Facebook Pages: Until the end of Timeline

Ah, that time is rounding the corner again. While the rest of your Spring Breaks have beaches, ocean, keg stands, and sleeping in planned, I’m trekking down to Austin, TX to once again bask in the glory of all things web, tech, and overall nerdy.

Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked. I’m also beyond curious.

As I look down the panel list, I can’t help but wonder if some of the Facebook-focused panelists are scrambling to adjust and adhere to the massive changes announced today, both for pages and ads.

I’m disappointed that custom tabs are falling on the Facebook page priority scale; admins can no longer chose to have people directly land on tabs, an option used regularly and heavily here at The Abbi Agency.

The new ads leave me feeling two distinctive points of excited and bitter. What it boils down to is: ads will need to get more creative (cool); ads are going to be intermixed into our news feed, therefore a portion of the content we see when we log into our Facebook’s will be paid for (not cool). Michael Lazerow does a good job at breaking all points of the new ad system down here.

As far as the new cover photos for brands go, no matter what Facebook’s ultimate goal is, people abuse the system. You’ll start to see a lot of cover photos that look more like billboards than just a photo. Despite Facebook’s tight guidelines for cover photo design, you’ll find someone cheating. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all. Biggest point to remember is that there can be nothing on the photo that represents a “call to action”. There are proper sections for that; please use them as directed. It’s the only way we’re not going to suffer from a diluted Facebook experience.

Where the Facebook model for businesses is truly going to shine, in my opinion, is when brands take the opportunity to “fill in the blanks”. Timeline allows a brand to create and introduce audiences to their entire history. It used to be that Facebook was a scrapbook for people; now it’s a scrapbook for brands as well.

Just like Twitter brand pages, Facebook is allowing brands to keep a particular post “pinned” as the first focus point of visitors. Keep your pinned posts strategic, use those as an opportunity to promote your tabs/contests, running specials, and big announcements.

Again, reading up on the new changes and how one can adjust to make them work for their page is essential at this stage. There is nothing to freak out about; in fact, Facebook has created an opportunity for brands to truly show off personality and connect with their audiences in the warmest ways yet. The more I think about it, the more I enjoy it. This is the time for social media “gurus” to either conquer or bust. Creativity is a must here. If we throw money at ads that come across as cheesy, impersonal, or spammy, we’re going to chase our audience off of Facebook.  Then we lose our jobs. So, please, don’t.

Take this as the opportunity to truly tell your story. Tell it well, tell it honestly, and tell it with pride. That is what’s going to secure your staying power on the elusive Facebook.

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About Constance Aguilar

I like good bass lines, enjoy classic literature, drink well crafted beer, listen to all that hipster music, and write on Internet, social media, and PR topics. Sometimes I fancy myself a real writer and take a stab at something more; I'll let you know when it works out. I'm currently working on projects for Social Media Examiner, Technorati, SmartBrief and Mashable.

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