If you use Facebook frequently, you may have already seen that several personal profiles have been changed to a new profile layout with timeline. At first, however, these changes were limited only to those profiles, not to the business pages.
However, Facebook announced the extension of this new layout to the Business Pages (the old Fan Pages), and on March 30 this new design became mandatory for all companies that have a fan page.
The changes have a profound impact on the way companies do Facebook Marketing. Below, you can see what the key changes are, how they impact the business, and what best practices fit the new layout.
What Changes for Marketing
One of the most effective strategies for getting new fans was the so-called Like Gate , which consists of a flap with content “hidden” behind a call-to-action , revealing the content only when the visitor clicks on Like and becomes a fan of the company.
Fan page like gate
Like Gate of the Digital Results within a Landing Tab. To view the content, the visitor needs to prioritize the page.
With the new layout, Facebook has disabled the option of setting a tab as the default home page. This change is possibly the most negative for marketing since, according to informal surveys, companies that used the welcome flap generated approximately 50% more conversion than those who did not.
This does not mean, however, that Facebook is no longer an excellent marketing tool. There are a lot of new things that have changed for the better and added value to the Pages, and if your company uses Facebook ads, you can still direct visitors to the custom tab.
For Marketing, a positive point of the change worth mentioning is that, according to WildFire research , the rate of comments on individual posts and tanned in them increased by an average of 40% and 60% respectively, with the comment number In multimedia content (images and videos) has also increased significantly.
Major layout changes
First of all, the main change is the inclusion of Cover Image, or Cover Image. This is a featured image at the top of the page, just above the profile photo. The size of this image is 851 x 315 pixels, and the profile image now has 180 x 180 pixels.
It is important to choose a profile image that is very visible when reduced to 32 x 32 pixels because it is this size that appears in the News Feed, where most people read, enjoy and comment on your company’s posts. Choosing this image, therefore, is essential if your company wants to stand out and be seen among other posts.
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One of the things being widely used by brands is the “interaction” between the cover image and the profile photo. Since the profile image overlaps the cover a bit, you can make the profile image part of the cover image. An example of this is the Digital Results Page:
Digital Results Cover on Facebook
Before choosing the cover image, watch out for Facebook’s rules and guidelines so you do not risk being penalized. Some of these limitations relate, for example, to not being able to put discounts or coupons on the cover image, as well as contact information and calls-to-action.
Bio and Application Pages
In the old layout, the company Bio and the links to the Application Pages were in the sidebar of the page. With the move, these two features gained a more prominent position just below Cover.
The applications, which appeared next to a small icon, are now more easily viewed by the person accessing the page. These applications are highlighted by a customizable 111 x 74 pixel image, and by default, only four pages of applications are visible to the visitor. Your company is completely free to choose which apps to display as featured. The exception though is the first application, which gives access to company photo albums.
To edit the featured images and the layout of the applications, simply click the “arrow” to the right of the 4th application and then position the mouse over the image you want to change or the application you want to highlight and Click on the pencil that appears in the upper right corner.
As we said before, the main “loss” to Marketing with the change of Pages was the impossibility of defining a default Welcome Page, that is, the visitor will always arrive right on the main page. What we recommend to minimize this loss is to make an application visible with this Welcome Page and put an image that catches the attention of the visitor and instigates it to click and access the page. There are several ways to do this, such as offering some material on this page.
It is valid to repeat here that if your company uses Facebook Ads, it is possible to generate direct traffic to the Welcome Page. We talked more about this tactic of getting fans in the free eBook: Introduction to Facebook Marketing.
In the image below, an example of Bio and the applications featured in the Red Bull page:
Fan Page Red Bull
Red Bull Page: Good use of Bio space and highlight four applications among the nine on the page.
Timeline (or Timeline)
Another novelty that comes to the Pages is the Timeline. As the name implies, it is possible to “tell the story” of the company in an interactive and intuitive way, since all posts and photos of the company are arranged in chronological order.
Among the resources brought with Timeline, two of them stand out for the importance to Marketing on Facebook: The milestone (or “milestones”) and the option to “fix” a post at the top of the timeline.
The application of milestones vary greatly from company to company. The Ford, for example, put in your timeline some important launches and achieving goals since its founding in 1903. Other creative examples can be found on Mashable.
To create a milestone, just scroll the page a bit down and the option will appear at the top of the page. The image that will be highlighted in the milestone has 843 x 403 pixels in size.
Two other features that came with changing layout are the highlight of posts in the timeline and the possibility of posting a post at the top of the page.
The highlight of posts is to expand a certain post so that it occupies both sides of the timeline. This feature is very interesting when the post deals with an image or material that uses the visual aspect to attract attention.
Already the possibility to fix posts at the top of the timeline is very useful; for example, to promote some material developed by your company, highlight some promotion that is being carried out, among others.
After changing the layout of the pages, this function came to be considered one of the main ways to generate Leads through Facebook, precisely by the possibility of highlighting certain posts on the page. For this reason, it is important that you change this image and promote new content weekly, since every seven days this post returns to its place in the timeline.
Still on the posts set at the top, the Wildfire survey quoted above showed that this content, especially when there is a flashy image; have on average 50% more tanned and almost twice as many comments as a common page post.
In the Digital Results Page, for example, we use the posted posts to highlight one of our educational materials.
Other important resources
Now page fans can send private messages to the company more easily. This feature facilitates the conversation with a fan without the need to make this message exchange public and your company can use it to solve some problem of the consumer making this function a kind of SAC.
Although we do not recommend limiting the means of communication of fans with the company, this function can be disabled through the Page Edition accessed by the Administrative Panel.
The administrators of the page have gained an excellent feature called Administrative Panel, which can be accessed through a button located in the upper right corner of the page. In this panel, the latest notifications from people who liked or commented on a post, new fans, latest received private messages and a graphical summary of the reach of the posts appear.
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This new dashboard is of utmost importance for page management as it brings together the most important information for the company in one place.