25 Mar
2014

Updates to Facebook for Business Pages

SEO & Social Media
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by
3 Birds provides a better way for automobile dealerships to market effectively. Our digital solutions and analytics programs touch nearly 4000 automobile dealerships nationwide. Our smart dealer solutions combine expertly written content and industry-leading analytics for an end-to-end marketing solution.

We wrote last week about the Yahoo Local – Yelp merge; this week we’re turning our attention to Facebook and its newly updated user interface. You may have noticed a difference the last time you logged into Facebook, and if not, the changes will be rolled out to your home page and Business Pages in the coming weeks.

These changes can have a positive impact on your dealership page’s layout and design, but it’s important to know what has changed. Primarily, the new Business Pages present information more simply and clearly to customers and feature enhanced mobile rendering as well.

Our key takeaways

  • Facebook is taking some pages from Twitter’s handbook in terms of displaying information on a page’s interactions
  • Page updates and interaction updates are now more graphically driven
  • Streamlined layout makes business information, maps, description, etc. easier to find—a bonus for mobile and desktop users alike

Below, you’ll find more detailed descriptions of each change and how it affects your dealership profile.

1. Single-column posting layout brings back streams; effectively kills off “timeline” concept. A la Twitter, page updates will now appear in a single stream on the right-hand side of the page rather than the zig-zag two-column format used previously.  We emphasize authentic and consistent engagement for our clients throughout their customers’ service lifecycle and purchase decision journey, and this update makes it easier for customers and first-time visitors to your Facebook page to get a feel for your dealership’s individual brand and voice at a glance. This places a greater emphasis on the posts and comments as these are now front-and-center on your dealership’s page and speak volumes about your dealership’s engagement with its community to first-time visitors. These interactions with your Business Page are more graphically driven with the newest updates; however, keep in mind that the majority of interaction happens off-page and in the Facebook newsfeed rather than on your business’ page itself.

2. Consolidated Business Information Section Basic info such as location, hours, contact info, website, and photos is now easier to find on the left-hand column. This will be a distinct advantage to mobile visitors to your dealership’s page, which is more than 3 out of 4 of all US Facebook users (http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/13/facebook-mobile-user-count/). This column also includes a map and a preview of recent photos (another page from Twitter’s book), encouraging a more visual approach to page updates. Page like counts also get a prominent position at the top of this column, once again giving credence to an often over-valued social metric.

3. Management of Admin tools The new updates indicate that Facebook has been listening to Business Page managers’ requests for more administrative tools. Notifications, likes, and messages are now located directly near the Insights page to make it easier to keep tabs on key metrics like reach and engagement.  We’ll continue to keep tabs on these metrics for our clients, but the new design allows for greater collaboration and ease of communication.

4. Removal of Apps The Apps tabs are now located as a drop-down on the main menu as well as in the left-hand column reserved for information about your dealership and page. Again, this declutters the home page and places the focus on the posting content of the page. With this change, it’s a good time to evaluate the benefit custom tabs you might be utilizing are providing to your followers’ user experience on your page. With recent changes to Facebook policies allowing on page contests and enhanced media opportunities within your page’s feed, there could be the opportunity to cut loose some apps that are more of a hassle to maintain than they are a value to your page.

5. Pages to Watch The “Pages to Watch” feature, which allows businesses to keep tabs on performance metrics of their competitor’s pages, has been around for some time, but is now open to all page admins and displayed more prominentlyfor page managers. This tool can play a big role in the development of custom content for your dealership page, giving the people managing your Facebook page greater insights into the type of content that your community engages with and values.

Questions we’re asking:

1. Where do reviews fit in? A recent addition to Facebook business pages, reviews have already seen a number of changes. While it add another challenge for businesses trying to get a firm grasp on their online presence, the customer insight they provided was clearly valuable. However, as of yet, we haven’t seen any screenshots of the new pages layout with reviews visible within the frame. So, are they still there or has Facebook pulled the plug on this experiment? Time will tell.

2. Will this new layout impact time on page? This is already a hard metric to nail down with Facebook, but knowing whether or not visitors are lingering and engaging on your page rather than just through their newsfeed can significantly alter your approach to your social media plan. I’m sure Facebook will share some numbers on this front over time, but in the meantime, we’re left to continue testing various tactics to see how engagement rates are impacted, then dig through our insights to see how and where those interactions take place. Maintaining customer loyalty remains an important piece of maintaining an ongoing relationship with your customers from pre- to post-purchase and throughout their vehicle’s lifecycle until it’s time to purchase again. Get in touch to continue the conversation or contact us with any questions about your dealership’s own Facebook page.