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11 Things Nonprofits Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages

December 17, 2010

[tweetmeme] 2/10 UPDATE: The New Facebook Pages are Live!

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 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 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.

1. The new design has been in the works for over a year.

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.

Related Link:
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps

Social Media for Nonprofits Book

26 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 8:56 am

    Very helpful. I’ve been hesitant to invest too much in our design or tabs just because I’m worried things are going to change overnight! But this write-up has inspired me to be proactive! 🙂

    • July 19, 2011 5:42 pm

      Another good post, we are trying to create facebook pages for our charity so that we can get more people to sponsor a child as well. Definitely inspiring post. Agree with Danielle’s comments.

  2. December 17, 2010 9:02 am

    I always value your input and insight.

    I will miss the custom landing tab. Probably because I don’t know any different and feel the custom landing tab is an opportunity to make a good first impression to the page visitor.

    I agree that much of the ROI comes from status updates. I think this will force many Page Admins to work on creating more valuable status updates, rather than on relying on fancy tabs.

    Thanks Heather!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      December 17, 2010 9:11 am

      Sure. You know that graphic you sent out on Facebook a few days back with your Text-to-Give info? So clever. Much better than just text. Now officially in my best practices for mobile tech. 🙂

      • December 17, 2010 9:31 am


        I was experienting and I think it’s such a benefit to have the image. The image will resonate better with people and they can save the image and post on their Facebook, blog or anywhere online.

  3. December 17, 2010 9:04 am

    Oh i like the idea of commenting as the admin of a page. I like to keep my personal views and the views of “Me as Representative” of my organization separate, and since i mostly use FB as a personal thing, with my personal friends, etc…. yet I *had* to use my personal profile to create my Organization’s page ( ) to my personal profile.

    Yay to select account!
    i hope it works the way i think it will! i haven’t see it live on any of the pages i manage.

  4. Aaron permalink
    December 17, 2010 10:23 am

    Thanks for the article! I found out about which I think is the new way to create custom fan pages….anyone else agree?


  5. December 17, 2010 10:54 am

    I think I would still recommend nonprofits NOT merge their Place and Pages — the default landing tab is a big loss compared to dumping people in the middle of a conversation. Maybe Facebook will come up with a good replacement (like an “intro box” at the top of the wall) but for now I think the drawbacks outweigh the (tenuous, for nonprofits) benefits of merging the pages.

    More on my blog:

  6. December 20, 2010 5:27 am

    Thanks for this helpful update, although I haven’t yet been able to ‘switch’ accounts to make comments as the admin of Is that not yet live or perhaps they are still rolling it out?

    • Katherine permalink
      December 22, 2010 1:48 pm

      I don’t have that capability either… just what I was going to ask!

  7. December 20, 2010 6:57 am

    We noticed this last weekend after FINALLY redesigning our Page since our old one just magically disappeared, thus losing us a few thousand fans.

    I’m interested if there will be a large ROI or conversion loss from not having a landing page anymore. Most brands we were checking out, seemed to use the landing page as a call to action to Like the page. After all, you wouldn’t be on our Fan page if you weren’t on our blog or website, where we promote the Page.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the changes hit everyone’s page but needless to say, it was a very rollercoaster Friday for me having, essentially, lost all my design work.

    Thankfully, smart folks like Tim Ferriss and NRDC (as well as our Page), can still use the the profile image and clever proportioning to make that image a call to action yet still useable as a thumbnail.

  8. Andrew permalink
    December 21, 2010 8:56 am

    So just to be clear with regards to the default landing tabs. Visitors to the facebook page will see the wall first and there is no way to have a different tab show up instead of the wall?

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      December 21, 2010 9:00 am

      It appears that way, yes.

  9. December 21, 2010 12:16 pm

    With the opportunity to switch accounts, essentially becoming the page, does this mean we will be able to tag fans in photos and invite them to events? Right now, that ability is limited to your personal friends on Facebook…

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      December 22, 2010 3:47 am

      Can’t answer that. We’ll have to wait until the new Page go live.

    • December 23, 2010 8:17 am

      Now that would be great. My hope was that “switch accounts” would let you post on your page as YOURSELF instead of the brand, rather than be able to post as the brand where before you could only be yourself. We need both—hopefully that will be part of the change.

  10. February 28, 2011 3:15 pm

    Thanks for the great advice! I’d also love to know if it’s possible to create a facebook group from an organisation’s page – i.e. not just from my personal account, which I’ve had to use to set up my organisation’s page.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      February 28, 2011 3:22 pm

      No, not possible. 🙂

      • February 28, 2011 7:02 pm

        Thanks for this article!

        Have you found a new way to “share” the FB page with people like you could with the old page? Or have any tips on how to build your FB fans? (Maybe you have another article that I missed?)


        V. Michelle Bernard
        Columbia Union Visitor Facebook Editor

      • nonprofitorgs permalink
        March 1, 2011 4:22 am

        HI… the “Share” function is gone… only Admins can do it now. No post on growing fans… sorry. Cover that in my webinar. Thanks.


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