people who have “liked” your Page will become less important than the interactions on the Page.
4. You no longer need 25 likes to get a vanity URL or unique username
You used to need 25 people to like your Page before you could claim your unique username, but now it is no longer a requirement. If you have NOT claimed your unique username, click on “Edit your Page” and select “Basic Information” and follow the instructions for Username.
Note: You cannot change your unique Username once you have chosen it.
5. Ticker and Top News Opportunity
Your Page is more visible to the Friends of people who have liked your Page because each time they comment or like a post, it becomes visible on their friends’ Tickers. This means that the more activity (likes and comments) on your Page, the more visible it is. Even more reason to focus on building engagement on your Page. If your posts gets a lot of comments and likes, it will be featured in the Top News stories of your fans which means more visibility for your Page.
6. Larger photos
Photographs have been enlarged in line with Facebook Profiles which means that they are more noticeable.and more dominant. Have you thought about what photographs you could use? The pictures don’t have to be formal and most phones have a camera on them which means all you have to do is to: Remember to take pictures!
7. New Analytics will go into more depth
The insight are going to be more useful than ever before. They haven’t gone live on my Pages yet, but here is a great article which tell you all about it Facebook completely overhaul insights by Simple Zesty. There is no excuse for not measuring your Facebook Page’s performance because Facebook does it all for you, but it is up to you to familiarise yourself with the analytics and tweak your activities to make your Page work for your business.
Top right of your Page!
8. Are talking about this
A few people have already asked me about this. You may have noticed below the number of “Likes” on your Page there is another number with “are talking about this”. This number is the actual number of people who have interacted with your Page in the last 7 days. This is a very useful number to keep your eye on. If 1000 have liked your page, but only your mother and your best friend are liking or commenting on posts on your Page, you seriously need to do something different!! Your goal should be to grow the number of people talking about this each week.
9. Shares are Visible
This is a very useful addition which you may not have noticed. You can now see who has shared your posts. This is a post that I posted an hour ago, so far it has one share. By clicking on the view shares, you can see who has shared the post.
10. Discussions are going
On the 31st of October, the Discussions Tab is going. I have had a look at the Discussions that I set up on my Pages and there is very little interaction on any of them. There was no notification if anyone responded to the discussion, so I won’t be mourning the passing of the discussions tab. Facebook are encouraging Page owners to post discussions to their Page walls to get better engagement and visibility. Have you used the Discussions Tab?
These are the changes that I have noticed. Have you noticed any others? Please share your comments about the changes with us.
11. The Review tab will be going too
I knew that I would leave at least one out. Thank you to Sharon Howard and Ruth Sheba for bring this one to my attention.
The Review tab will also be disappearing on the 31st October. Facebook say, “The best way to encourage conversation and feedback is through posts and comments on your wall.” Facebook are working on tools to help you moderate, filter and manage content in one powerful place. If the Timeline is introduced, you may be able to feature reviews prominantly. For now, I would recommend
- Archive your reviews
- Screen capture each review using a tool like Snipping Tool or Jing, so that you can use it in your marketing literature or on your website.
- Encourage your reviewers to give the same review on your wall.
I hope this helps you. Let me know.