The Marketer’s Guide to the New Facebook Pages

The new Facebook Pages design is here. For anyone in the Facebook marketing world, this means a lot of major changes. If you took advantage of the features of the timeline design for personal profiles, then the pages will feel similar to you. This guide will help you find out what you might like or hate about Facebook’s latest updates to pages and how your brand or business can adapt to them.

What Is New About the Facebook Pages Design?

Before we dig deep into the details, let’s take a look at some of the major changes to the Facebook Pages design.

Here, you can see some of the major cosmetic changes including the following:

  • The Timeline Cover Photo - This is probably the biggest and most beautiful of the new features. Depending on your industry, it could be either the perfect portfolio for you or your worst marketing nightmare.
  • Your About Info - The About info for your company moves from a tiny box on the sidebar to one of the first areas people see after they take in your cover photo. Although Facebook doesn’t need to do it, this is the perfect place for you to put a link to your website so you can get a higher click-through rate.
  • Apps - After the box for your photos (which is not moveable), there are three prime spaces for your apps, assuming you don’t want to keep your number of likes on the top row. There are twelve boxes in total – ten for apps.

Next, you can see the two columns for updates. How this will affect conversions still remains to be seen, but you can assume that having a major update next to one that isn’t that important will take away some of the focus from the major update. While you can highlight important updates (which I will discuss later), the highlighting can leave your page’s wall looking unbalanced and somewhat empty if a less important status update is left in a single column.

It’s All About the Cover Photo

The biggest piece of branding on the new Facebook Pages design is the timeline cover photo. Here are the things you need to know:

  • Size - The optimal size for your Facebook Page’s cover photo is 851 x 315 pixels. While Facebook says it can be as small as 399 pixels wide, you should go with the full resolution size so you get the best image quality.
  • Rules - There are lots of rules when it comes to the cover photo. The first warning that pops up about cover photos when you go to upload yours for the first time is that they cannot be advertisements, promotions or coupons. When you go to the read more page, you will see additional restrictions including no price or purchase information, no contact information that should be in your About section, no references to Facebook features such as Like or Share, and no calls to action.
  • Ideas - Once you get past all of the rules, you have to start getting creative. Some ideas for a cover photo include a great photo of your latest product, an image of your services, a photo of your company’s employees, or an extension of your logo. Be sure to check out the new Facebook Pages in the upcoming inspiration section.

Status Updates

If you’ve grown accustomed to posting status updates on your personal timeline profile, then the Status Update box on the new Facebook Page shouldn’t be much of a change.

  • To post a link to your wall, simply paste the link in the Status update box, and it will automatically pull up the link preview.
  • If you want to post a video from YouTube, paste the link to it in the Status update box, and it will automatically pull up the video.
  • To post photos or video, click the Photo option and upload a photo or video from your computer. You can also use your webcam to take a photo or create a photo album.
  • To ask an open-ended or poll question, click on the Ask Question option.
  • To post a milestone (such as expanding offices to a new location), click on the Milestone option.
  • Don’t forget to use the targeting option to put specific updates in front of the right demographic of your fan base.

Once you’ve posted an update, you also have additional options.

  • Pinning - Want a particular status update to stay at the top? Hover over your update, click on the Pencil icon and then click Pin to Top. This will keep the update pinned to the top of your wall until you choose to unpin it or pin another update.
  • Highlighting - Bring extra attention to important status updates by hovering over your update and clicking on the Star icon. This will stretch that update across both columns on your page’s wall.
  • Changing the Date - Did you forget to add your latest blog post from Friday onto your wall as an update and realize it after you added Monday’s blog post? Don’t worry. Just add Friday’s blog post on your wall, hover over the update, click on the Pencil icon, and then click Change Date.

Noticeably Missing Features

Although there are a lot of great changes, there are also a ton of things that are missing such as:

Missing – Wall Activity from Everyone

Maybe it is just a pre-launch issue, but one thing that is noticeably missing from the new Facebook Pages is activity by anyone who isn’t your friend. You can compare the above screenshot while I am logged in to my account, which shows the number of friends of mine that have liked my Facebook Page plus a friend’s recent tag vs. the screenshot below, where I’m logged into a dummy account that has no friends.

You can still see likes, comments and shares on wall posts from people you are not friends with. You just cannot see direct posts on a page’s wall or tags of a page from people you are not friends with. This means that you could go to a business page that has hundreds of rave reviews from others, but if none of those people are your friends, you would not see them. It is ultimately determined by the privacy settings of the people who post on pages. Visit Facebook’s help center to learn more about privacy for people who like pages.

Gone – Default Landing Tab

Say goodbye to having people who are not yet fans getting directed to your fan gate or welcome tab. While you can use the direct URL of an application to direct people to a specific tab, anyone who clicks on the main link to your Facebook page (such as the one from the Like button or box on your website) will be taken to your main Timeline. This has made some marketers upset as they were able to successfully convert fans or even get sales from a default landing tab, but sadly it is confirmed by Facebook to be gone.

Missing – Place Recommendations

Another (hopefully) pre-launch issue is the missing recommendations for local business pages/place pages. If you haven’t converted your local business page to the new Facebook Page design, I would suggest copying your recommendations and who they were from before you do. Maybe grab a screenshot or two as well. No one is 100% sure if this will get re-incorporated into the new Facebook Pages or not. You can voice your opinion in the Facebook developer’s bug report for recommendations in timeline for pages.

Facebook Apps & Custom Content

Once you get past the loss of default landing tabs, next you will likely notice additional changes to the way your Facebook apps and custom tabs are displayed.

  • Number of Apps & Custom Tabs - As I mentioned earlier, you can use up to 10 apps and content tabs on your Facebook Page. While there are twelve boxes, one is reserved for your photos, and another is reserved for your page’s number of likes.
  • Prioritization - While the photos box will always stay in the first position, you have the option to put your apps and content tabs in the next three spaces. This way, you can display your most important apps and custom content tabs without having to hope that a visitor knows to click on the down arrow. Click on the down arrow next to your row of apps, hover over a tab and click on the Pencil icon. Then use the “Swap Position With” option to move your boxes around in the order you would like them to be displayed.
  • Custom Name & Icons - For any box other than Photos and Likes, you can change the tab name and image. To do so, click on the down arrow next to your row of apps, hover over a box and click on the Pencil icon. Select Edit Settings. Here, you can enter a different name for your tab or click on the Change link to change the tab image. Images should be 111 x 74 pixels. Use larger images with the same proportion so they will scale down to fit inside the box. Images smaller than 111 x 74 pixels will not fill the entire space.
  • Content Size - Custom content and apps now have a width of 810 pixels to work with. Any of your current apps or custom content should be centered within this space until they are changed by you or your application provider to fit the new layout.
  • Direct URL - The only alternative to a default landing tab is directly linking to the tab you want your fan page visitors to go to. Click on the tab you want your visitors to see first when they come to your page and copy the URL from your browser’s address bar as shown below. Then use this URL when you link to your fan page within your website content, email signature and other locations.

Messages – The Good, Bad and Ugly

One other major new feature that visitors to your Facebook Page can take part in is private messages.

  • Keeping Bad Comments Off Your Wall - One perk to having the private messaging option on your page is that it has the potential to steer angry customers or fans from writing on your wall to writing to you in private. This way, you can handle a situation without it becoming an ugly (and possibly viral) mess for your brand.
  • Keeping Good Comments Off Your Wall - A downside to having the private messaging option on your page is that people who might otherwise leave a good comment on your wall praising your brand might send the compliment privately instead. While you could politely ask if they could share their comment publicly (or mind if you share their comment publicly), it would just be easier if they had left it on your wall in the first place.
  • Losing Wall Engagement - The other downside to messages is they might take away public engagement with your wall. Instead of commenting on one of your posts, the reader may message you privately instead.
  • Turning Off Messages - After considering the pros and cons of the private messaging system, if you choose to turn off private messaging for your page, you can. Facebook certainly did. Simply go to your Admin Panel, then click on Manage and Edit Page. On the Manage Permissions screen, you will see a checkbox for Show “Message” Button on your page. Simply uncheck that to turn off the private messages option.

The New Admin Panel

The new Admin Panel for your Facebook Pages gives you the most important information about your page at a quick glance.

The following are some of the features you will definitely want to check out:

  • Notifications - Of course, notifications are not new. But when you click the See All link, you will find an RSS feed for your page notifications. This comes in handy if you manage a lot of pages but don’t want to go to them individually to check your notifications. Now you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed for all of your pages’ notifications to see them all in your RSS reader.
  • New Likes - Click on the See All link under New Likes to see the latest people who have liked your page. Use the dropdown menu to see other Facebook Pages that have liked your page.
  • Messages - If you leave the private messaging feature turned on on your page, this is where you can see incoming messages. Click See All to view them all, or click on the name of the sender to see the full message and reply.

Next, you’ll want to check out your dropdown menu options, starting with Manage.

  • Manage > Edit Page - Under the Manage menu, you will find the Edit Page section. One of the most important screens you will want to visit when you convert to the new design is Manage Permissions, as shown above. Here you can customize the posting ability of fans on your page, post visibility, tagging ability, private messages option and other settings. The rest of the information is the same as in your page’s previous Admin Panel.
  • Manage > Use Activity Log - If you have used the Activity Log for your personal timeline profile, you’ll see that this one is similar. Scroll through your activity log to see posts by your page and by your fans. Click on the icons to the right of each update to change the settings for each post to Highlighted on Page, Allowed on Page, Hidden from Page, Delete Post, Change Date, or Report/Mark as Spam.
  • Manage > See Banned Users - If you have ever banned a user from your page, you can see a list of those users here. You can also choose to un-ban users if your issues with them have been resolved.

The other important menu item that will help you get more Facebook fans to your page is Build Audience. Here is what you will find under it.

  • Build Audience > Invite Email Contacts - Have a huge email list? Take advantage of it by importing your contacts (up to 5,000) and inviting those email contacts to become a fan of your page.
  • Build Audience > Invite Friends - Page Admins can invite their friends to become a fan of their page. After you suggest your page to a friend, that friend will see a notification on his or her profile to check out your page. This is a great way to build your fan base. Be sure to take advantage of it before Facebook decides to remove it again.
  • Build Audience > Share Page - This is just a quick way to post an update with a link to your page on your personal profile.
  • Build Audience > Create an Ad - If you want to expand your page’s exposure on Facebook, try Facebook Ads. They will allow you to show your page to a target audience defined by location, demographics and even interests.

New Facebook Insights Data

Want to learn more about your Facebook Page’s fans and activity? You can do so with Facebook Insights. To get to your Insights, click on your Admin Panel and See All next to the Insights portion. There, you will find some exciting information about your Facebook Page.

Overview

The first screen in your Insights panel is the Overview, where you can see the following details:

  • Total Likes - The number of people who like your page. Unfortunately this number does not include other Facebook Pages that like your page.
  • Friends of Fans - The number of people who are friends with people who like your page. It seems this number should also include subscribers of people who like your page. Although it doesn’t, that would be a great addition.
  • People Talking About This - The number of people who have created a story about your page including posting to your wall, interacting with a status update (likes, comments, and shares), answering a question, responding to an event, mentioning your page in a status update, tagging your page, or checking in at your place.
  • Weekly Total Reach - The number of people who have seen any content from your page for the last seven days.
  • Posts - The purple bubble on the graph represents the number of posts your page has published on a given day.

Beneath the graph, you can see engagement information about your individual posts on your page. Columns are sortable by date, post snippet, and the following pieces of data:

  • All Post Types - The default view for this section will show you all of your latest posts. Click on this dropdown menu to see posts with photos, links, videos or questions.
  • Post - The post column shows the beginning snippet of your post. Click on it to see a full preview.
  • Reach - The number of people who have seen the post within the first 28 days after it was published on your wall. Click on the number to see the graphical breakdown of organic, paid and viral views.
  • Engaged Users - The number of people who have clicked on the post within the first 28 days after it was published. Click on the number to see the number of times your post generated clicks and engagement from users including likes, comments and shares.
  • Virality - The percentage of people who have created a story from your page post (shares) out of the total number of people who have seen it.

Likes

The Likes section shows you a demographic breakdown of people who have liked your page including their ages, genders, countries, cities and languages.

Beneath the demographics is a section that tells you where your page’s likes have come from.

This is a great way to see what converts visitors into fans.

  • On Page - Likes generated from your Facebook Page itself.
  • Like Box and Like Button - Likes generated from the Like Box and Like Button social plugins on external websites.
  • Admin Invite - Likes generated from the use of suggesting a page to a friend from the Admin Panel > Build Audience > Invite Friends.
  • Timeline - Likes generated from people clicking on your page in a person’s personal Timeline profile Likes section.
  • Mobile - Likes generated from people on mobile devices.
  • Search Results - Likes generated from people who used Facebook’s search box.
  • Page Like Another Page - Likes generated from other pages that like your page.
  • Facebook Recommendations - Likes generated from a Recommended Pages unit in the right-hand column on Facebook.
  • On Hover - Likes generated from the pop-up window shown when someone hovers over a link leading to your page anywhere on Facebook.
  • Ticker - Likes generated from mentions of your page in the news ticker.
  • Friend Referrals - Likes generated from a story about someone liking your page.

You can also see the number of unlikes you have on a given day. If you see a big spike in unlikes on a particular day, you should see if you posted something that day and avoid similar updates.

Reach

The Reach section shows you demographics of the people you have reached through your page’s content, posts and stories by others. Scroll down to the bottom of this section to see two important pieces of information:

  • Total Tab Views - The number of times each tab is viewed on your Facebook page, including the main timeline itself.
  • External Referrers - The number of referral visits from sites other than Facebook, including any site on which you have included a link to your Facebook Page.

Talking About This

The Talking About This section shows you demographics of the people who have created stories around your Facebook Page. Beneath the demographics data are the graphs showing how people are engaging with your page including page likes, stories from your posts, mentions and photos tags, and posts by others.

Export Data

Want to see the raw data? You can export your page and post level data to Excel (.xls) and comma-separated text format (.csv).

This can be helpful since most of the Insights screens will only allow you to go 89 days back. The export will include any data after July 2011.

Facebook Insights for All

While access to detailed insights is limited to page administrators, you can now see some basic insights about any page by visiting the page and clicking on its number of likes.

Here, you can see the number of people talking about a particular page this week, the number of total likes, the most popular week for that page, the top location engaging with the page, the age group of the most engaged fans, and a graph of their latest engagement activity.

This is a great way to do some competitor research.

  • You can target your competitor’s most popular city and age group in Facebook ads to generate new likes for your page.
  • You can scroll through your competitors’ timelines to see what they did to make their pages popular on the most popular week.
  • You can see if your competitor’s latest Facebook marketing strategy is increasing or decreasing their page’s engagement and choose to either model yours after theirs or not.

Your New Facebook Pages To-Do List

So, now that you’ve read through this guide, you might be wondering what you should do first. Here’s a simple list of things you need to do to prepare your business page for the new design and functionality. Otherwise, your page could end up looking like this.

  • Take Advantage of the Preview Option - You don’t have to convert your page over until March 30th, 2012. But you can prepare your page to be converted to the new design by clicking on the preview button to see what it will look like and prepare accordingly.
  • Get a Great Cover Photo - If you have to, hire a photographer to take pictures of your employees, your building, your products, etc. But get a good cover photo. Your page will look abandoned without it.
  • Update Your About Information - You can have up to 165 characters in your page’s About field including a link to your website. Use it wisely as it will be front and center and could lead to additional clicks to your website.
  • See What Your Updates Look Like - Scroll through your timeline to see your page’s wall posts and status updates. Make sure that you have a good number of updates from the past few months as a minimum. Use the highlighting option by clicking the Star icon on important updates to make them stand out.
  • Break Up Third Party Updates - If you used a third-party platform to update your page, you might find that some of your updates are clumped together. Click on the Pencil icon above a group of updates and View Individual Stories. This will take you to those updates in your Activity Log. Click on the Circle icon next to each update and change it to Highlighted on Page. Then go back to your page and click the Star icon to un-highlight them. This should turn them into individual stories on your page’s timeline.
  • Backdate Updates to Fill in Timeline - If you don’t have a lot of updates, post some and then click on the Pencil icon on the update and change the date. Use this to fill in your recent timeline to show some activity.
  • Check Your Page’s Basic Information - Click on the About link on your page and take a look at your page’s basic information (contact information, description, etc.). Add additional information if necessary to fill this area out.
  • Check Your Custom Content & Apps - Click on each of your Facebook apps and custom content tabs to see what changes need to be made. Contact your designer or application creator to see when they can fit your apps and content to the new Facebook Pages layout size.

On-Going New Facebook Pages Maintenance Plan

Once you have taken care of the basic housecleaning, you will need to do the following to keep your new Facebook Page’s timeline full of activity!

  • Post a Variety of Updates - Keeping your Facebook Page up-to-date is now more important than ever. Be sure to post a variety of updates including simple status updates, questions, photos and videos to engage fans and keep your timeline looking healthy.
  • Use Pins and Highlights - Take advantage of the pinning feature to keep important wall posts up at the top and the highlighting feature to stretch important content across both columns for maximum impact.
  • Check Notifications & Respond to Messages - Keep an eye on any activity happening on your page and be sure to reply when needed. Especially keep tabs on your messages – you might be able to prevent an angry message from going private to public by responding quickly.
  • Do Some Testing - Try new things. If you feel like your number of likes is not increasing at a good rate, try a new cover photo or Facebook ad. If people don’t seem to be responding to links on your wall, try photos or videos instead. Move your tabs around to see if you get more traffic on a welcome tab over a Twitter tab.
  • Keep an Eye on Insights - Check up on your Facebook Insights regularly. This could be the key to finding out which page posts get the most response, what sources are leading to likes on your page, and other crucial information about your page’s engagement.

Inspiration from Brand Facebook Pages

Need some inspiration for your page? Take a look at these brands using the new design successfully to give you some ideas on cover photos, custom tabs, about information and more.

  • The Today Show - America’s #1 morning show puts its main stars on the cover and pins its latest show content on its timeline asking viewers what they thought of the story.
  • SportsCenter - SportsCenter shows an inside look at taping the show in its cover photo and highlights the latest sports news in its timeline.
  • People.com - The top celebrity magazine puts the most popular celebrity photos on its timeline and uses its latest magazine cover as its profile photo.
  • Tide - This detergent brand showcases its latest product in its cover photo as well as in its custom tabs.
  • Herbal Essences - Herbal Essences displays its latest line of products in its cover photo and highlights 40 years in the business, video reviews, and current promotions in its custom tabs.
  • Macy’s - Macy’s prides itself in being the world’s largest store in its cover photo and lets visitors know it has been around for 150 years in its About info. Plus, it pins news about its latest sales on its timeline.
  • Livestrong - Livestrong pins the milestone of the date it was founded and uses its cover photo as an extension of its well-recognized logo.
  • Chevy Sonic - Chevy showcases a creative cover photo of its newest model and uses custom tabs that make it look like the coolest car ever.
  • Kia Soul - One of the most memorable parts of every Kia Soul commercial is the hamsters, and its Facebook Page highlights them in its cover photo, profile photo and latest updates.
  • Ford - Ford uses its custom tabs to showcase an app with its top product pages. It also highlights news about its upcoming Google+ Hangout on its timeline.
  • American Express - American Express puts a creative spin on its “Member Since” tag on its cover photo, and its custom tabs feature the latest Amex promotions.
  • SEOmoz - SEOmoz uses abstract artwork for its main cover photo and highlights its mascot Roger in its profile photo.
  • Mashable - Mashable updates its cover photo with the latest news on its site, which is currently (at the time of posting) the iPad 3. They also make sure that everyone knows about their other pages by displaying them to be liked.
  • Zena Caffè - This restaurant puts a delectable dish as its cover photo, enticing visitors to want to stop in and have a meal.
  • Canlis - This restaurant shows its lovely location as its cover photo and puts videos and reservations in the custom tabs.

Official Resources

Need to know more? The following are additional resources from Facebook itself.

  • Introducing New Facebook Pages - This is Facebook’s introduction to the new Facebook Pages design and main features. You can also see the latest big brands that have converted their pages.
  • Facebook Pages Common Questions - This covers common questions asked about the new features and managing your new page.
  • Learn About Facebook Pages - This is the video guide/course for the new Facebook Pages design. It includes information on how to connect with people, customize your page, control your content and manage your page.
  • Facebook Pages - This is the beginner’s starting point for basic Facebook Page information. Most of this information has been updated for the new design.
  • Facebook Pages Product Guide – This 8-page guide walks you through the new Facebook Page features and includes a checklist of what you need to do to prepare.
  • Best Practice Guide – Marketing on Facebook - This 14-page guide covers best marketing practices and includes a list of helpful Facebook resources.
  • Building Your Business with Facebook Pages - Although it’s not quite updated to reflect the new design, it contains some helpful Facebook engagement tips throughout and editorial calendar samples on pages 12-14.

Conclusion

As you can see, while there are some major drawbacks to the new Facebook Pages design, there are also many new advantages. There is no sense in protesting the changes as they are going to happen whether you want them or not, so you might as well go with the flow and adapt to Facebook’s new design. Take the next few weeks to make it work for your business!

So, what do you think about the new Facebook Pages?

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Comments

  1. Great overview Neil, the loss of landing pages is probably one of the biggest changes for many marketers, although I’ve never really relied on them extensively.

    I’m not sure about how I feel about the no “call to action” in the headline photo, it cleans things up a bit, yet you don’t even get to mention your brand’s website?

    Kind of a bummer.

    • I am totally devastated about this particular change Greg. I had a few pages myself and a lot of clients who relied pretty heavily on that initial page.

      Not really sure why they removed that type of feature as it was really making a lot of people re-think websites in favor of just using their Facebook page (rightly or wrongly).

      Freaking awesome post Neil. How long do these things take for you to write and how do you get the time inbetween all your other company work?

      Tyrant

      • My post typically take me anywhere from 2-6 hours to write. It depends on the subject and length of the post.

        I always have a lot on my plate, that is why I work everyday pretty much all day. As for my companies I have a partner and team that help run them. This gives me time to still run Quick Sprout.

        • I love to read your long and in-depth articles. And I have no regrets subscribing your email updates for I learned lot of things especially managing my social media presence.

        • The time you spend on each post is really reflected in its quality. I subscribe to your feed and enjoy every one of your posts. This one is a keeper – was planning to set aside some time during the weekend to figure out the new FB – will do it with your guide in hand ;) Thanks!

        • This was such an amazing summary Neil. If is great to see that you are able to manage your blog constantly while also running your business. I am sure it takes a lot of time and I see that you are able to manage your time really good. Can you give me some tips regarding this? :)

          • I do have a partner and team that helps run my two other businesses which allows me the time to focus on Quick Sprout.

            As for time management it really depends on your priorities and the length of time it takes to complete each one.

            • This is definitely not a one person task. The right business partner that you talked so much about comes into discussion here and like you said before, you have to choose well in this case.

    • Thanks Gregory,

      I agree, It would be nice if there wasn’t limitations on what you could place as your headline photo. Hopefully that will be something they decide to undo later on, but I am doubtful.

    • This new fb page looks amazing. New opportunities of the marketing are more promising.

  2. Thanks for the free course on FB that’s worth at least $97. This will save me a ton of time, thanks again.

  3. I think we should adapt ourselves to the new design of facebook and go with the flow… dr r so many good points like d cover photo, pinning the most imp post to the top of our page etc.. lukn forward to some more exciting updates from facebook in the coming future.

  4. I think the main reason why Facebook decided to remove the default tab pages because they new that marketers where using them to build their email list from these pages. Facebook wants to own and keep this type of data for themselves.

    • Donny,

      I think you’re right about the main reason being marketers.

      The old fan page was a pretty solid method for expanding one’s list and through methods like fan-gating social proof was rather easy to come by as well.

      Personally, I liked to run contests through Facebook (which you have be extremely careful with; don’t use Likes as the contest entry), but in some respects, the new page is a bit harder to get people to enter.

      With that said, people will adapt. The services which previous provide custom landing pages will be forced to evolve or shut down. It’s how the Internet works. Things are constantly changing, so you can’t get too reliant on one part of it.

      • I agree Robert,

        It has definitely come down to learning how to adapt to the changes and prepare for future ones. The internet will never stop evolving and you have to either “swim” or “sink.”

    • Thanks Donny for sharing your thoughts.

      That sounds about right to me.

  5. hi, thanks for this.

    i have one question – if i wanted to like another business from my business page and NOT from my personal account, is it possible any more? I tired by firstly clicking on the Admin Panel and then liking another page, but it does not show in my ‘Likes’ list, and it goes to my personal account.

    • Sky : Can you please tell, you are logged in to facebook using which account ?

      • Well , I log in to my personal account/page and then I go to my business page from which I try to like another lets say business page, but it seems its not possible.

        • Hey sky,

          Seems some confusion buddy :)) just try to find the best way to solve your concern.

          If possible explain perfectly, your explanation it self is confusing one….

          • i dont get your words.
            anyhow, as we british say the facebook is not a golden goose so its not that important!

            • Well, in today’s world it is important, believe me if you want to buddy :)) I started my project exactly before 33 days & now it has 4000++ Facebook Fans, which is awesome achievement, for a small start up like me. By the way which part of Britain you are ?

  6. Wow Neil, this is really one comprehensive guide for online marketers like us who want to leverage the new Facebook pages. I have not yet converted my page into the new timeline, but with 2 weeks remaining before the deadline, I must prepare now a perfect cover photo for my page. As always, you have written a very useful post for us.

  7. Excellent one Neil :) I am sure soon i will be able to implement it on the New project which i have launched, with your Earlier TIPS page had already reach 4k+ Fans till now.

    Once again Thanks for share.

  8. Neil out of all blog out their, you are one of the most inclusive and complete researcher to deliver a clear and accurate understanding of ”what” ”how” ”why ”. Frankly, i was lost in the new navigation and this new ”to-do” list that you’ve put on will be implemented right away in our facebook process map.
    Thank you again !

    • Thank you Jean-Philippe,

      I really appreciate the kind words. It is great to hear that you found this post has provided you with clear instructions on how to proceed.

  9. i think the new pages are a brilliant way to tell a story to the audience and build a connection.
    that’s what i tried to do on my page :)

    also the new fb changes give a lot of value to images, be it profile, groups or pages.

  10. Hi Neil,

    Great overview on the Facebook page changes! I’ve really enjoyed your blog as well as your QuickSprout Traffic System.

    Thanks!

  11. First of all thanks for your great article about Facebook. Second, if I’ve understood properly:
    1) We can not use any more “a tab” like the default landing page
    2) There is only two posibilities to use it: using FB Ads can direct people to a specific tab and also sending to the tab with the “facebook tab link” (I suppose from any place – web, email…)
    3) We can set-up multiple page tabs for different purposes and stick them right in front of the user. Then I think can be used like “ads”, trying to get the attention of the user.
    Thanks again.

  12. Thanks Neil! This really is a very comprehensive guide to the new pages.

    Pagemodo, I do not work for them or have any affiliation, also has a pretty good amount of in depth info. Including more on how to make a custom “Like” Gate.

    http://www.pagemodo.com/blog

    I think it won’t be long before Facebook starts to charge for “Advanced” features like setting a default landing tab.

  13. Thanks for new facebook page update Neil really makes us to move on with new feature

  14. Great post Neil! Thats a lot of content you just delivered in a short amount of time. Kudos.

    I am not excited about the new format, but going to use your advice to make the most out of it.

    • Not many people are to thrilled about the changes, but some people are really taking a liking to them. I think it is in everyones best interest to make the most out of it like you said.

  15. Awesome post Neil!

    I guess one of the most exhaustive and informative post read about Timeline so far :)

    I still need to work on my Timeline and make the final switch, and am just bookmarking this post for reference when I do shift over.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Hi Neil

    OMGoodness. Thank you so much for all the information. I have not changed to the new timeline as it was too overwhelming. Will give it a go. My best to you, Sheryl

  17. Hi Neil,

    This has been a godsend you have made it so easy to understand the changes of the new facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to write this useful post.

    Tracy

  18. Awesome guide bud, thanks!

  19. The new facebook page still seems a bit weird. I’ll post something and it won’t show on the wall for ages. I think it’ll have some teething problems till its completely changed over

  20. Really amazing tips sharing here.
    Thanks Neil:)

  21. Neil,
    Thanks for the reallly in-depth review of the new facebook pages. I got first hand information from this post :-)

    Now coming back to the impact of this change, I think it’s good that one gets a chance to be creative when it comes to cover photo (which is big enough to sport a movie banner).

    But I wish, since pages are for business people or brands, there could have been a placeholder for capturing subscribers.

    An app for capturing email address integrated in the new facebook pages would have been really great add-on.

    Otherwise, it’s a welcome change. Creating and updating the welcome Tabs were a pain.

    What do you feel?

    • You make some good points. Those are changes that would be nice to see. However I feel we have to learn to adapt to the changes made and just go with the flow so to speak.

  22. So many changes to take count now. I think that changes on Facebook will only be beneficial if those changes keep the website simple to understand and use. There are many things on Facebook interface that are not very intuitive and even today i do not understand how it works. For example, their search engine to find people it is still very undeveloped and inefficient. I am glad to see new changes that will improve the user interaction with Facebook. Thank you for another great post Neil!!

  23. The new pages of Facebook are great which comes with many good features that increase the more interest of user in use of Facebook because users want change after some period of time.

  24. Hi Neil – great post. You never cease to disappoint on value and insight.

    Hi Quicksprouters- for a solid Facebook page example check out Invisible Children. It has been a viral sensation of late and provides nice visuals as a template for marketers updating pages (especially those of us in the non-profit and social entrepreneurial world).

    http://www.facebook.com/invisiblechildren

    In particular, I like their use of infographics and quote graphics in their feed. It is very eye-catching and engaging. A lot of the content there appears to be things one might find on Pintrist. (by the way, check out Neil’s post marketing on Pintrist, it’s really good too). “See” how visual and emotional this page “feels” within moments of landing on it? Very good things for facebook marketers looking for that quick “like” or comment.

    Conversionally speaking, I like the way they’ve added their website url to the header image. I think they should also add it to their “about” text, as Neil suggests. But hey, when you have 3M likes and are getting 700+ comments, they should be telling the rest of us what to do, haha.

    Has anyone seen any other really good examples?

  25. I think this change is, overall, a nuisance.

    While I do agree that some people were using their Fan Pages in a way that would not benefit FB (e.g gates), FB should also think of the resistance a change of this magnitude will experience.

    I am not sold on this new change and the fact that after the 30th, ALL pages will have to change to this new layout, whether they like it or not. Perhaps I will change my mind in the future but I think this is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, for I know I am not the only one to be dreading this change.

    Great post nonetheless, Neil.

    • You are not alone in your frustration. Many people find the new changes inconvenient. I hope you will be able to better adapt to the changes with the help of these tips.

  26. I feel so sorry for all those small businesses that are investing time and time in improving, adding, editing, learning about the facebook.

    i would advise all to read this article:

    http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/opinion/brands-are-people-too-so-says-facebook/4000511.article

    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT THAT MUCH!!!!!

  27. Hi Neil,

    I have an sub domain website which i use to update about our product,in search engine my website is getting listed with WWW and without WWW if i add canonical tag will it be value for my website please give me your suggestion

    Note: I need my website to rank without WWW in search engine

    Regards

    • What’s the benefits of ranking without WWW in search engines? Honestly, I realise my websites rank better without WWW too. Can anyone shed some light on this?

  28. Love the info but the “admin panel” does not show on my page. Tried using Facebook help and of course their info was incorrect as well.

  29. I blogged about the exact same thing on my blog too Neil! Seems like a this is a hot topic at the moment as a lot of business and fanpage owners are still dark over what to expect from these changes.

  30. Neil, This is great! Maybe you could make your next post about Facebook Analytics and/or how to connect activity / marketing investments on Facebook with what’s happening on your corporate website?

  31. Terrific article. To expand on your first section – the cover photo – check out the blog post below I just wrote on 4 tips for creating effective cover photos. It’s written for unions but is definitely applicable to any type of timeline page.

    article link: http://www.laborthink.com/4-facebook-timeline-photo-cover-tips-for-labor-unions/

  32. Linkedin is 244% more effective than Facebook & Twitter combined!

    Why waste your time on Facebook if its not working for you?

    There’s 700 more social sites to choose from!

  33. Hi Thanks Neil,

    I think the new timelime pages is goof if im honest that big cover photo is brilliant to get your brand noticed and build up your brand.

    Joe

  34. I haven’t tried the Facebook Timeline for my personal profile and page yet because it was quite confusing for me. But This article has made it interesting and easy to understand. So I am going to use it for my blog’s page. Thanks for the help.

  35. I hate the new timeline for pages, but no option to disable them. Anyhow thanks for sharing valuable information.

  36. Odd, I don’t have the Invite Email Contacts option under build audience. Did that go away, or did they just block my page from it?

  37. Hi Neil: Thanks for the Facebook lesson!!! I’ve been trying to figure out how to post my dance class schedule. I just turned my notes tab into my class schedule. Is that the best way to share this important info? I tried to change the name of the tab but that didn’t work for me.
    Thanks.
    Azziza

  38. Yet to test the new Facebook Timeline my page because it didnt make sense straight away. I can see where they are going and where Pinterest and others are influencing FB in their ideas. Your blog makes lots of sense and has helped, thanks for the info.

  39. I am very impress with your Facebook lesson and will keep in mind to follow your tips for Facebook page

    Thanks

  40. Health Wrong :

    Neil, I really have to salute to you for creating this post. It is so informative and for a while I thought you are working in Facebook. And I really wonder how long it takes for the engineer to code all these. Not forgetting to mention testing.

    Keith

  41. I understand that Facebook pages are really important for marketing but I feel like they’re just /another/ thing I have to do on top of keeping up with my *actual* blog – if my target market is on Twitter, almost entirely so, is the FB page worth the hassle?

  42. This is a great post, Neil, with clear and concise advice that I think anyone will be able to follow. I was dreading making the change over to the timeline layout, mostly from negative experience with my personal profile, so the advantages that you’ve covered here didn’t even occur to me. Now that we’ve all gotten used to it, lets hope that FB doesn’t initiate any more major changes!

    • I am sure FB will surly come up with new changes soon enough. The internet is constantly changing and growing. You just have to do your best to adapt to the changes as they come.

  43. I agree with you, Neil – there are indeed drawbacks to the new Facebook pages but there are also lots of advantages, especially to those who are willing to make the best of what is available.

    Thanks for yet another long and extremely helpful post. Much appreciated!

  44. I love the new FB page! It looks more like a mini site now or a blog and really allows us to show off more imagery. Thanks for the guide!

  45. If you are interested in creating a Facebook fan page from scratch, I highly recommend shortstack.com, which offer a nice drop & drop way to create them (plus it’s free for up to 2000 fans!). (not aff. I just use their service a lot).

  46. I really appreciate the clarity with which you presented the new FB Fan page changes. I was able to use most of your recommendations and have applied them for clients already. Keep up the good work! I look forward to following more of your comments.

  47. Build Audience > Invite Friends is gone:(

    Will it ever come back?

  48. With social media accounts and lack of time to manage them all manually, some marketer resorted to use automatic updates from other RSS feeds. I’m thinking to try it out but I’m hesitant if it is ethical or not. I’ve heard that automatic Facebook page updates get less engagement than manual post. Maybe I might try to combine this strategy for more effective results.

  49. WRONG! Inviting 5,000 emails to be a fan of the page, will actually invite them to be your facebook friend. I just spammed my client’s address book and it is a nightmare. See complaints: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150115103649822

  50. That’s a very rich and detailed analysis of FB page. I missed few of them while designing one for my blog. Just wish they help me in growing some Social response.

  51. Hi Neil,

    Thanks alot for such an awesome post. i am not in any sort of marketing field or any thing remotely related to it , i just like to read blogs related to IT Companies/Products .I came across your website through your post on RIM & then just read all other articles around here & they are all great !! ..
    Not only you are kind enough to reply to all the commentators here you actually inspiring them to do better just like u doing.
    Also this is also one of the best comments section i have come across in recent times ..no trolling just wonderful comments.

    Thanks alot & keep up the good work!!.

  52. Get good grades :

    Now that is a positively comprehensive treatment of the new updates there at fb Neil, thanks so much for the helpful information. The funny thing is, I was attending to the fb business account right before finding your post, still trying to gate the “fan gate” landing page and etc working, and now they are not even relevant anymore. I’m not sure whether to be glad or say good riddance.

  53. thanks for the comprehensive breakdown. With all the changes that have been going on I have let my facebook page go by the wayside, and I had no clue about it. Now I can start to fix it an understand the new layout.

  54. Awesome write up, I’m banging my head against the wall I found http://www.bybe.net/blog/free-professional-facebook-page-design-template.html and have no idea how to edit or install it… Why can’t Facebook just add a system which you can edit / create a page similar to site builders many web hosts are now providing.

  55. Thanks for another great post..I’ve turned my business page to time line..My profile is still is “old fashion” manner .But, it’s less important than first one.

  56. Thanks Neil, you always bring great content and I’m always applying them. You are of great help. Much gratitude.

  57. Hi Neil

    Excellent and very comprehensive article.

    One quick question. Have you found a way to hide the like box, or alternatively, the “most popular city”?

    In the same way that you mention this is handy to find out your competitors strongest markets, I’d like to hide mine due to not wanting my competitors to do this to me

  58. Not sure if you covered this (am really tired at the moment) but what about Facebook now charging business pages to promote their status updates? Since they started that my “viewers” has gone down a lot. I don’t want to have to pay each time I update just to get my info out there. :(

  59. Don’t see this covered…on a FB fan page, when you create an event, is there a way to invite all the likes of the page or is the only way sharing it on your wall?

  60. I keep have auto-generated message in facebook informing me this people left the conversation etc and it was send to my email. Please guide me how to turn it off?

  61. I am admin for a my church’s page. I have disabled comments on the page. However comments are still being posted and recommendations are still posted. Is there something else that I need to do keep this from happening.

    Jay

    • Hi Jay. I to have been looking for a way to remove the recommedations section. Did you ever find out how to do this? Thanks in advance if you can help!

  62. Hi Neil,

    I would like to know how I can have admin control over our business page where I can use the invite friends feature. My wife is the page creator and made me an admin, however it only gives me email invites and advertise options, how can I change this?

    Thanks

  63. i need to force myself to do this, but i really really hate facebook. ugh

  64. Hi Neil. Any ideas how I can feed my FB page posts to my LinkedIn Group?

  65. Hi Neil

    Great blog, thanks for sharing all your knowledge. One quick question, whcih may be a dumb one (sorry). Can I get my Facebook page (business) to like a personal timeline page? I cant see a ‘like’ button. Thanks

  66. I’m interested to master the manner in which you discovered this information? I’ll be definitely intrigued.

  67. This is a helpful article.
    I’ve never had a personal facebook account and I just recently started a page for my business. Have not added much content yet as I’m trying to get the hang of it.
    I haven’t been able to figure out if there is a way to search for others on facebook from my page. (I know this can be done through a personal account.)
    Also, yesterday I “liked” 2 different facebook pages. When I look at those pages from my computer I am listed as “you” under those who have liked it, and it also shows up on my page under “Likes”. However, someone I know with a personal account can’t see my comment or “like” listed on those pages.
    Seems simple but it’s confusing to me.

  68. There are tons of good tips in here. It’s obvious you spent a lot of time on this post and you understand the FB platform well

  69. Hey,
    I am totally devastated about this particular change.I love to read your long and in-depth articles.you are fantastic neil.you know very well that how to manage the business.
    Thank you.

  70. hey neil,
    you have well summarized the concept. i mean WOW. it’s good and interesting to read.
    really enjoyed.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  71. I wasn’t aware of the Facebook’s Insights data. Thanks.

    It gives good overview of your page.

  72. Thanks! This is very useful to update facebook pages :)

  73. Hi!,,This is a great post, Neil, with clear and concise advice that I think anyone will be able to follow.It is big help for us!,,,Thank you,,,,,

  74. If some one wants expert view about blogging and site-building after that i recommend him/her to go
    to see this webpage, Keep up the fastidious work.

  75. I think we should adapt ourselves to the new design of facebook and go with the flow :)

  76. Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this blog before but after going through many of the articles
    I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely
    pleased I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  77. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  78. Thanks for finally talking about >The Marketer?s Guide to the New Facebook Pages <Loved it!

  79. Wow, this post is nice, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to let know her.

  80. Hi there, I log on to your new stuff regularly.
    Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up!

  81. Can I simply just say what a relief to uncover a person that actually
    knows what they are discussing on the net.
    You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story.
    I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you surely have
    the gift.

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