The new Facebook Timelines are now here for all businesses. There are good things to it and there are some serious issues with it that as a business here on a local level you should be aware of.
First off it is great for a page to visually show off but then things get a bit dicey. The fan interaction has been curtailed as fan posts are now lumped into 1 big box that must be expanded to see what they are saying to you. Page owner posts show up just fine as well as the comments. Now though if a fan/customer posts something it get lost unless the page admin re-posts it for them.
Lots of business owners are going to hate this with a passion as they rely on fan page posts to keep informed on things from the fans and the fans also like it to. Business owners will really have to work a bit harder to keep up to date with their customers & fans. There is away to see the posts that all your customers make and all you have to do is click the highting tab under the new big box and it will open a drop down with choices of how you would like to view the page. You can just choose the one that says POSTS BY OTHERS. Gone are the days where you had to choice to show posts by everyone all at once This really hurts Musicians, Gamers, Small Businesses, Radio Stations as well a number of others but businesses who don’t allow fan posts this is a godsend as they don’t have to police their walls so much or to be precise don’t have to care as much what fans post except for comments.
Now let’s get to the apps a page uses, they get a bit lost too and the landing pages businesses love so much and have spent good money on become obsolete and a waste unless Facebook makes some changes. This will really hurt those who use those pages for fan engagement/ contest and widget engagement. Now if a fan want to see what page has to offer as far as apps and engagement,as demonstrated by Social Network Radio’s Page,they have to click the little arrow next the to the last little picture and the apps will drop down.
Now Facebook did add some good features for business page owners and fans. The feature for business owners is the Admin Panel which I must say is very nice and clean and really easy to use. They have added notifications there so you can actually see them as well as who has like page to better manage the customers and ban them if they post in appropriate content. They have also added a little insights box for a quick view chart.
They added tabs on top right of Admin Panel so you can manage page and this brings you to the way we are used to editing page so that hasn’t changed, using Facebook as page feature, Activity log and seeing the banned users. The tab next to it is Build an Audience and this is where you can Invite friends, share the page and create an ad. The last tab is the help tab. Then the hide tab which just closes out the new section.
They did add a nice feature which makes it easy for your customers to message your page directly & you can respond back to them directly as the page not yourself. I really like this feature but I know some businesses wont as they will get hit with tons of messages. Not to worry if you dont want this feature you can turn it off in the edit page section.
Next to that is the little gear wheel where you can go add page to favorites, report bad pages, Share the page & even give Facebook Feedback on what you think of new pages.
So there you have it in a nutshell. Bottomline here is that the new pages need alot of work to make them fan friendly and it will take a while to get used to. Remember you don’t have to convert them now you have until March 30th then you will get it whether you want it or not so I recommend you try it now so you can get used to it anlong with your customers & fans.
Don’t be surprised to see Facebook make it more fan friendly as the Businesses are the ones who spend money advertising on Facebook and Facebook will ultimately do what they want to keep the money coming in. I feel bad for page owners who rely on fans posts to generate likes and traffic because it will be tougher on them as those post will be lost now and harder to find.
Here’s the Facebook’s links to their Learn About Facebook Pages & Introducing New Facebook Pages and if you are looking for help with your business page I recommend our friends over at Talking Finger as they are very good at helping businesses get the most out of pages.