I’m not happy. I thought I would get that out of the way.
Facebook, on February 29, 2012, introduced us (as was expected) to the new pages format. They have recreated the Timeline feature, that was not well received, on our Business Pages. It’s happening, and there is nothing we can do about it.
New Facebook Timeline – EsquireTech Solutions
Old Facebook Page – EsquireTech Solutions
So, what does this mean for us, the small business owner? First, here are some of the negatives:
- Default landing tabs are gone. That’s right. All that hard work creating your beautiful landing tab is wasted. They are still there, within the Application slider, but you can no longer set your fans to visit that first. Although they do show as an app (see below), so people can click on them.
- Research has shown that custom landing tabs increase engagement by allowing an immediate call to action. This function is now lost.
- The page is now organized similar to personal Timelines. Your Photos, Likes and Apps are located at the top of the page. Photos will always show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else, allowing you to decide what is to be seen. However, you can only show a maximum of 12 apps, so be careful in your choices.
- We can now use the greater “Cover Photo” real estate to showcase our company or product. But wait, the following is not permitted:
- Price or purchase information;
- Contact information that should be within the “About” section;
- References to Facebook elements, such as “Like” or “Share”; and
- Any calls to action.
What do I like about it?
- The ability to pin your favorite post to the top of the page. Just click on the pencil icon, and you can pin the post (or delete it altogether).
- The ability to message fans directly. That’s right, you can initiate private conversations with your fans, and those messages will appear right within your admin panel.
- The ability to go back, through the Timeline, and add events or milestones to your company’s history.
- Can upload pictures to use for your featured apps, enabling you to turn them into dedicated calls-to-action.
As I said at the beginning, I’m really not happy about these changes. And, I’m not sure how things will change over the next 30 days (the new format is opt-in until March 30, 2012), so things may very well change between now and then. I’m also not sure how companies that built their business, and reputation, on Facebook Landing pages will handle this. It will be interesting to see how companies like Lujure, Tabsite, Pagemodo, and others will adjust to this new reality.
To help us cope with this change, Facebook has set up a complete video tutorial, which can be accessed here: http://www.learnfacebookpages.com/.
Let me know what you think of the changes. Do you agree with me? Have you already changed your page over?
Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.