Facebook Fan Pages Revolutionized: Default Tabs out, Fan Page Timeline In!


Facebook Fan Pages Revolutionized: Default Tabs out, Fan Page Timeline In!

If you think you’ve seen the last in the on-going rivalry between the heavy-weight social media sites, Facebook and Google, then you’re in for a surprise!

A few days ago Facebook introduced some major changes concerning Facebook fan pages. Coming a few hours before Google’s new privacy policy came into effect, shows that these two are not, in any way, ready to cede ground to the other.

As I’ve written earlier, this social media war between Google and Facebook is something that is definitely going to bring some positive thing for all of us! Who ever expected so many changes in a very short period of time? And who knows what more changes that we will be seeing in the days ahead? But one thing that is for sure is the positive impact this will have on our use of the internet both for business and personal interactions.

Facebook Fan Pages Changes: A Look into What Is New

When I first heard of the news about the new changes, I quickly took a look at this blog’s fan page and I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.

Now, it will interest you to know that I was in the middle of redesigning the pages.  For the past 2 weeks I had been brainstorming for some very good artwork and so the first thing that surprised me was the fact that Facebook has thrown away the default tab and instead is introducing “Timelines” just as we have in Facebook profiles!

I really do not know why the default tab is being thrown away but from all indication, it appears that Facebook has something against the creative uses that many internet marketers are putting the default tab to. Seriously!

For example, here’s a graphic of what my facebook fan page looked like before the changes:

facebook fan page image

With this optin form for capturing email contacts:

fan page optin

But now, here’s a preview of what the page now look like (of course I will need to work on it again to bring it up to date!):

As you can see Facebook has given us some more work but we do expect things like this in this business from time to time and so it’s going to be some fun!

Here are the major changes

1. Cover Photo

With the default tab going Facebook now allows you to use a cover photo on your fan page. However, there are some restrictions. The cover photo may NOT contain the following:

>>> Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.

>>> Contact information or any other information that should be in your Page’s “About” section.

>>> References to user interface elements, such as “Like” or “Share”, or any other Facebook site features.

>>> Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

If you want to use a cover photo, the idea size is 850px by 315px.

2. Default Landing Tabs Removed

This is one area many marketers may not find agreeable. With the ability to use HTML codes, many marketers used this tab as the “Welcome” gateway for their fan pages. Many built fanciful landing pages where they collected contact information from first time visitors and build very responsive email lists. Others simply used it to encourage first timers to “Like” the page. Unfortunately, there is no more default tab. Taking this with the restrictions placed on the cover page, it does appear that Facebook is trying to discourage, as much as possible, blatant marketing on the site. But is this really what marketers on Facebook are looking for?

3. Photos, Likes, and Apps Moved to Top of Page

Photos, apps and likes which used to be at the side of the page now take the top of the fan page. You can show up to a maximum of 12 apps at the top.  A little look at this will of course give one some ideas on how to you can draw attention to a particular app since you can decide which of the app should appear first. Marketers will have to find some creative use for this section.

4. Administrator Panel

Administrators of your fan page can now keep track of activities of the page from a new admin panel. From here the administrator can respond to writeups from people visiting your fan page and also view the latest insights about the page.

5. Fan Page Messages

One of the features of the new admin panel is that people can now contact you privately through messages. Any message sent will appear in your admin panel.

6. Ability to “Highlight” or “Pin” your favorite post to the top

I think this is another good one. Just as you can make a post “sticky” in wordpress blogs, Facebook now allows you to pin your favorite post to the top of your fan page. This is another way of drawing attention to your most important content on your fan page.

And Now, My Sincere Thoughts About These Facebook Fan Page Changes

As much as it does appear that Facebook wants businesses and marketers to create more interactions in the use of fan pages, I’m seeing a situation where Facebook is actually playing into the hands of Google considering what Google is doing with Google+ business pages.

If you’re familiar with how Google is pushing Google+ business pages using their search engine to encourage more businesses to build Google+ pages, you will readily agree that businesses and brands who desire more online visibility will definitely focus more of their marketing activities in their  Google+ business pages.

Of course, Facebook may still be banking on their big numbers and the understanding that with more interaction comes more brand awareness and therefore more business, but I do see more marketers throwing more into their Google plus pages.

Over to You:

So, what do you think about all these? Do agree with my observations or do see business and brands throwing more into their Facebook fan pages viz a viz what Google is doing? Post your views in the comments below.

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47 thoughts on “Facebook Fan Pages Revolutionized: Default Tabs out, Fan Page Timeline In!

  1. kelly

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I am
    waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

  2. Daniel

    Probably, these changes would make fan page administration easier, but we need time to get used to new design and functionality. The same problem with the profile page. The old version is already habitual for me.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Daniel,

      I agree with you Daniel however, I’m concerned about the use of the site by marketers. Believe or not, the popularity of these sites is really a product of the noise by marketers of what you can achieve using facebook. Right now if marketers in any way perceive that they are being restricted in their use, many will definitely look somewhere else, and that will definitely be Google+. This is simply my take.

      Personally, I’m already looking at the site and what one can do about the new design. Definitely it is going to increase the level of activity on the pages.

      Thanks for sharing your views.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Allentown Nightlife,

      Glad to hear that. Just want to know, do you have a fan page? What do you think of these new changes? Your opinion may just be helpful to some of us, you know!

  3. Obaidul

    It seems as if a continued war is one between Google+ and Facebook. While Google is using its other products to promote the usage of Google Plus, Facebook is doing this with change or modifications in their user features. Though Google+ has some extra benefits over Facebook, it will be interesting to see where it all takes us.

    As far as interactions or engagement is concerned, I think, Facebook is the still the leader. Watching these giant players gain an extra age over the other is truly a learning experience.

    Thanks for the insights, Chadrack.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Obaidul,

      I agree with you totally Obaidul. Why these two are really at it one thing I’ve noticed is that they both understand very well their area of strenght which they are using to their advantage. Why Google is using their combined force of different products, Facebook is using the strenght of social interaction and big number.

      As you rightly observed, Facebook is definitely ahead of Google+ when it comes to interaction. However, there are reports that businesses are not really make much money with Facebooks ads as some will want us to believe.

      Now, if Google+ can use the power of search and knowledge of the market to help businesses to beat Facebook on this level, it definitely means that many business will turn to Google+. Businesses really do not care much about interactions except that will translate to more business. So, if Facebook wants to use the power of interaction they should find ways of using that to help businesses.

      Social media has gone beyond school children rantings. It’s about social media marketing!

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Amit Shaw

    Great Article Sir. I am missing my welcome pages for My iTechCode FanPage. Really your R&D is awesome. Thanks for this type of quality article.
    ~ Amit Shaw

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Amit Shaw,

      Frankly, still wondering what these guys have in mind for removing the default tab. But any way, I think we will still find some ways of making things work our way!

      Btw. have started working on the new design? I think the earlier the better. Don’t wait till 30 March when Facebook will automatically “push” things over to the new look.

  5. Danyelle Franciosa

    Facebook fan pages has a great changes and it looks now more presentable. This may also help to those Online marketers who use to have a buy and sell business.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Danyelle Franciosa,

      May be they are more presentable now but do you really think online marketers will appreciate them more?

  6. Andrew Walker

    Hi there. Thanks a lot for sharing this. I was a bit confused because of the changes in the Facebook fan pages you know. it takes me some times to adjust to it. LOL!

  7. Tessa

    These changes makes the facebook fan page more effective. But i think there will be no difference between the corporate page and personal one. The timeline feature helps to show the history of the company.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Tessa,

      You are correct about there being no different between the corporate pages and the personal ones. The problem is really in trying to treat businesses like individuals. Of course, social media marketing demands interaction with your clients and customers but businesses also have different way of making things happen. I personally think the default tab which businesses were using to build creative landing pages should have been retained.

      But about these changes making facebook fan pages more effective, we will need to see that happen.

  8. GADEL

    I’ve never realized that the landing pages were gone forever. I have a lot of fan pages with 1000s of active user monthly. Thanks for drawing me to this.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @GADEL,

      Well, if you already have some real active users on your fan pages then you are going to enjoy these new changes. The focus of the changes is of course to increase user interaction and this may just be good for you. The only thing is you may not be able to capture contact information on the page except you find some other way.

  9. Julie

    Thanks for this helpful article! I had been searching for a nice introduction to the timeline for pages for a while, when I found your blog. Thanks for sharing the useful information!

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Julie,

      Glad to know that this was helpful. Of course there is still very little that many of us know about these changes but hopefully in the next weeks things will be much clearer.

      Thanks for the comment.

  10. Spatch Merlin

    I read from About.com that Timeline is indeed helpful to marketers. I quite am skeptic with the idea. But this article voices out exactly what I am feeling right now towards Timeline. Maybe I just am comfortable with the old look since I’ve been using for years and suddenly Facebook drops the bomb without any hint. I haven’t change my page and profile to Timeline yet. I’m still thinking. But if people will be using Timeline then I guess I just have to go with what’s current.

    Spatch

    1. Margarita

      @Spatch Merlin, this is my point exactly. Timeline is may be even better, but we are so used to the old familiar box. Exploring and learning about it will help.

  11. mae | print brochures

    I do run a business and I prefer the new fan page timeline. I mean with this, my potential customers can easily get a nutshell of the activities I did for the past days. But on a lighter note, I don’t still have a google plus business page.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @mae | print brochures,

      It’s really nice to hear that. What it means is that you totally approve of the this new design and you believe it will help your business more?

  12. customer idea management

    I read more about Facebook advertisement and I think its good to start with.It give you good ROI in less time.If you have some knowledge about,please share here.I’m using Facebook fan-page to optimize my business projects.Getting good amount of traffic daily.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @customer idea management,

      Unfortunately, I’ve never used facebook ads though from every indication it is really a very targeted form of advertising. I can confirm that it is more targeted than Google adwords but I think that is one of the things that Google is working on with their pulling together of their social site Google+ and their search engine.

      I had been studying the subject of facebook ads and will definitely post something on it once I’m sure of my facts.

      Thanks for the comment.

  13. Rizwan Sultan

    Hey Chadrack, this is good stuff! I have already published my Facebook Page Timeline and I really like it. It’s funny because I never had a welcome tab but now I’m glad I didn’t waste my time creating one. I didn’t know you could change the page name now, thanks for sharing that info too.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Rizwan Sultan,

      Oh, you’re welcome. In fact, I’ve personally have no problem with the timeline. However, my problem is the default tab that has been removed. Ok, you’re glad that it did not take you time to publish your page, but do you know that with a welcome tab where you can do some creative things, you can really leverage your page potentials? Of course, if you’re not really concerned with capturing email contacts right now, this will not be of any problem to you.

  14. Steven

    I have to agree with you that Facebook has way more visitors than Google+ but I see Google+ a brighter feature.
    Google gas way more great services than Facebook and you need only one account to get access to YouTube, Gmail, Analytics and many other popular services while Facebook has nothing.

    But back to new business pages – I like new design and like that Facebook is trying their best to improve user experience on website.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Steven,

      I agree with you too that facebook is really trying to improve their site. since Google launched G+, facebook has shown that they are ready for the fight.

      Again about the future, google is definitely going to use its size to muzzle facebook. But what I see is that the two will find their niche and concentrate on that.

      Thanks for the comment.

  15. Becca

    Excellent tips indeed! I really love to learn from the well experience one.. I have learn a lot from you about how to create new facebook fan page. I will always keep that in mind..

  16. Eric

    Great overview for someone trying to wrap their head around how to improve new Facebook fanpage layout. Thanks a lot!

  17. Margarita @ Las Vegas Vacations

    Chadrack, Each change feels uncomfortable. I personally do not like the time line. Your page looks better in the previous version. But we are wise enough to accept what we cannot change. I am positive that facebook will stay strong and Google+ business pages will not come first.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Margarita,

      Great words there! Indeed, change is the only constant thing in life! I agree with you and right now I’m really finding ways to make good use of the new changes. Thanks for the comment.

  18. victoria elite

    Sounds like a change for the better from fb hope its as good as they say , love the idea of pinning posts and a timeline . Sounds like they taking the fight to google

  19. Victoria Elite

    great article and the changes to fb sound fantastic love the idea of pinning posts and the timeline . looks like another nail in the coffin of google plus

  20. Danyelle Franciosa

    Great Post and I am happy to know the changes of Facebook fan pages. Thanks for the update. :)

  21. Laura

    I have also read on some blogs that having a facebook (and twitter) page linked from your blog can be seen as a sign of trust to google. Now at the moment I have not seen this absolutly confirmed anywhere but I certainly dont think it will hurt!

  22. Marlo

    Yes, the timeline will be implemented this March 30,2012 and I can’t do anything about that. I can say goodbye to my awesome welcome now and start exploring the Timeline features. Maybe this week, I’ll create a cover photo just incase.

  23. Stefan@cupcake recipe

    Honestly, I was annoyed by the layout shift; just as I am every time they do this. It really seems like a classic case of trying to fix something that isn’t really broken. Very little utility has actually been added; it seems just like change for its own sake.

  24. Ryan Hanley@Social Tools

    Chadrack,

    Timelines are very cool. What I like the Cover Photo and everything that can be done with it to Brand your business. The Timeline is OK but the Cover Photo and Facebook’s move towards attracting more media is very exciting.

    Thanks Buddy!

    Ryan H.

    1. Chadrack Post author

      @Ryan Hanley,

      There are businesses who are already putting the timeline to good use. I personally look forward to doing a good redesign of my page very soon. Thanks for the comment.