Facebook is ready to roll out a number of significant changes to business fanpages at the end of March. One of the key changes being introduced is the new timeline feature for fanpages which was recently also introduced to personal profiles. If you own a business or personal fanpage the new changes are likely to impact you in some way or the other as majority of your current design layout is no longer going to work.
This is especially true for fanpages using custom landing tabs to re-direct visitors when they first land on a fanpage. With the new changes, the custom landing tabs will be replaced by “apps” and you will no longer be able to direct visitors to a customized landing page as all visitors by default will always land on your fanpage timeline.
This new changes are both good and bad news for fanpage owners. The bad news is the significant layout change. The good news is the addition of fantastic new custom app features to bring fanpages closer to being full fledged websites with several new advanced options.
How A Facebook Fanpage Currently Works
Let’s now quickly look at how most fanpages currently work. Majority of these currently use the permanent long side vertical banner (180X540 Pixels) for advertising. This banner is always visible regardless of where the visitors are on your fanpage (wall, video tab or landing tab).
A significant number of fanpages also have the custom landing pages using the static HTML Iframe tab. The default landing page setting can be controlled via the manage permissions section which allows fanpage administrators to direct visitors to a specific tab (or landing page).
You can currently also add custom tabs for sites like Twitter and YouTube using a variety if apps.
The New Facebook Timeline For Business Fanpages
Once the new timelines changes have been rolled out, you will essentially have three means to advertize your business. A large featured image on timeline, a company logo inset and a pinned post on the timeline. Facebook has also made clear that business fanpages will not be allowed to display phone numbers, contact emails or website addresses on any of the main timeline features.
Additionally, The pinned post can only be displayed for upto a week after which the fanpage will automatically revert back to the latest newsfeed, similar to the current “wall”.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as you will now be able to publish multiple custom tabs below the feature image instead of the sidebar custom tabs as is the case now. These tabs can essentially be used as regular website pages with a larger width of 810 pixels as compared to 520 pixels currently allowed.
The only small downside being the fact that you will still need to self host any custom tabs or pages as Facebook does not support any hosting outside of the profile images and videos. You will simply be provided with URL fields to help load your custom tabs externally.
Big Facebook players like Walmart, Gatorade and many other tech companies have already rolled out the changes to their fanpages so you can rest assured that these changes will definitely be going ahead later on this month.
I am personally quite pleased with the timeline changes if used correctly. Remember, Facebook is now allowing to market your business through many different ways instead of just the side banner and a custom landing tab. Careful implementation of the new features can yield some fantastic marketing results for any business big or small.
Do you currently use a fanpage for personal or business marketing? Share your thoughts below on the new changes and if you think this is likely to help you achieve better results.