A Look at Facebook Page Re-Design and Tools to Power your Facebook Pages
On February 10 2011, Facebook made a major announcement regarding the redesign and functionality enhancements for Facebook pages. These changes are applicable to all the categories of pages i.e. brands, businesses and celebrities etc. As of now, you have an option of upgrading your Facebook pages to the new design however from March 11 onwards, the upgrade would become mandatory.
While the best practices to manage the Facebook pages remain the same, here is a look at what’s new.
So what has changed and what it means for your Business?
Let’s start from the appearance of Facebook pages, which has changed and now resembles the layout of a Facebook user profile.
Photostrip above Wall
So now you have a photo strip containing “5” picture thumbnails right above the page wall. Although the pictures are being displayed randomly unlike the sequential display of profile photo strip it still is a very good opportunity for brands to showcase images of their work-samples, culture and more.
Going ahead, we would be sharing with you some creative uses of page photo strips by brands and other business entities as an when we discover them.
With the toggle feature you can switch between your Facebook profile and the pages you administer. On activation, you would receive notifications for all the interactions made on your page.
Best of all you can also comment on other pages as a page which would also boost page promotion.
Comment on Your Facebook Fan Page from Profile
This is feature that every page administrator was craving for. Earlier, whenever you made comments on your fan-page they were not linked to your profile. Now you have an option of choosing how you want your comments to be displayed i.e. from Your FB Profile or as Page.
Landing Tab (Updated: Your Navigation Link)
Just like your Website, the Landing tab of your brand’s Facebook page is very critical in determining whether or not your page visitor would become your fan.
With Facebook’s special announcement regarding the updated layout of Facebook fan pages the landing tabs have moved to the navigation area on the left side of your page. That is why it is more appropriate to call them as “Navigation Menu Links” instead of “tabs” which do not exist anymore.
Support for iframes in Navigation Menu Links (Earlier Tabs)
Starting February 10 2011, Facebook has also allowed left navigation menu links to be built on iframes meaning that FBML and FBJS support would be deprecated. The migration to iframes was supposed to happen during the last quarter of 2010, but it did get delayed. Also from March 11 2011 onwards, pages won’t be able to add the Static FBML app and create apps on this platform although existing page tabs running on FBML would continue to work.
If you are planning to customize your page navigation link (tab), then you know that FBML is out and iframe is in and the same needs to be integrated in your page development plan.
Let us now look at some of the tools which would change the way you use your Facebook pages
With the amazingly exponential growth of Facebook, businesses have also been steadily looking out for opportunities to tap on the massive audience of Facebook. The first and foremost among them is nurturing an engaging Facebook page. There are various tools with which you can bring new life to your static, one dimensional Facebook pages. Some of the tools are free, some are paid while almost all of them are available on trial basis:
Let us start from the Facebook page itself. Not many people would know that while writing a page post, there’s an option of choosing the appropriate target audience for your update. This means that there might be some posts that would be valid only for audience from US or let’s say Italy. Once you choose the geography filter, the post would only be visible to the audience from the selected country. You also have an option of filtering the respective locations/states within a country or by languages.
Certainly, this is a very handy feature but you need to use very wisely as the number of people who would see your post would depend on the location/language filters that you set.
Polling surveys are a fantastic way to gauge feedback, grab attention and concept testing. While there are many applications with which you can run polls on fan-pages, the one app. that is must add for page owners is Fan Appz. With this polling application, you can create a dedicated tab for polls and run engaging image based polls. For example: If you have ‘3’ versions of your product prototype, you can share all three images and let you community decide which one is the best.
Run Interactive Contests
There is no better way of fan engagement and growth than interactive contests. Kontestapp.com allows you to run diverse contests like quizzes, sweepstakes and much more.
Instead of running a contest on a third-party application or your website, you can run a contest right inside your Facebook page. You can choose from pre-defined templates and select the design of your tab. If you want to increase your fans with a contest, you can opt for feature such as conditioning a contest entry on Liking a Facebook page. You can also create a contest entry form with fields as per your needs and capture the appropriate data like phone number, email etc.
Multi-Page Management/Post Scheduling
If you are running multiple Facebook pages, one feature that you would have always desired is seamless management of your page accounts. With the Facebook interface, you need to open multiple browser windows and check for comments etc and it is a lot more complicated when you are multi-tasking.
Hootsuite is a powerful web-based dashboard application providing a diverse set of features for multi-page management. Actually, Hootsuite is not just about the two features that we are discussing. Its PRO version also supports adding an additional team member for task delegation. With the Basic account which is free, you can add up to “5” social networks and check you statistics for a 30 day period.
How many times you have come across a situation, where you have to go for a meeting, but also know that your next post is supposed to go live at the same time interval. Or you have to make a post on a weekend but you know that you would be busy partying with friends?
With Facebook page post scheduling of Hootsuite, you can craft content, schedule posts for future and focus on all other activities.
What tools do you use for your Facebook pages? Do you think the recent announcement will create an impact on the landing tabs? Share your comments below.