Recent changes to branded Facebook Pages have social media marketers rejoicing. The upgrades were announced in early February and intended to help "manage communication, express yourself, and increase engagement."
Many were expecting a change to take place eventually after Facebook rolled out changes to personal profiles in December. Increasing usability throughout the social media platform are the underlying reasons for recent changes.
We'll examine each change so you're well equipped to use Facebook effectively.
Previously, tabs were located at the top of a branded Page. With an upgraded Page, tabs are shown on the left. This change is consistent with the change Facebook made to personal profiles.
In addition, more tabs are visible -- eight in total. Developing customized tabs and organizing them appropriately further enhances your Facebook Page.
The usability of your website is important and Facebook Pages should be no different. Your brand has few opportunities to capture a user's attention and using your Facebook Page as an extension of your website can be crucial.
Static FBML applications have been popular in the past year or two, giving any Page the opportunity to create custom tabs. Facebook announced recently that iFrames will be allowed which offer a wider array of options for Facebook developers.
Starting March 11 businesses will no longer be able to create FBML apps, therefore Pages will no longer be able to add new Static FBML boxes to their Pages. Existing FBML boxes will continue to work, however.
FBML to iframe converters are available on the web and Facebook developers like Wildfire Interactive have developed an "iFrames for Pages" application, free to users for the next few months. Now is the time to develop customized tabs for Pages or convert old FBML boxes to iFrames.
Sharing photos with users who Like your Page are another way to personalize your branded efforts on Facebook. Five randomly chosen recent photos will be shown to users on "Wall" and "Info" tabs at the top of the Page where tabs used to reside.
Similar to tabs, this change is consistent with upgraded personal profiles. At this time it's not possible to choose which photos you'd like displayed in the photo bar, which is one downfall of this recent change.
Many personal profiles have utilized this valuable real estate to display their creativity, and brands should be allowed the same ability. Hopefully Facebook rolls out this additional change in the near future.
Regardless of Facebook's future plans, it's important to remember to use photos to tell your brand's story. This valuable real estate should be used to capture users' attention, entice them to click, and can add a personal touch to your brand if you so desire.
Administrators of branded Pages prior to the upgrade have had to regularly check their Wall and other areas of their branded Page for malicious comments and spam. Now administrators, when clicking "Use Facebook as your Page" (to the right of an upgraded Page), are presented with notifications of users who have commented, uploaded, or done other actions. In addition, administrators can see any new Likes since they last clicked "Use Facebook as your Page."
Administrators also have the ability to receive e-mail notifications when a user Likes a Page, comments, tags, adds a photo or video. This change reduces the amount of time required to administer activities on a Page but can also be used to help administrators acknowledge new users who "Like" a branded Page similar to branded profiles who thank new followers on Twitter.
Clicking "Use Facebook as your Page" opens up a brand new experience for Pages. Now Pages can cruise Facebook as themselves. Leave comments on other Pages, interact with other users on different Pages and feature Pages your brand Likes.
Community interaction with brands was often limited to simply tagging other Pages or favoriting other Pages. Now, by using Facebook as your Page, you're presented with the ability to show interest in other Pages, which also allows Pages to have their own news feed as well.
Click "Use Facebook as your Page" then click the Facebook icon at the top right. Traditionally by taking this action you'll be directed to your own personal profile's news feed.
Now, any Pages that you "Like" will show up here. I like to think of it as an RSS feed of all the great Pages that my Page is interested in or associated with.
Start by building up the Pages your Page Likes, and regularly check your news feed. Interact, comment, discuss, and expose your Page to others.
Additional filters are available now on the "Wall" of a Page, allowing users to see interesting and popular posts first. Administrators are given additional filters as well. These additional settings allow for easy viewing and navigation.
The massive upgrade of Facebook's Pages certainly provides a wide array of options for brands looking to enhance user experience on Facebook.
Which of the many Facebook Page upgrades was your favorite? Share with us in the comments below.
And don't forget to Like Search Engine Watch's Facebook page.
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