Facebook was launched in 2004 and since that time, it has kept changing its layout, designs and feature. This has helped Facebook to grow and at this moment; it has reached over 600 million users. Social networking experience of internet users has changed tremendously and all the credit goes to Facebook.
Facebook fan pages are a great source of business opportunities and it was announced that fan page layout will be changed in March 2011. The page administrators have been given a choice to upgrade to the new page layout with some added features. These upgrades can help any business to grow further over Facebook.
New design and features of a fan page are somewhat similar to the new profile of a Facebook user. Let me explain the changes within a page:
Latest Pictures Showcase
Facebook page’s new layout lets you display up to five image thumbnails over the top of your page, right below the page name. This image display area can only be utilized by a picture that was uploaded or tagged by the page itself. Fans can upload images but they won’t be displayed over the front. Facebook has termed this area as ‘Showcase Your Latest Photos’. You can hide any image that you don’t want to display here.
Images play a very important role in a design. There is always a greater chance of acceptance if you use image to translate your thoughts. If you are selling products or services and Facebook page is your business identity as well, you can display your product and service images here. This will greatly increase the usability of your fan page.
The new Facebook user profile has already shifted the navigation tabs to the left side of the profile. As users have become used to of exploring the navigation over the left panel of profile, the fan page navigation has also been shifted to the left side of the page layout. Facebook has termed this as ‘Navigation Where People Expect It’.
As navigation links are on the left, just like user profiles, it’ll be a lot easier in terms of usability optimization. Users expect the ‘Wall’ to be the top link of navigation and it is. Then ‘Info’ tab, ‘Photos’, ‘Discussions’, ‘Events’ and the last tabs are your custom FBML or any other custom tabs that you would like to add to your fan page.
Facebook fan page wall has always been the most important tool. The previous feature of activity sharing is still there with an additional filter of which activity you want to display on top of your wall. With the upgraded design, you can show the top posts by your fans on the wall or can display the post by page as the first post to appear when someone lands over the fan page wall. Facebook has termed this feature as ‘Show the Top Posts on your Wall’.
This feature has added the flexibility for a page admin to display all the activities of page itself as a featured post and page fan posts under the featured post. In this way you won’t have to worry about the first post that’ll be visible to a person visiting your page. The first post displayed can always be your own post.
Switch Account to Fan Page
You can switch your account to make your fan page a Facebook user itself. You’ll receive notifications when someone would ‘Like’ and interact with you by posting something over wall or responding to any of your post. If you would like any other page, it’ll appear as featured page on your profile. You can see the activity of pages that you have liked in your news feed and you can make comments, posts and can share activity over other pages as well. Facebook has termed this feature as ‘Use Facebook as Your Page’.
Now this truly is going to be a remarkable feature. As a page admin, you were not able to post something over the page as a fan. All your posts were being displayed as posts or activity performed by the page. Now you can switch account and make your posts to appear as fan posts.
When you switch to be a page, you become a separate entity over Facebook. Now you can do everything that you were doing as a person. Making posts, commenting and sharing activity will enhance your visibility over Facebook and this will turn into a marketing and promotional technique in coming days.
This was a major difference between a Facebook group and a page. Group administrators are visible and page owners and admin were not. Now you can add yourself or any other page administrator as a featured owner of the page.
Spamming was a major concern of page owners and Facebook had provided a spam filter to counter it. The new Facebook fan page features also include a blocklist feature. Facebook will automatically filter some words and phrases that are considered offensive and you can also create a blocklist of words or phrases. Whenever someone will post something that includes any of the blocklist words or phrase, the post will be filtered as spam.
With new features and enhancements, Facebook pages are going to help you in promotion and marketing of your products and services. It has indeed become vital for every business owner to develop, establish and get his brand recognized with social media and Facebook plays a significant role in developing your online presence.
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