Facebook overhauled its Pages tool this week, designing pages to look like profiles and adding new elements intended to improve communication between page administrators and pages’ fans. Pages are free and allow businesses, brands, public figures and organizations to communicate with Facebook users called fans.
While the changes affect all Facebook pages, the facelift has specific implications for business-related pages . And businesses that don’t learn about the modifications now — and figure out how to leverage them — could face negative consequences.
“When brands ignore changes to social media sites, it’s like celebrities who ignore fashion trends before they hit the red carpet,” Ben Grossman, communication strategist for the marketing agency Oxford Communications, told BusinessNewsDaily . “These changes specifically impact the layout of Facebook pages in such a way that many brands may come off less polished than they would desire using default settings.
“The changes also create new opportunities for brands to create even more exciting branded experiences for users through features like the ‘photo strip’ and page ‘likes.’ Several of the new administrator settings will simplify management of pages for many small business and startups, empowering them with profanity blocks and new e-mail notification settings.”
The photo strip feature displays a page’s latest five pictures on top of the page. To follow a page on Facebook, users “like” the page and subsequently become fans. Now, those “likes” will be prominently featured on the left rail of every page.
Grossman details the changes in 17-page report in which he and colleagues Christopher Stemborowski and Jordyn Haas provide a feature-by-feature analysis.
For example, a brand’s page now has the ability to comment on another brand’s page, a function Grossman said is the biggest new feature for small businesses and startups.
“This new capability gives small brands looking to grow an opportunity to get involved in targeted — local, topical or complementary — conversations that have already drawn droves of Facebook users,” Grossman said. “This opportunity to gain some borrowed interest from pre-established brands is a key strategy for small businesses and startups to garner earned media in a new way."
For a full breakdown of every change, read Oxford Communications’ report here.
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