Facebook Rolls Out New Look for Business Pages 1

Facebook announced a couple of interesting new features last week. First, they are beginning to test video ads on Facebook. (This is definitely in the very early stages so stay tuned.)

The second announcement affects those with existing business pages on Facebook. If you haven’t already seen some changes to your Facebook business page, a new format will be rolling out in the next few weeks.

Facebook made the changes to streamline the look, making the desktop version more user-friendly for followers and admins alike. It may make you rethink a few things, like apps, your business category, photos, and competitor pages.

Here’s why.

Page Posts Move to Right-Hand, One-Column Format

FB Pages

Pros:

Page posts will move from their old two-column format to a cleaner-looking one-column display. This new style is going to lend itself even more to a more photo-friendly style of posting. So if you aren’t already, make sure to capture more attention and engagement by including an eye-catching, relevant visual in your posts.

This look is definitely cleaner, and it allows your followers to view most recent posts.

Cons:

Fewer posts are getting exposure and there appears to be no way to search for an older post if you wanted to come back and revisit it. While this is definitely not a “deal breaker,” it does seriously reduce the longevity of your posts.

Business Feature Area Expanded

Featured Area

Pros:

This is my favorite part of the new look. The left hand column allows you to highlight everything you want to highlight about your company. But you may want to re-think now what “category of business you are in.”

If you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar location (i.e., category “local business”), the left-side column will show a map, phone number, hours of business, likes and visits, information about your business, apps (if relevant), photos, videos, reviews, posts to your Page, and the Pages Your Page likes.

For businesses that operate primarily online (i.e., most other categories), the left-side column will not show a map, phone number, hours of business, or reviews. If any of these features are important to you, consider editing your category accordingly.

I do like the addition of the apps on the left hand column. Old apps will still appear along the top under the “more” button as well. In the old version, you were limited as to how many of your apps actually were visible. With the new left hand column, the apps have way more real estate, though it’s hard to tell if there will still be limits to the number of apps visible here.

Cons:

I don’t see many cons to the left-hand column….yet. What I do see is a ton of opportunity to elevate different elements of your company and again—much, much more visual appeal.

Easier Access to Admin Tools

Admin Tools

Key statistics will now show up for admins no matter where you are on the page and the new navigation along the top means the Admin Panel no longer takes up half of the page.

Pages to Watch

Some of you may already have had access to this cool little feature.  It’s one I highly recommend you pay attention to. You can add other pages that you would like to compare your page’s performance to. This is a great way to keep your eye on competitors or on pages that you would like to emulate. When you click on the new Overview tab as an admin it will share key stats of the page you are watching. Under the post tab you can see their most engaging posts for the past week.

On the flip side of this, you will also be notified if your page is added to someone else’s page to watch list, though the name of the Page that has added you is not disclosed.

Pages

I’m finding mixed reactions to these changes. Some are finding it frustrating to have to update their business pages yet again. Others are already looking for ways to leverage the new look.

I’m interested to hear what your experiences are—good and bad. Leave me a note in the comments!

  • http://www.liveplan.com/ Noah Parsons

    Thanks for the great post, Cidnee! It sounds like that the new design is going to require business users to leverage promoted posts (and pay Facebook) even more to get posts in front of their target audience and followers. Do you think that this is the case?

About the Author Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success - a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Google+. Read more »

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