Earlier this week Facebook announced they will soon debut a new look for Pages. This is only for the desktop view, so mobile users will most likely not notice a change. It appears the cover and profile pics will remain in the same positions and maintain the same dimensions, so no need to update those or create new templates. But other features will occupy real estate in slightly different positions.
All posts will be contained in the right-hand column, as opposed to skipping back and forth. This allows for a more streamlined view that is in keeping with your main News Feed. The left column is now reserved for your business’s pertinent details that are currently located directly under your cover pic. This will include things like your website URL, map to your location, business hours, etc. It also includes your photos and videos – everything a customer or client needs to quickly learn about you in one convenient block.
The Admin View will look dramatically different as well. Facebook promises it will be more “streamlined” with easier access to the most popular and widely used admin tools. I have not been a fan of the most recent version of Insights. I found the tabs to be somewhat difficult to use; I didn’t feel they were very intuitive. As a long-time Facebook user with an expert-level understanding of Insights, I often felt like a newbie who had to find my way around again each time I opened the drop-down.
The new format appears to be a lot more user-friendly to veterans and neophytes alike. Tracking your current ads and new Likes as well as unread notifications, messages, and alerts will now be easier. They can be accessed from anywhere on the Page, instead of being hidden behind the cover pic. Facebook is also adding new navigation options at the top of the Page as well. It seems they are now hitting you over the head with your metrics instead of keeping them behind a “curtain” that requires two or more clicks to access.
They are also pushing the recently added Pages to Watch feature. I admit this has been an under-used feature for me. Because it was never really put in front of me inside the Admin Panel, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. But I should. And if you care how your social engagement is stacking up against the competition, you should, too. That’s one of my favorite (and one of the most powerful) features of Radian6.
Pages to Watch allows you to track the performance of Pages with a similar audience to yours. This is a valuable tool for gauging what is working and what is not for both you and your competition. You have the ability to learn not only from your own mistakes, but their’s as well. I’m glad to see Facebook is continuing to increase the sophistication and depth of their social listening and analytics.
Facebook isn’t always very small business friendly. I am sure they will continue to monetize the site by pushing Promoted Posts and paid advertising and by limiting who sees your unpromoted posts. They learned a hard lesson with that disastrous IPO and they have been trying to make up for it ever since. Unfortunately, this is the reality of what is required today. So when they roll out new free features that make life as a B2B or B2C professional social media manager a little easier, I for one have no problem giving them two very enthusiastic
You can see a sneak preview of all of this here.