Facebook Tips: How to Use the New Business Page Layout

ECommerce-Guide.com takes an in-depth look at recent changes made to Facebook Business Pages. Plus, we offer tips on how to use new features, such as status updates and Wall feeds to better connect with your Facebook fans.

As you know, Facebook can be an invaluable source of marketing for your e-commerce business. However, keeping up with the ever-evolving social bookmarking service is a challenge. Since we covered Facebook Marketing and Business Pages in our How-To Guide back in February (see Facebook How-To Guide: Create Business Pages and Ad Campaigns), Facebook has rolled out changes to Business Pages that directly influence how you use them and how your fans can interact with you on Facebook.

To help you adjust, we take an in-depth look at recent changes made to Business Pages. Plus, we offer tips on how to use new features, such as status updates and Wall feeds to better connect with your Facebook fans.

The New Wall and Tabs Layout

The new Business Pages are designed to make your page look more like a personal profile page on Facebook. If you think of the new Page layout as being divided into three columns, the left-most column is where your brand logo, information, fans, links and admin tool links are located.

The center column, like the new personal profile pages, is the largest by width and importance. This center column is divided into tabs, with the Wall tab being the default. Here the Facebook mini-feed and Wall have been merged into a Twitter-style update feed that puts an emphasis on "what's new" updates on Facebook.

As you make status changes, add links and share other information on your Business Page, it appears in the new central Wall feed. Updates and Wall posts made by your fans are also shown in this feed.

You will also find tabs to access the full-length version of your company information (you can duplicate a portion of this in the left-hand column also), as well as tabs for custom Facebook applications that you choose to add to your Business Page— like RSS feeds, and other applications. Business Page admins can rename and customize these tabs.

The far right-side column is now used to display Facebook ads on your Business Page.

Feed News to your Fan's Feeds

The changes to Facebook Business Pages are tough to digest. While you may find it difficult to adjust your brand pages, there is a silver lining in all this.

Webopedia on Facebook

Webopedia on Facebook
(Click for larger image)
In the top screen, you can see the Webopedia.com Brand Business Page, where a new Status Update was added. In the second screen, you can see how this News Update is being displayed in a fan's homepage news feed.

The old Facebook Business Pages were static pages that were disconnected from the rest of Facebook and its millions of personal users. With these changes and a new emphasis on news feeds, your Business Page now is more viral, and your brand has more prominence in your fan's news feed.

Let's say you update your status or post a new link or photo on your Facebook Business Page. This update is shown on the homepage news feed of all Facebook users who have become a fan of your Business. Your Business Page news appears right alongside the fan's friend news updates. While a fan of your Business Page is catching up on what's new with friends, they will also get updates from any Business Page they have become a fan of in the same news feed.

This removes the barrier between personal and commercial information fed to Facebook users.

Getting the Most out of your New Business Page

If you had a Business Page on Facebook before the recent changes, you'll want to edit your page layout and also change some permission settings. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the new Facebook Business Page options.

  • Wall Tab: Remember, the new Wall Feed is now the main focal point for fans and page visitors. It is also the entry point to your Business Page. As an admin you will want to check permissions for what types of updates are sent to your Wall tab.
  • Status Updates: Business Page admins can now share a status updates with fans. These updates will get posted to your Business Page Wall and can be seen by fans in their homepage news feed.
  • Less Custom App Space: With the new layout you will need to look at the custom applications you display on the Business Page in the far left-hand space. Ensure you use this space only for apps relevant to your business—like links, notes or RSS feeds. Applications you add for entertainment that are not related to your business should be moved to a secondary tab that admins can rename to make navigation easier. Also, some apps may also need to be moved to secondary tabs because it requires a display width that exceeds what is available in the far left-hand column in the new layout.
  • Focus on Facebook Content: The recent changes also means you should start adding fresh content and updates to your Facebook Business Page on a regular basis, now that you can blast your updates and status to the homepage news feed of your fans.

Keep in mind that a user can simply click a little X beside your update in their news feed to hide all future news updates about you. While it’s nice to have your brand and updates mentioned in news feeds, Facebook users are less likely to keep receiving your Wall feed if your updates start to outnumber friend updates.

When you update your Facebook Business Page you'll need to find a good balance between getting your business message across to your Facebook fans without "commercially spamming" them. Keep the updates light and useful rather than advertising-heavy.

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