Facebook’s New Fan Page Timeline Changes

1 Mar

If you have a Fan Page on Facebook you will probably be aware that the new Fan Page Timeline changes have started to be rolled out. I am currently getting to grips with the changes and will do a video on it early next week.

It is true that Facebook have taken away the option to set a default landing page so all new non fans will land on the Timeline, however, if you run Facebook advertising it appears that you can still run ads and send people to your chosen landing pages with that all important Fan Gate and Email Opt In that you may have set up.

So in order for you to encourage new 'Likes' as well as show new fans your products, Facebook has made it harder from an organic point of view in favour of a more paid option, to their benefit of course. Sneaky Little Facebook. You can still 'Link' to your landing pages and post them into your fans newsfeeds to encourage those import sign ups and product views, however getting people to click on the link to see your stuff will never be as good as it being visible as soon as they land on your page is it?

One good change that will benefit businesses is the new style of advertising placement that Facebook will roll out soon, at the moment adverts are down the right side which often blur into the background while you are concentrating on reading posts.

The new system will have adverts placed directly into people’s newsfeeds between posts which means they will be in front of people’s eyes more. This will no doubt annoy most of Facebook’s users at the beginning but they will eventually get used to it. Be warned, it is possible for users to remove adverts that they don’t like seeing. This option I believe will stay so if your advert annoys a lot of people they may hide it.

Back to the new page layout.

The new Timeline layout gives the page more of a website feel which fills the screen up better.

Fan Page Timeline cover

You have a great opportunity of creating a larger header image called the ‘Cover Image’ but strict rules apply, unlike the side graphics we have been using that points to the ‘Like’ button encouraging new fans to ‘Like’ our page or sign up for newsletters etc., none of this is allowed on the new cover.  Nor are you allowed to place offers or coupon style graphics in the Cover Image,

Why? Are these not pages set up for businesses? Is it not the nature of business to promote, encourage and create customers and clients? Would more customers and clients in the Facebook platform encourage more businesses to spend more money and time within Facebook itself?

Surely then it does not benefit Facebook to make these business page Cover Images less business like. However as they say rules are rules and Facebook have set them. They must have some reasoning behind it. Usually an odd one at that, a bit like their photo rules, did you know that it is ok to post images of serious injuries such as a crushed arm or even a head but you cannot post pictures of proud mothers doing what nature intended and breastfeeding their own babies!  Crazy I say however I digress.

Just below the new ‘Cover Image’ you will find the new home for your tabs and apps, these can be edited and moved about apart from the photos which looks to be static in position and the first one of the tabs. The great thing about these tabs is that they are larger than before and may be spotted easier creating potentially more curiosity and click through.

Fan Page Timeline apps

One interesting new development for the new business page is the ability for your fans to send you a direct message; unfortunately you cannot send a message out to a fan until they have been in contact first. Maybe Facebook were worried the system would be abused with spamming messages being sent left, right and centre.

Fan Page Timeline msgs

Which is a shame as this could have led to a possible new form of email marketing similar to what people were trying to do with the message system in the Group set up on Facebook. I did receive a few but it soon stopped, I guess it didn’t work in the Group system but for pages, that could be a different matter.

Still let’s look at the positives here, a fan can send you a message which if you decide to reply can open up good personal dialogue with your potential new customer. There could be a downside though, imagine having a page with several thousand fans and many of them decided not to ask questions via the wall but instead went down the message route. You could have loads of messages to go through.

If people think they need to ask what may be deemed a stupid question or if they fear being ridiculed they may not ask in a public form like on the wall but if they know their question will only be seen by you they may ask in the private message. It is possible that you may get plenty of pointless messages to trawl through.

I do think that once we have got over the initial shock of the new Fan Page Timeline layoutt we will grow to love them and they may be a greater asset than the old style. Only time will tell. – Andi the Minion

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