By James Reichert Facebook’s announcement of a new “streamlined look for brand pages” on Monday has left social media marketers scratching their heads. The majority of the comments at the bottom of the Facebook for Business blog are not positive, as many wonder how this new design will impact their pages. However, like all changes to the platform, marketers need to adjust to these inevitable changes on the fly. Below are questions about some of the new features we do know about and predictions about how they may (or may not) impact brand pages.
How will the new design look and feel?
The new design looks exactly like a personal profile does. The page Timeline is back to a single-column design with additional information on the left. The posts in the single column do appear to be larger in size, which can help marketers get a better idea of how the posts will look in the News Feed. Also of note: the “update info”, “activity log”, and “like” buttons are raised above the page bar and live almost on top of the cover photo. With this in mind, cover photos that have content or logos on the bottom right might need to be altered so that they are optimized for the new layout.
Where did PTAT go?
Remember when we thought this metric would change the way brand pages were compared? PTAT (or People Talking About This) started to disappear when Facebook launched the new page insights in October, breaking it up into the separate elements that made up this engagement metric. It appears that the new brand pages design is the final nail in the coffin for this metric as it is missing – only page likes is displayed.
Where have all the custom tabs gone?
That's right: the tab area where the custom tabs would usually be displayed is being changed. These custom apps (most commonly from outside vendors) are now moved to a more secluded area and can only be accessed organically by clicking the "more" drop-down shown below.
This might be the most heated discussion right now among social marketers. Some are upset that the apps are “hidden," while others believe that these apps are going to be phased out in time. Social marketers need to realize that the majority of Facebook users consume content in their News Feed, not by searching different brand pages. The odds of a user stumbling on a sweepstakes tab via organic search is slim-to-none; they are driven there via paid media in the News Feed.
Change is inevitable, and as marketers we need to continually adapt to new situations--platform changes included. The good news is that these pages will start to roll out to page admins in the upcoming weeks, giving us time to accept the changes and optimize accordingly.
What are your thoughts about the new brand pages? Do you think hiding the custom tabs will impact their performance? Share your thoughts in the comments!