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It was with excitement and trepidation that I read a Facebook news story on the redesign of pages last night. I always get nervous with these things — you’re never sure which way Facebook is going to sway; toward the people, or toward the brands.
In playing around with the new settings this morning (you can upgrade before the compulsory launch date of 10 March, by the way) I noticed three very prominent things:
- You may now interact with other pages as your brand instead of as you (It’s about time!)
- Not all of the fan comments show up like they did before, making following all interactions just that much more annoying.
- On that point, at least they’ve compensated by offering page admins the world over a very overdue notifications system (Praise the gods!)
While my first point is a definite win, my second point is a little bit of a mission. You now need to activate the “View as Admin” option (located underneath Wall, just beneath your Profile picture) in order to see general comments on your page from fans with open profiles. But it goes further than that. If some of your interacting fans have private profiles, there’s another step to be taken: you’ve got to select “Hidden Posts” in order to see wall messages from people who have elected to not post to “Everyone” by default. Sigh.
Onto my third point, if you’re in “Use Facebook as [brand]” mode, you get notifications by the dozen on any interaction on your page. This is fantastic for page admins and brand managers.
In a nutshell, what is there to look forward to with the new upgrade?
Well, of course there’s the layout. Pages have now been designed to look like profiles. While this opens up space for pictures at the top of your page and is visually appealing, it also means that tabs have been relocated to underneath the profile picture, significantly lowering the tab value for brands.
- Wall Filter for relevant posts: Wall posts are now sorted by most relevant. Recent posts by friends, posts by other users in same language or country, and posts that have received a lot of Likes and comments will be promoted to the top of your page.
Pro: Personally I think this could swing either way. It can either highlight some awesome interaction on your page, making your fans life easier by eliminating the need to scroll back to a thread, or;
Con: It can highlight the one thing your fans are bitching about, the thing that you as a brand manager are trying to not have much emphasis on. It’s also a cause for possibly missing posts coming in that are not deemed as relevant, a very possible risk of letting posts “fall through the floor boards”, as they say.
- Using your page to interact throughout Facebook: This, for me, is the most valuable change. At the moment I’m still not 100% certain that we can use the Facebook mail functionality as it shows an error whenever I try, but I’m hoping this means that as a brand manager and page admin, we can now inbox message our fans personally. This is a need that my team and I call for daily. Sometimes you really need to send a private message in order to obtain contact details, you know? I’m holding my thumbs on this one.
Pro: if your page is photo inclined, this is great news for you. Now the latest, most interactive photo threads are immediately visible.
Con: if your page is more likely to rely on tabs to promote your offerings then you’re slightly screwed since they no longer claim prime property on your page and fans are less likely to click on them without prompting.
Another bonus is that we can now interact on other pages as a brand. For marketing affiliation and brand association in social media, this is huge!
Pro: talking to other pages as a brand. Hopefully being able to inbox fans individually.
Con: It’s still manual, you have to constantly switch between using Facebook as a brand or your personal profile, there’s no happy medium.
If you’d like to read up on more about the pages redesign and upgrade, here’s an informative article from Inside Facebook.
All in all, I’m relatively happy with the changes and look forward to challenging myself and my team in thinking of new and innovative ways to use all the new features. What do you think so far?