I asked for your Facebook Fan Page frustrations in my last post (long, long ago). Thankfully, Facebook is in the midst of an upgrade that will improve the way you administer your Fan Page and solve a lot of the problems that you mentioned. See...if I just wait long enough, Facebook will fix all of the problems, and I will never have to post on this blog! (Kidding.)
I received an email from Facebook last night which listed some of the Fan Page improvements. The email states that admins can upgrade to the new Fan Page now, or wait until March 10th to be automatically upgraded. I have no patience, so I immediately chose to upgrade my page.
Here are the four new features that were highlighted in the email from Facebook:
This is huge! There was no way to tell when someone posted on the Wall of your Fan Page or on any of your photos. This was very inconvenient for a page administrator. You would have to constantly monitor your page and photos to check for new comments. Someone could have posted a comment or question on a very old photo, and you never would know about it unless you periodically checked (which is time-consuming if you have many photo albums).
This change also means that you can see who "Likes" your Fan Page. I know that there is a box that lists all of your Fans, but now you can get a notification for each "Like", instead of paging through the box to figure out who recently "liked" your Fan Page.
2. A place to showcase photos along the top of your page
Just like the new Facebook profile for people, some of your photos are displayed across the top of your page. I could take this or leave it. It automatically shows the last five photos that you posted on your Wall, in random order. I wish I could control what photos appear, since these photos could make a bad first impression. (I think the photos that are on my page today are kind of lame.) But, they might also entice a potential fan into sticking around by clicking on the photos. And maybe the clickers will eventually convert to fans. Which is the whole point of this stuff.
3. The ability to Like and post on other pages as your page
Yay! You now have the choice to "Use Facebook as Page". It is strange wording, but the bottom line is this: instead of your name showing up when you "Like" something or when you leave a comment on another Fan Page, the name of your Fan Page shows up. I love this! The whole point of Facebook Fan Pages are to promote your business and/or blog. Personally, I don't always want my name to show up when I like a page or leave a comment on another Fan Page. I would prefer to leave a comment "on behalf of" freshvintage. And now I can!
One thing to keep in mind is that this only works when you interact with other Fan Pages. For example, you can't leave a comment on a person's Wall on behalf of your Fan Page (unless that person has wide-open security and lets anyone post on their Wall). And your Fan Page has to "Like" the other Fan Page before you can leave a comment.
Despite that limitation, I guarantee that this will cause a rapid increase in the number of fans on your Fan Pages. Facebook readers will start seeing the name of your Fan Page (instead of your real name), and will subsequently click through to your page. And hopefully click "Like"!
4. A news feed for your page
You've always had the ability to add another Fan page as your Favorite (more recently known as "Liking" the page). This didn't really do anything other than add a box to your sidebar that showed all of your Favorite pages. This is what it used to look like:
But now, you can see a News Feed of your favorite pages when you are "Use Facebook as Page". So, instead of seeing the News Feed for all of your friends, you can actually see the News Feed of your Fan page's favorite pages. I know - it is confusing. This isn't a big deal for me, because I already "Like" the pages in my personal account, so they show up in my personal News Feed anyway.
What Else Changed?
- No more tabs across the top
They moved to the left sidebar. I don't get a ton of traffic to my tabs, so this isn't a huge deal to me.
- The Everyone Link
Everyone link shows all of the posts on your Fan Page's Wall, whether they were written by you or your fans. The "freshvintage" link only shows the status updates that you wrote on your Wall. This functionality already existed, but the links had a different name. I think this slight change makes the filter more obvious.
Don't Be Afraid of Change
I've only had limited interaction with the new design, but I am ecstatic about these changes. They will make Fan Page administration easier and will give a boost to your business by making Fan Pages more engaging. My favorite change is the notifications when someone leaves a comment - this is a huge time-saver for me.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these changes! Did you upgrade your page yet? Or will you wait until March 10th?
P.S. Here's my freshvintage Fan Page, in case you are new to my blogs.