January isn’t even over yet and Facebook has already introduced two major changes that impact businesses: Cover photo text limits and Graph Search. In the spirit of these alterations, let’s take a look back at the changes we loved and those we were not so found of in 2012.
Changes We Loved
Many users resisted the timeline format on their personal profiles; however, business pages had no choice but to adopt this new format. But we here at TTG love this layout and we showed our client’s how to love it too! It makes Facebook posts more organized and visually friendly – an important feature in our visual marketing culture.
Cover photos give brands a chance to catch the user’s eye and show their personality. Even though Facebook recently reduced the amount of text allowed within the Cover Photos, we still love the visual appeal they bring to the page.
Private Messages to Pages
This option allows individuals to reach out to brands privately, avoiding some possibly embarrassing situations. Brands can also choose to shut this feature off if they don’t check this area frequently. However, we recommend you keep it turned on. Customers are more likely to message you with opinions privately hoping for a resolution and if this feature is turned off you are asking for public comments both positive and negative.
Scheduling posts is a no brainer for busy business owners. Sit down for 15 to 30 minutes on a Monday and you won’t have to worry about Facebook posts all week! It is also a great way to review the messaging in one place and double check your work.
This area shows you the frequency of your posts, the reach of your posts, and the number of people talking about your business. Any feature that helps you measure the impact of your social media efforts get a thumbs up from us!
Pinned and Highlighted Posts
The first feature allows you to pin a post to the top of your timeline, even if it is not the most recent, allowing you to emphasize specials, exciting news, and other important posts. The second tool lets you highlight a post so that it will span both columns of the timeline. This is perfect for wide photos, again making Facebook more conducive to visual marketing.
Adjustable Permissions Levels for Administrators
By choosing Admin Roles in the editing menu, page owners may now designate page Managers, Content Creators, Moderators, Advisers and Insights Analysts. By choosing the appropriate role, you can limit each administrator’s abilities.
Changes We Could Do Without
Facebook now puts emphasis on – i.e. gives greater reach to – paid promoted posts and downplays regular posts. We saw a huge drop in our clients’ reach if they weren’t promoting posts. We have since adjusted their strategies to included promoted posts to maintain reach, but this is still a huge shortcoming for businesses that were using Facebook as a free marketing tool.
Decreased Word Count for Facebook Ads
Early in 2012, Facebook decreased the Ad length from 135 characters to 90 characters. Needless to say, getting your message across is a whole lot easier when you have a few more characters in which to do it.
Critics say that going public has led to the monetization of Facebook. The various scandals surrounding the IPO, in particular the rumor that they purposely gave untrue information to some investors, hurt Facebook’s reputation and made investors skeptical of tech investments as a whole.
To be honest, Offers are really a mixed bag. The concept of being able to feature a promotion on your company’s Facebook page is great. However, only businesses with 400 or more likes may participate in Facebook Offers. Furthermore, we personally haven’t seen much success with offers for our clients. They are often claimed on Facebook, but never redeemed at the storefront.
These were just some of the Facebook changes that we loved – and wished we could avoid – in 2012. Stay tuned to learn what Facebook has in store for 2013!