March 31, 2014 at 11:05 am

The Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse: The New Facebook Business Page

The Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse: The New Facebook Business Page

New Facebook Business PageEarlier this month, Facebook announced an overhaul to the look of its business pages.  The goal: To create a streamlined new Facebook business page that makes the life of a marketer much easier.  When I first heard about this, I was pretty excited. I thought: Facebook cares about me? Really? That’s so kind of them to consider my daily hardships as a social media marketer. I’m always game for anything that makes my life easier. I have a hard time just doing the dishes.

While Facebook’s team probably doesn’t care if I clean my dishes, I suppose that they do care about my experience with their tool. That said, it’s probably time to give this new layout a closer look. Let’s explore what’s changing and what it all means for your business.

Here are some of the latest page updates:

  1. Only one, chronological column for posts – hooray! No more darting your eyes back and forth when looking through your page’s posts.  The idea is to make the Page more consistent with the news feed.
  2. You can view key information, such as notifications, messages and current ads from anywhere on the page.  There are also clearly marked navigation tabs added at the top left to access activity, insights and settings.
  3. There’s a new feature called Pages to Watch that allows any page to follow similar pages and view insights of their key stats.  This feature is cool (though a little stalker-ish) and might give your business page some better insight on how to interact with similar brands – which is what we think that Facebook is trying to accomplish here. (HINT: Great for Cross-Promotion)
  4. Rumors were swirling that they might be eliminated, but the page tabs will still be available.  This is good news for all of those businesses that rely on them or spent money on some sweet custom graphics

Facebook Page Recommendation

The new Pages to Watch function on Facebook makes is possible to view the basic stats of your competitors.

In case you’re wondering how updates might impact your traffic or overall engagement with your audience – I did a little digging into that as well.

Though this page update is a good way to get some consistency with desktop and mobile versions of the site, Facebook business Pages continues to get hit.  The site has been designed such that business’ who purchase ads are going to get more likes and possibly more engagement over pages trying to achieve those results organically.

According to a Time article posted last week, a recent study of 100  brand Pages conducted by Ogilvy & Mather found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12 percent of their followers in October to just 6 percent in February.  What’s more, the blog Valleywag is reporting that Facebook is planning to decrease those numbers further to around 1 or 2 percent in the future.

Those numbers are a little scary, especially when a lot of hard work has gone into developing an audience of brand enthusiasts.  The idea of relying on paid advertising on social media to get seen is a little unsavory and might not sit well for small businesses.  But, here are some things you can do to stave off buying ads for the moment:

  • Post Well, Post Often, Post to Engage
    Depending on who’s doling it out, this advice changes all of the time.  I do, however, like the way they put it over at Tabsite: The vast majority of user time on Facebook, over 65%, is in the News Feed.  So your Page must post to reach your audience in the News Feed.  Use Insights to know when your fans are on Facebook and post well, post often (at least 3-5x a day) and post to engage! Content matters. Your audience is following you for a reason – so give them the content that they want.
  • Provide User Friendly Experience
    Something that looks good or works on the desktop might not work on mobile.  It’s important to make sure anything you post can be seen and is clickable regardless of the method.  This is particularly important for giveaways, downloads, etc.  If a user finds it too difficult to access information, they are going to be done with you.

Facebook makes changes in the blink of an eye and as a social media marketer, it’s vitally important to keep up with their moods.  Continuing to provide your followers with amazing content is the best way to get them to stand by your side; if they love you and your content, they’ll seek you out, no matter what updates Facebook makes.

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