You may be aware that as of the 30st March 2012, Facebook is making some major changes to the way that Business Pages are displayed on the site.  Even if you aren’t aware you need to looking at how these changes will affect your page and the way that people interact with it.  From the end of March Facebook will be changing to a layout called a timeline, which is a chronological listing of your postings and actions on the page.  An example of a timeline and how pages will look can be viewed by clicking here.

So apart from the layout changes, what are the major differences with the new format?

No default landing page.

No longer can you set a default landing tab when people come to your page.  Previously it was possible to set a tab that was only visible to people who hadn’t “Liked” your page.  Usually this page would be set out with the main benefits to the user of your page and had a clear call to action to “Like” the page.

This had the benefit of giving the user a clear single action that they should take and was very effective in increasing conversions.  Once a user had Liked the page, they would be shown another tab with more information about how to interact with your site.

This overcame what is, in my opinion, one of the major problem with Facebook pages, which is a lack of clear steps the user should take to get the most from your Page.  Facebook Pages when viewed without any clear direction can be a jumble of conflicting messages and possibilities.  For the business owner this is a disaster.  As the owner of the Page, you want people to first and for most to “Like” the page.  Until the user does that there is no chance for an ongoing relationship.  Once the user has Liked your page, then any updates you make and information that you post will be shown on the user’s own stream for them and others to see.  Getting users to Like your page without default tabs is probably going to be more difficult.  We’ll have to wait and see.

New Header image.  No Calls to Action allowed!

The new layout has a large header image called a Cover.  This image can be 851×315 pixel photo.  Great you may be thinking, I can put my call to Like the page in there.  Unfortunately the new guidelines prohibit including any reference to Facebook elements (including the Like button) in your cover image.  In the photo the emphasis must be on the image, not text, and should not read like an advertisement.  So you can’t ask your visitors to Like your page.  However this larger image give the chance to style your page more than was possible in the past, giving you the chance to provide your own feel.

New Tabs layout.

Rather than the Tabs navigation being down the lefthand side under the banner image, the new layout places tabs across the top, under the cover image.  Additionally you can define the images used to represent your tabs, even ones generated by 3rd party apps, except for Facebook generated tabs like photos.  This gives you further options to customise the look and feel of your page, and should make it clearer to users that there a multiple things they can do at your Page.

Pinning posts to the top.

The new timeline gives you the option to pin a post to the top of your timeline for up to 7 days should it be something you want to emphasize.   Pages administrators also have the option of hiding posts and moderating posts before they are made available on your timeline.  For healthcare practitioners this will be especially useful.  The new Australia wide healthcare regulations mean that practitioners can no longer use testimonials in any form.  This includes patients posting reviews or feedback about your services on your Facebook page.  This new feature will mean that it will be harder to be caught out inadvertently.

So these changes mean that the way visitors interact with your site has changed dramatically and that you need to takes step now to ensure that your page will work under the new structure.  Images need to be designed and uploaded.  Old tabs with calls to action need to be removed and your details need to be updated to ensure they are correct.  To help businesses through this transition Clear Health Media will do the necessary upgrades to your page for the special price of $199.00.  Contact us for full details.  Be sure not to delay, you only have until 30th March to get ready.  Send us your enquiry on the form below now!

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