If you haven’t received a notification already, you will: Facebook announced in a recent blog post that big changes are afoot for the layout of business pages. The move has implications for small-business owners who use Facebook as part of their social media strategy.
Facebook on March 10 announced that it would begin rolling out “a streamlined look” for fan pages. The goal is “make it easier for people to find the information they want and help page admins find the tools they use most.”
Possibly the most welcome change is a return to a more organized timeline view: All posts will now appear in a single column, just as they do in your personal news feed or on a mobile device. Posts will no longer appear in two columns, which many find confusing to navigate.
The opposite (left) side of the redesigned page will feature key details about your business, such as a map to your location, contact information (phone number, website address), photos, and videos.
Of course, part of the redesign puts Facebook’s advertising features front and center. According to Facebook, “No matter where you are on your page, you can now view information about the ads you’re running.”
Finding unread messages is also easier, and a new section called This Week allows you to access detailed stats about your page’s recent performance rapidly.
Pages to Watch allows you to create a list of pages that are similar to yours. You can compare your performance to theirs and gain a better understanding of how your customers react to social media in your industry instead of just your business. (This feature was already integrated into pages, but the new design will provide even more data.)
A Facebook representative initially said that custom tabs would be located under the More button. This change would push any apps that you use off your main page, as seen in screenshots on Facebook’s blog post. However, it appears that Facebook listened to the outcries of business owners and has returned the custom tabs to the main page.
It also appears that some companies will have to rethink their cover image. Although the size will remain the same, the business name and category will now appear in white text on top of the image and the position of the profile picture is higher than in the past.
If history is a guide, the answer is unclear. The rollout began last week. Facebook is asking some page owners to join a wait list for the new layout. If you haven’t received your invite, be patient. The new layout will be on your cyber-doorstep soon.