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Last year, Facebook rolled out a new design to a fraction of its users but then called it off after users said they hated it. Greg Marra, a product manager with Facebook stated,

“Over the last year we have been taking time and listening to what people think about the redesign with lots of interviews with users to understand what parts were working and what parts were not. Some changes were getting in the way of using Facebook.”

So, Facebook went back to the drawing board and after a year of refining its Pages, the social media network launched a new look. This comes after years of changes and growing pains in its desire to please its business users and serve Facebook’s own business purposes.

Just to be clear, as a social media marketer, none of the changes affect advertising on the site. Over time, there will be updates to the news feed algorithm.

Facebook allows businesses a few ways to get their marketing and product information out to their fans. It’s good business practice to post all pertinent and newsworthy items on your page’s timeline. However, most fans don’t usually click back to review a page after they like it. Thus, the best way to get your marketing message to a fan is through the News Feed, which can be organic or paid.   The new design places less emphasis on tabs by placing them into the “More” box that causes page administrators to find other ways to alert fans what is going on.

new tabs layout on Facebook pages social media marketingTabs have been a popular tool for Facebook social media marketers to create interest in contests and get fans to click on related links such as their website or Instagram feed. Now page admins will have to draw attention to the company’s website, promotions, etc… through News Feed posts and not direct visits to the timeline. Again, tabs will be available, but under the “More” box and without images.

Some social media marketers feel this is a ploy by Facebook to get companies to invest more in advertising. It could be that Facebook designers thought fans would rather engage with a business by seeing content in their News Feed. Like any other platform, it is going to take time and/or money to grow your business.

Another design change is an updated page timeline. The old version contained two columns, but now the right column is the Page’s timeline which displays posts and the left side includes information about the business such as a map, phone number, hours of operation, etc… In the older version, both columns served as the Timeline.

Page admins get new metrics and easy access to information about ads they are running, new likes and unread notifications and messages. The metrics section is located on the far right hand side of the page and has the data you need to keep track of your marketing efforts. Clicking on the This Week section will give you details. Also, at the top of the page is the Build Audience menu that provides direct access to your Ads Manager account.

Facebook rolled out a new Pages to Watch feature in the Page Insights tool for admins, allowing marketers to create a list of Pages similar to the own and keep track of those pages’ performances. This way businesses can compare their own metrics such as engagement and Page Likes to their competitors. On the Overview tab of Page Insights, businesses can see key statistics about Pages they are studying.

Social Media Marketers might need to refresh their creative pictures or photos as the page name and category appear on the cover photo in white text and the profile picture is slightly higher. Cover photos remain the same size. Facebook was looking for a system font and therefore changed content to Helvetica for Macs and Arial for PCs.

What do these changes mean for your social media marketing strategy? Hopefully, as you update your news feed with relevant and interesting posts, your fans will turn into customers. For admins, the new design will make it easier to track metrics such as engagement, likes and messages and help manage your ads. Remember, customer engagement with timely updates and content to draw your fans to your website is your number one priority, regardless of the changes to Facebook’s layout.

Let’s talk about your Facebook Social Media Marketing Page and find out new ways to make your Social Media Marketing on Facebook lead to more engagement, leads and sales for your business.