Fifty years ago “Don’t touch that dial!” sent shivers down the collective spine of the baby boomer TV generation. Today a tsunami of a different sort has sent similar shock waves to the Facebook generation. On February 10th Facebook has made an overhaul to their Facebook Fan Page. But don’t rush in to change it before you’ve done your research, particularly if you have custom tabs, the change will affect them.
Facebook is permitting Page owners to preview the new design. Then on March 11, the change will be compulsory for everyone. Here is a preview of the changes and what they might mean for you:
What to Do after You Upgrade Your Page
Better to be prepared for the changeover. First you should adjust the size of your Page profile picture by moving the cursor over the current picture and click the “change picture” link. Next the text in the box that was under your Page profile picture now appears in the Info tab. You can adjust this info by selecting the “edit info” link at the top of the Info tab. Then make sure your email notifications settings are accurate. You can view and adjust these settings using the “edit page” button. The images will not appear in any particular order and I recommend you replace them periodically.
Use the Photo Viewer as a Marketing Page
The five most recent photos you uploaded will appear at the top of the Facebook Page. We suggest using them to your marketing advantage by populating this valuable area with branding, promotions, special tips, offers, etc. You can create a series of images with special offers and calls to action on the photos with a click for details link. When your fans click the image, it pops into a new lightbox where they can read the description with link to click. The best dimensions for creating the thumbnail are 970px by 680px.
Say Goodbye to Static FBML
Facebook has gone against the conventional wisdom of keeping the Static FBML page due to its widespread popularity. On March 11, 2011 you will not be able to create new FBML apps and Pages will no longer be able to add the Static FBML app. Existing ones will continue to work, it is recommended to transition these apps to iframes sooner rather than later.
No More Top Tabs
We love our top 6 tabs. However they are being deep-sixed on Fan Pages in favor side bar navigation. This redesign could reduce the frequency which users visits tabs other than the default landing tab. However I suspect people will get use to the new design and after a while will be comfortable view and using them. I remember when the L.A. Times changed their front page format and font. Totally confusing until our minds caught up to what the eye was seeing. Then it became second nature.
The Final Analysis – In Facebook We Trust
Facebook is promising: 1) Better Communication by choosing to receive notification about fan activity and like and comment on other Pages as your Page; 2) More Opportunities for Expression like putting photos of your most recent experiences on the top of your Page; 3) Improve Relevancy by placing an “Everyone” filter on the Wall for people to see the most interesting posts first and an area for people to share common friends and interests.
My advice is not to panic because it is a new Facelift. Things have a way of sorting themselves out. Be patient and keep reading and talking. Most importantly let me know what you are experiencing and feeling. Your comments are valuable and much appreciated.