There are a lot of rumors around the “blogo-twitter-sphere” about the changes fan pages may face when Facebook makes updates to the platform, once again. A few weeks ago, when Mark Zuckerberg made his infamous speech about the new changes, we were told “Spotific, frictionless, serendipitous” changes are around the corner.
Users with technical courage followed the hack instructions on Techcrunch and updated their profiles to the new format. The new format for users was said to take about a week until everyone was to be updated, but we are still waiting. Does this mean that fan pages will take longer to update? Or will this change hit out of nowhere, like the last time everyone flipped out about the new fan pages?
Much like Hurricane Irene, there will be backlash to these changes. Months and years of strategy might be washed down the drain. However, like Irene, if we prepare for the changes with the information we know, we could be back on our feet in just a few days.
We can’t be 100% sure of how or when the changes for fan pages will occur. But we can make some educated guesses on the best ways to prepare for upcoming Facebook changes. Below are 5 tips for preparing your fan page for the anticipated changes.
1. Modify Wall Posts and Engagement
The above posts might be more prominent if the new page layout is identical to what we’ve already seen released on personal profile timelines. Updates will appear larger and won’t flow down the page as quickly as in the past, making it important for photos to be high quality. Additionally, brands may not be able to set the wall to show “brand only” posts. Zuckerberg mentioned something along the lines of disabling the feature to “hide” what the fans are saying. The brand needs to stay in control of the page. Make sure the wall is full of diverse types of content and not just fans talking.
2. Organize Photo Albums
The build up of wall photos that brands post get lost in the “Wall Photos” album. This is unorganized and will most likely be a big undertaking to organize later. The new timeline layout will encourage fans to look back through the brand’s Facebook history, of which photos are a big part. Brands that have already organized albums and will have a seamless transition when changes take place. Create new photo albums and place photos from the wall into the new albums. Fans are not likely to browse through “Wall Photos” but will take the time to look for things they are interested in within organized albums.
3. Revise Facebook Engagement Policy
The new algorithm of the Facebook main feed is different for each user now. Users are able to set who they want to see on their main page for a more personalized experience. However, the ticker on the right hand corner is always moving and brands should take advantage of this. In the past, many social strategists would advise brands to post to the wall and comment when it is important, so not to inundate the community. Because there is so much activity on the news ticker, this is now the other way around. If you want the brand to stick out, you must update and comment as much as possible. But to do that, the tone of the brand and the messaging must be on point and always approved.
Keep in mind, it important not to go crazy and post a million times a day. Users can still “hide” the brand, or even “unlike” the page, if it gets too noisy. Post just enough to get noticed and not lost in the crowd.
4. Prepare New Creative Assets
Brands loved when they were able to make their profile images longer. They would change the image often, for holidays and other campaigns. If Facebook decides that brands will get similar pages that the users have, we will be given new creative spaces. Cover art can be changes as much as possible and gives us more width to brand our pages with.
5. Revise Your Monitoring
The Facebook insights metrics that we all came to know and love are still there but now compiled into the number of people “talking about this” which is now live on the page for anyone to see. This provides a quick way for administrators to look at the page insights all wrapped up into one number.
Here is what it means when you are counting the people ”talking about this”:
- Liking your page
- Posting to your wall
- Liking, commenting or sharing one of your page posts or other content on your page such as photos, videos and albums
- Answering a question you posted
- RSVPing to one of your events
- Mentioning or tagging your page
- Liking or sharing a check-in deal, or checking in at your location
Like you, we are anxiously awaiting these updates and can only imagine how they will negatively or positively affect the brand fanpages. No matter what happens, we will adapt. We will learn new ways to interact with our audiences and increase engagement rates. Change is inevitable on Facebook and we are prepared and ready for you, Zuck.