11 Things Nonprofits Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages
In addition to the “7 Things Nonprofits Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages,” there are four important new features added to the new Facebook Pages:
- The ability to feature your favorite photos across the top of your Page.
- The ability to receive email notifications of activity on your Page.
- The ability to feature five “Favorites” on your Page under Edit Page > Featured.
- The ability to feature Page Owners.
Also, good news! Facebook did not drop the Default Landing Tab function. It can be set under Edit Page > Manage Permissions.To see all the functions, go to your Page and browse around the new Dashboard. That said, the changes to the new Facebook Pages will be covered in my upcoming webinars:
2/22: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps: Beginner/Intermediate
2/24: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps: Advanced
To see a live example of the new Facebook Pages, go to facebook.com/nonprofitorgs. Finally, it’s worth noting that all Facebook Pages will be converted to the new design on March 10, 2011.
2/8 UPDATE: Facebook has now removed the “Note Box” from underneath the “Profile Picture” on Facebook Pages (see facebook.com/nonprofitorgs) and the “Suggest to Friends” feature, except for Admins. Two changes closer to the launch of the new Facebook Pages for all brands? Likely.
12/17 ORIGINAL POST: Are the new Facebook Pages here? Well, yes… kinda, according to Mashable. It’s been one heck of a long, drawn out launch riddled with false starts and confusion, but it does seem that at last the new Pages are finally here. Well, kinda. The new Pages accidently went live yesterday for a few minutes before Facebook was ready, but just long enough to let the genie out of the bottle.
Though the new Pages aren’t yet live site-wide (the Brooklyn Museum’s new Page is), it was quite random that I stumbled upon an example of the new Facebook Pages back in August [Re: a fake Facebook Page merged with a Facebook Places Page called Hubstown]. At first glance, I was taken aback, but after a few days thought the changes made a lot sense to me. The new design places focus on where the vast majority of ROI (Return on Investment) for your nonprofit comes from on Facebook… the Status Updates. As comforting as custom Tabs across the top of their Page may be to nonprofit communicators and development folks, the truth is that the Facebook community very rarely clicked on those Tabs (as most Insights demonstrate). That said, there are seven things that nonprofits need to know about the new Facebook Pages.
In December 2009, Facebook announced that Boxes would be removed, Tabs would shrink in size to 520 pixels, and Status Updates showing up in the News Feed(s) would no longer be guaranteed (the more Comments and Thumbs Up your Status Updates receive, the more News Feed exposure you get). All of these changes have now been completed.
Then a new Admin Dashboard was launched last month, and just a few days ago the Walls on Facebook Pages got a new look. Finally, yesterday I noticed that a brand was able to “Like” another Status Update on another brand’s Page (rather than the individual – that’s a big change). The upgrades to necessary to make way for the new Pages have been rolled out slowly, with consideration, over the last 12 months. The only change left (that I know of) is the transition from Static FBML to iFrames for custom Tabs.
2. 90% of the power of a Facebook Page is in the Status Updates.
The vast majority of your fans are not hanging out on your Page reading Wall posts and clicking around on Tabs. They are reading and engaging your Page through your Status Updates in their News Feeds. As long as this new design doesn’t affect the ability of your Status Updates to show up in the News Feed (s), then you shouldn’t notice any difference in your Facebook ROI. That said, if your Status Update rarely get any Comments or Thumbs Up, then it is time to start experimenting with new content. You may not realize it, but not all your fans see each and every Status Update you send out. Your rank in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm improves as you get more engagement on your Status Updates i.e., Thumbs Up and Comments.
3. Tabs may actually now get more traffic.
Watch your Insights carefully over the next few weeks. Navigation on the Homepage is also on the left, so it makes sense that navigation for Pages has been moved the left too. Again, most people interact with your Page from the News Feed, so have realstic expectations for Tabs even now that they are on the left.
4. No more Default Landing Tabs.[WRONG - Didn't happen!]
It appears as though we have lost the ability the have custom Default Landing Tabs, but honesty, I have never seen any data that proved that they were actually useful. Again, I think this functionality was comforting to marketing folks, but not very powerful in terms of ROI. I know I never signed up for an e-newsletter from a Default Landing Tab. You? A nice perk that helped nonprofits make a strong first impression (if the Tab was well-designed), but not necessarily a great loss. Facebook did let us know this change was coming back in August.
5. You can now “Like” and Comment on other Status Updates as a brand/Page.
To make up for the loss of Default Landing Tabs, we got something even better. The ability to “Like” and Comment as a brand/Page. This is an upgrade I didn’t see coming, but I did notice yesterday in the News Feed that the Page “SFMOMA” Liked another Status Update. That could be huge in terms of ROI. By Liking and Commenting on other Pages, your brand could get significantly increased exposure on Facebook. As Mashable is reporting, this is done by switching accounts:
6. You can merge your Facebook Page with your Facebook Places Page.
I noticed the new Facebook Pages merged with a Facebook Place Page two weeks ago when I was browsing Facebook and came across the The Ellen DeGeneres Facebook Page. After you claim your Place Page, you are given the option to merge your Official Facebook Page with your Places Page. At this time, I haven’t been able to test merging the two myself to see what the benefits are, so I don’t advocate that you do it just yet (if ever).
7. None of this is written in stone!
Until the new Pages are officially launched, we’ll have to see exactly how all this plays out. I wanted to blog about the new Pages as if they were already here because: 1) I’ve been waiting for over a year! and 2) I don’t want nonprofits to immediately react with frustration and anger. Ponder the changes for a few days first. I personally think they make a whole lot of sense. While many of these changes may have seemed like a loss, in fact, I think they hone in exactly where the power is on Facebook… the Status Updates and the News Feeds, and hopefully will make all of us better Facebook community managers.