Following the announcement of its revamped News Feed, Facebook this week introduced a more streamlined look for Pages. Announced Monday, redesigned Pages will change the appearance for both Page visitors and admins. The new look is rolling out on desktop initially and will make it easier for people to find the information they want, while helping admins find the tools they use most.
Managing your Facebook Page wasn’t all that difficult to begin with, but accessing the features you use the most probably seemed a little inconvenient. For example, at-a-glance details about your performance on the social network are currently tucked away underneath menus. While navigating there only takes a few seconds, that’s a time spent waiting when you could be replying to a customer’s comment instead.
Not only does the redesign make it easier to access the features that are important to you, but it also makes it faster. For instance, details about the ads you’re running, new Likes, and unread notifications and messages can now be found in a bar off to the right of your posts. In fact, this bar will be accessible no matter where you are on your Page.
Facebook has also added new navigation options to the top of the Page, making it easier to access your activity, insights, and settings. The new Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account — an important element for advertisers. The new setup is great for admins, regardless of level, because you no longer have to click on different menus to locate the features that you use the most.
Pages to Watch
In addition to easier access to admin tools, Facebook has also opened up its new Pages to Watch feature in the Page Insights tool to all admins. The social network began testing this feature last July, but hasn’t rolled it out to everyone until now. Pages to Watch allows you to create a list of Pages similar to your own and compare the performance of your Page with that of other businesses.
This gives your brand a bit of a competitive edge. According to a 2012 study, eight out of 10 companies use social media to monitor information about their competitors. Just don’t get so wrapped up in other brands’ numbers that you slack on your responsibilities to your audience. We recommend putting one or two of your admins in charge of monitoring this list so that community managers don’t take on too much.
Here’s a bit of a preview of what you’ll see: on the Overview tab of Page Insights you’ll find key stats about the Pages you’re watching, including total Page Likes, new Page Likes, and engagement from the current week. The Posts tab of Page Insights includes a feature to view the past week’s most engaging posts from the Pages you’re watching.
Why the Redesign Matters
One important consequence of the new design is that custom tabs appear to have been moved or removed completely. It’s possible that they’re stored under the More tab, but that’s hard to confirm until the redesign goes live. Regardless, if your brand relied on tabs to draw attention to a specific cause, they’re no longer prominently featured on your Page. This means that you’ll have to depend more on posts and Facebook Ads. On the other hand, this does limit the distractions on your Page that could take away from your content.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the new design makes it easier for admins to do their jobs on the social network. There should be no more confusion about where certain tools are located or how to access specific features that are important to the upkeep of your Page. The less time spent looking for something is more time that can be devoted to engaging with and creating exciting opportunities for your fans.
And finally, as news of the redesign spreads, fans will likely want to check out what has changed. This means that instead of catching up on posts in News Feed, more people will be visiting your Page directly. Now is a great time to make any sort of adjustments to the creative elements of your Page, such as your profile picture or cover photo — something that will catch visitors’ eyes and keep them on your Page a bit longer than usual.
What Will Fans See?
The most noticeable change is the new layout. Facebook Pages are still made up of two columns, but they serve different purposes. Now the right column is dedicated to the Page’s timeline, while the left features information about your brand — including maps, business hours, website URLs, photos, and videos.
Previously, both columns made up the timeline where posts were staggered between left and right. This layout is much more consistent with Facebook’s News Feed and profiles, which adopted the one-column timeline last March.
According to Facebook, the redesigned Pages will begin rolling out this week so it’s unlikely that everyone has access to the new design just yet. The company didn’t provide a timeline on when you can expect the rollout to be complete. In the meantime, it’s important that you prepare your social team for what lies ahead and how these changes might impact their daily activities on the website.
[Image credit: Karen Eliot]
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.