New Facebook Features

The most intriguing element of  social media management is the ever changing nature which keeps social media marketers on their toes.  We are constantly learning and adapting our social media strategies to best serve our clients.  So far 2013 has been full of changes for social media giant Facebook, including a logo redesign.  Here are 5 of the most recent changes that are likely to impact Facebook brand pages.

 Open Graph

Earlier this year, Facebook announced their newest search engine, Open Graph, which allows users to combine search phrases or keywords to find a common set of people, places, photos or updates that have been shared on Facebook. An example search could be “sushi restaurants in Tucson that my friends have liked.” This tool is currently in beta testing, so it is difficult to understand what it will mean for businesses using Facebook to reach their target market, but it stands to reason that all of this searchable data will give brands greater insight into their true reach, demographics, engagement and conversions.

Redesigned Mobile Business Pages

Due to increased mobile traffic to brand pages, Facebook released a new layout aimed at giving mobile users the most relevant information first. The streamlined design includes a row of choices (like, message, share, more) just under the cover image, followed by a map and recommendations. The downside to this redesign is the business created content is pushed down the page. To overcome this, brands can pin an important update to the top of the page and that update will be visible on a mobile device.

Newsfeed Redesign

Users finally stopped complaining about the Timeline change and then Facebook announced the revamped newsfeed.  On a platform where photographic content is king, this change brings an even greater focus on visuals as it features bigger images. Brands will need to ensure their photographs are clear and compelling. Also included in the redesign is increased mobile consistency that will allow for a similar Facebook experience no matter which device is used. Additionally the newsfeed allows a user more control over the content viewed, which may have the greatest impact on business pages, due to the user’s ability to subscribe to the accounts they want to appear in their newsfeeds.

Facebook Ads Based on Offline Shopping

Advertisers have been able to target their prime online demographic on Facebook with close precision, based on information provided by the user and their online shopping habits. Facebook is taking their Custom Audiences service up a notch by partnering with data mining companies Acxiom, Datalogiz and Epsilon that will provide information based on shopper loyalty programs.

Timeline Cover Image Rule Change

When Facebook rolled out the new Timeline format with the Cover Image, they placed strict restrictions on what type of content brands could use in that location. The rules prohibited language relating to pricing, contact information, calls to action, including requests to share or like the brand page. That has quietly changed. The guidelines now state that your cover must not include more than 20% text. That opens the door for company pages to make use of that visible real estate with calls to action or other promotional language.

These changes are just the tip of the iceberg for Facebook. Many concepts are tested and never brought to market, but brand page administrators and social media marketers must stay informed to properly adapt strategies for maximum return on investment.

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