With their IPO around the corner Facebook employees have been working hard to rapidly roll-out new and improved features to Facebook as a multi-billion dollar stock market launch in the near future dances through their minds.
In the past few weeks several big new changes to Facebook have gone live.
New Timeline Style Facebook Pages launched last week, ads have been revamped, and groups have been redesigned.
This post covers what I believe to be the 10 most important changes that Facebook has made recently that you need to know.
1. All Pages Will Automatically Upgrade to Timeline on March 30th
This means that ready or not if you are a page admin big changes are coming your way.
To prepare for new pages you should consider the following:
- You will need a new cover image for the top of your page (850 px x 315 px)
- You may need a new profile pic; the new default size is 180 px x 180 px
Facebook Timeline style pages contain all of the major features of Timeline for profile with a few new bells and whistles that can take your Facebook page to the next level.
Here is a snap shot of what my new page looks like:
As you can see from the image above all tabs on my Facebook page are not immediately visible, so I recommend selecting the two tabs that matter the most to your brand and moving them so that they are visible.
2. Tabs Are Now Wider: 810px
The new style tabs are now 810px wide, which means there is more room to create a captivating custom experience.
There are two main apps that I use to develop custom page tabs and they have both already been updated to be compatible with these new larger page tabs.
Currently I am working on templates that will help you use this new expanded space to build an exceptionally compelling brand experience, and these templates will be offered as a free bonus to all FBPower owners.
As you can see from the image below page tabs are as wide as Timeline itself, and this means you have more space than ever to create a cool custom experience for your page viewers.
3. Fan Pages Can Now be Messaged
This new feature means a new customer service outlet for your business, which will save some fans who might have vented their frustration on your wall.
If you want to message a page you can find the message button under the right corner of the cover photo.
4. Default Landing Tabs are Gone
Prior to Timeline Facebook page admins had the option to send new page visitors to a custom tab before they landed on your wall. This option is now gone.
All traffic to your page is now directed to your timeline by default, and there are several cool new ways to customize your page content so that you can achieve your marketing and branding goals.
5. Pin Your Favorite Post to The Top of Your Timeline
In a move a that seems to be in direct response to the recent success of Pinterest, Facebook has introduced the feature of “pinning” a piece of content to the top of your page.
If you have a promotion like a free eBook, a product, or a post that you want your fans to see make sure to pin it to the top of your page so it gets maximum visibility!
To pin a post click the “”Edit or Remove” button in the top right of the post and then select “Pin to Top.” You can also change the position of posts on your page and the date that they were posted.
6. Photos, Likes, and Apps (Tabs) Now at The Top of Pages
The tabs that used to be at the left side of the page are now under the main cover image at the top of the page, and are shown as “panels.”
These are found right under the cover image. The “photos” tab is always visible, but you can choose what will be visible for the other three tabs.
To choose the panels that will be visible simple click in the top right corner of one of the three movable panels on the top and select “Swap position with” the tab you want to be visible above the fold.
Selecting the half visible panel will reveal the other panels you have available to choose from.
7. New Administrator Panel
The new Facebook admin panel is a cool new feature of Timeline enabled pages that can be accessed via a button in the top right of your page (see image below) and this slide down dashboard quickly summarizes what is happening with your page.
- New Likes
- Page Tips
The insights section of the dashboard just shows page insights at a glance. There is still a complete insights dashboard if you are looking for detailed analytics about your Facebook community and how they are engaging with your page.
8. Cover Photo
The cover photo can be up to 850px by 315px but may NOT contain the following:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address
- Other information intended for your Page’s About section
So it’s cool to show a picture of any products or services you might have, a picture of your team, or any image that you think captures the essence of your brand.
Changing your cover image every so often is a good idea since this will keep your page feeling fresh and will keep your fans coming back.
9. Facebook Has Overhauled Facebook Advertising
Any Facebook page post can now be turned into an ad.
A typical Facebook status update will only be seen by about 16% of your fans. Facebook’s new innovation, the Reach Generator allows advertisers to pay a fixed fee to guarantee that their content is seen by 75 percent of their fans.
The cool thing about Reach Generator is how it turns every post into a potential ad, and by doing this emphasizes the importance of sharing quality content as a way to get fans engaged. Reach Generator is an expensive solution reserved for brands with massive ad budgets but new advertising innovations will reward small and medium business page owners as well.
Real-Time Insights such as likes, views, impressions, and clicks are now available just 5-10 minutes after a post is published rather than two whole days later. This real-time information will teach marketers what content resonates most with their audiences, and leverage a popular post by promoting it to a Sponsored Story ad.
10. Facebook Groups Have Been Re-Designed
Although the majority of this post has been discussing changes and innovations related to pages, Facebook has also recently pushed a major redesign to their Groups product.
Facebook Groups are functionally the same as before but now feature a banner at the top of the group page. By default this will show faces of members of the group. For example, below is what the top of my Facebook Marketing Mastermind group now looks like.
If you want to customize the look of your group you can add a photo to this top banner and create a custom experience.
Facebook has also launched a new solution for marketers called Facebook Offers and this will be available for all page admins within the coming weeks. Creating an offer will be free for page owners, just like making any other post.
Stay on the Cutting Edge of Facebook’s Changes
Within the next few days all members of Facebook Power will be getting a free update including a detailed report and a video explaining the most important details of the new Facebook changes and how you can use them to build a compelling and cutting edge Facebook brand.
As soon as they are ready members will also get new Facebook Timeline templates I am working with a designer on so that they can easily create a compelling custom Facebook experience using the new 810px wide Facebook canvas.
Check out the limited time Facebook Power offer I have going on today and remember that Facebook Power comes with free updates for life!
What do you think of the new Facebook changes? Leave a comment below and let me know!