Facebook Timeline For Business Pages: A Facebook Marketer’s Guide
Well kids Facebook just reminded everyone that you rent, not own here with the most sweeping changes to Facebook Pages to date. Some of them are not surprising considering the rollout of Timeline to personal profiles while other changes clearly restrict what marketers can do for free on a Facebook Page.
Facebook has also added to the Facebook marketing lexicon with: Highlights, Pinned, Starred, Reach Generator, Composer, Milestones, Cover Image and Facebook Offers. Oh, and the favorite at fmc… mission control. Confused yet? Here’s a list of the major changes and how they affect you as a Facebook marketer:
- Default landing tab is gone: You can no longer designate a certain tab as the default tab. It will now be your Highlights News Feed. You ask what that is? Well…
- Highlights News Feed is the new default. You have less control over what posts people see on your Page: The new News Feed for Pages will show a mixture of your posts, people’s posts on your wall and people that have tagged/mentioned you in a post (called Others). This is the default setting compared with before where Pages could default to either Page Only posts or Everyone posts. The four News Feed choices available are Highlights, Friend Activity, Posts by page and Posts by Others.
- Pinned Post increases visibility for posts you want people to see: You can now pin a post and it will show up as your top / most recent post for up to seven days. This is great to increase engagement for posts particularly if you are running a sweepstakes, trying to feature a custom tab or have a post that has proven highly engaging.
- Starred Post (The Doublewide!): Much classier than your parent’s doublewide. This feature allows you to select posts to expand across both columns of your Timeline. This is great for images. PS I wish they had named this feature the doublewide.
- Cover Images create better branding, but no calls to action allowed: You can now have a branded masthead image for your page. Facebook wants this to be a visually stimulating image and says that any calls-to-action (like us, click this, website URL, 40% off, etc) are not allowed. A few Cover Images I like are: Livestrong, Tiffany, Old Spice and Verizon.
- Custom tabs are more visible, but max of three: Custom tabs are moved up much higher and visually represented with larger boxes. Creating icon images for the tabs that catch attention and are intuitive to understand what they do will significantly increase engagement with them. You get four tabs visible without expanding here, but the first one is defaulted to photos so you only have three spots to place your custom tabs, like total, location, etc without someone having to expand to see the rest.
- Facebook Offers brings efficient couponing to Facebook: Not available yet for most Pages. Facebook is rolling this featured out over the next few weeks. I haven’t heard definitively whether this will be a free or paid option.
- Reach Generator will significantly increase engagement on your posts: This is a new Facebook advertising solution that is being rolled out very slowly. Its currently only available for Facebook Pages with over 500,000 likers. Reach generator will make sure your posts are seen by your likers. Facebook has mentioned engagement rates of 75% or more of your likers. For perspective, Facebook says that only 16% of your likers see an average post right now.
- Composer allows you to create Milestone posts: This is where you will create your Page posts. It looks pretty much the same as it did before except a) it now has a fancy name and b) you can create Milestone posts for important things that happen at your company. You can expect these posts will be favored by EdgeRank’s visibility algorithm. Note – these Milestone posts can be current or previous events in your company’s history. Yes, you can create a Milestone for something that happened in 1978.
- About section is more visible, differs based on your designated business type: Your about section is even more visible and longer than before. Note – if you are Page designation is that of a local business the about section will feature your business type, address, phone number and hours. This may not be desirable for some so you’ll want to change your Facebook Page designation to something other than a local business.
- Facebook Insights will be in realtime: Facebook announced that over the course of the next three weeks Facebook Insights will go from being delayed three to five days to being realtime. This will be great for judging the success of Facebook page posts. Afterall most engagement happens within the first three hours of a post going live, who wants to wait four days to get all the info on it?
- Admin Panel makes recent Page activity way more visible: The Admin Panel is now partially visible to admins right at the top of the Page. You can see Notifications, New Likes, Insights and Messages right here. It should make you more of an aware page admin as the most recent activity on your page is now highly visible in a number of ways without having to go to Page Insights.
- Five different Admin types give you more granular control of your Page: Facebook hasn’t rolled out this feature yet, but this will give you better control over your Page and hopefully less concern over how many people have admin access to the page.
- Facebook Ads go mobile and on log out: People will soon be served ads while using the Facebook mobile app and when they log out from the desktop version of Facebook. Yes, that’s right – when you attempt to log out of Facebook, Facebook may toss up an ad before you can complete logging out. How many people log out from Facebook? 37 million a day and 105 million log outs per month.
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