First it was profiles, and now it’s pages. The two-column post view is soon to vanish from the walls of Facebook pages across the globe, and it isn’t the only change businesses need to watch out for in this newly-introduced, streamlined design.
On March 10th Facebook announced that a new format for pages would be rolling out across the network. Almost two months later, the vast majority of pages are still awaiting the updates, but smart businesses are already preparing for the changes. Here’s what you need to know.
Changes Your Fans Will See
The biggest change on your page is the one-column view for your page’s posts. This means your posts appear on your page in exactly the same format as they appear in the news feed. No full width or scaled image sizing: what you see is what your fans get.
The left-hand column now highlights all your key information, moving it further from the top navigation on your page. Depending on the type of business your page represents (brick-and-mortar stores vs. online only enterprises for instance), this section is tailored to show different information, from maps and opening hours to contact numbers and links. Your most recent photos and videos are also highlighted here, no matter what type of business you have.
Apps are also changing. They can still be seen in the top navigation bar, but now as text-only links; they can also be highlighted, with images, in the left hand navigation bar.
Posts to Pages, the content your fans post directly to your page wall, have again been minimized. This area now consists of just one recent post and a see-all option to click through all posts. On the plus side this means spam and customer service conversations are less prominent, however it does increase the likelihood that those who aren’t satisfied with of your responses will turn to the comments for more prominence.
Changes for Admins
Page admins will appreciate the addition of the new quick view display. This floating section moves with your page scroll, keeping the key stats about your page visible at all times. This includes information about any current advertising campaigns, the number of page likes, new page likes, unread notifications, and messages.
The new navigation bar may ruffle a few feathers: the key sections are highlighted (activity, insights, settings and, of course, advertising under ‘build audience’), but messages are now filed within activity, something that may cause frustration for those managing their page directly through Facebook rather than a third party tool.
Without a doubt, the most useful new feature for admins is Pages to Watch. This section allows you to create a list of competitors and similar businesses to keep tabs on. Put simply, it’s competitor research made easy. Facebook automatically pulls in the number of Likes, new Likes, the number of posts in the current week, and the engagement level for that page. If your page is added to one of these lists you will receive a notification, but the message won’t indicate which page is monitoring you, so no need to panic when you add competitors to your own list!
The Drum has also reported that Pages to Watch includes the ability to view the week’s most engaging posts, allowing you to see exactly what is driving success for your competitors at a glance, and no doubt providing some food for thought for your own content strategy.