Once again Facebook has changed its layout, and groans from users could be heard across the world. Since you’re probably just getting familiarized with the new Facebook, we wanted to help and point out some of the more important changes:
- Comments. In the past, people had to like you before they commented. But now, Facebook has opened comments on a brand page to everyone. While this is a great change to engage with more people, you should be aware this could result in increased negative comments. Remember a best practice if you get negative feedback is to respond to these comments professionally and convert a negative outlook to a positive one.
- News Ticker vs News Feed. Before, the only way posts were filtered was through “recent stories” and “top stories”. Now, the new Facebook can make it trickier for brands to have decent real estate on a user’s home page because of the news ticker. The stories that show up on a users’ news feed are based on interactions and comments. This means that your brand’s updates could get lost in the shuffle or end up on the news ticker. It is important, as always to create high quality content that encourages interaction. Photos and videos are more likely to show up on the news feed, as are open ended posts that create an opportunity for user feedback. Of course we know that it is hard to constantly post something that entices customers to interact so try and catch your consumers when the majority are on Facebook. This allows a greater chance to see your posts in their news feed/ticker. Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean you should stalk your favorite customers. Try and notice patterns when most of them are online and interacting with your brand!
- “Like” button. If “like” is no longer the best adjective for your business, change it! If your business is in the restaurant industry, perhaps you could have a “taste button”. Clothing stores could change it to a “want” button, and this would enable consumers to publicly say that they like and want a clothing item(s). This is a great way for brands to stand out and be more engaging with potential customers.
- And the biggest change of all, could be “Timeline”. Rumor has it this new feature will apply to brands as well, and we certainly hope it does! If Timeline is available to brands, your info tabs, apps, map and photos will be on the main page. This means you can create more of an emotional connection with your consumers because the content is more prominent. It also means more branding and promotional opportunities for your business (aka more pictures)!
Facebook can be such a valuable tool for local businesses, and it is important to maximize the impact of each post. More to come when Timeline is officially launched!