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The huge news out of Facebook this week is that the social network will be revamping their Pages to conform to the Timeline format that began rolling out to personal profiles back in September. Pages can move over to the Timeline format now, but all Pages will be switched over on March 30th.
There are a lot of changes to deal with. If you are a Page admin or if your organization administers a Facebook Page, this latest announcement will mean you need to adjust your content and engagement strategy on Facebook.
Here is our rundown of the new changes, which provide both opportunities and challenges:
Highlight Content: You now have the ability to “pin” certain posts and other content to the top of your Page for up to a week.
More Real Estate: The overall width is greater and the Timeline layout enjoys a focus on visual content, with larger pictures and videos. There is also a the new large cover photo feature, which allows your organization to create an impactful first impression with visitors.
Featured Areas: Facebook also has featured “boxes”, which are almost like pages on a website. You can use those boxes to highlight specific areas that you want to drive attention to.
Better Admin Panel: Before, the dashboard for administering a Facebook Page was clunky and disorganized. The new panel will put all of the activity in one spot, making it easy to track and respond to activity.
Direct Communication: The new format will also give Page visitors the ability to message the admin of the Page directly, which can assist immensely with customer service and responsive management of issues related to the Page.
Reformatting: Most organizations are going to have to shift resources between now and March 30th to ensure their Pages are compliant with the new format. This could be as simple as re-doing the cover photo or as complex as building new apps that fit with the new layout.
No Landing Tab: Many of our clients have taken advantage of the landing tab feature to create a strong brand presence, create exclusive offers and to highlight important content. With the new format, the landing tab is no more.
Content Is Critical: With the emphasis on visual elements, your organization will need to put resources towards creating and curating compelling content to maximize the usefulness of the new Page layout.
Engagement Rules: Visitors can now see which of their friends is interacting with your Page. So there will be more importance placed on finding interesting ways to engage users – especially without a clear ability to use Landing Tab features/offers to encourage likes.
Understanding History: The Timeline features also brings with the ability/need to populate the actual “timeline”. if you’re the New York Times or President Obama, that is a great opportunity. If you’re a widget factory or a small company, creating a completing timeline will take some creativity.
For the full details on the Facebook Pages announcement, you can watch a recap of their livestream from yesterday.