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Facebook platform changes


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Great summary of the facebook platform changes by our digital/social guru Morgan Brown.

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Facebook platform changes

  1. 1. Facebook Platform Changes Overview         Executive Summary       F   acebook  recently  announced  wide-­‐ranging  changes  to  the  way  brands  and  marketers  use  the   platform  to  reach,  connect  and  engage  with  fans.  The  changes  have  important  implications   for  your  existing  Facebook  presence  and  planned  initiatives.  This  document  reviews  the   changes  and  what  they  mean  for  you.       Our  Take     Three  critical  changes–timeline,  custom  tabs,  and  premium  ads–fundamentally  change  the  way  we   think  when  it  comes  to  marketing  on  Facebook.    With  these  changes  Facebook  has  placed  a   premium  on  creating  content  that  engages  and  connects  with  users.  Video  and  imagery   dominate  the  new  timeline  layout,  and  brands  that  can  create  a  powerful  experience  through  this   content  will  see  the  biggest  gains  from  these  changes.  Brands  that  cannot,  or  choose  not  to,  create   compelling  content  will  be  unable  to  use  the  marketing  tactics  that  worked  in  the  past  to  drive  fan   growth  –  specifically  “welcome  pages”  with  Like  blocks  that  require  fans  to  like  a  page  before   accessing  it.     These  new  features  are  available  now  and  all  pages  will  be  migrated  to  timeline  automatically  by   March  31st.  If  you  have  any  questions  about  the  changes  or  how  you  can  best  leverage  them,  please   don’t  hesitate  to  contact  Morgan  at       Critical Updates in Brief   Timeline  –  The  standard  Facebook  page  design  is  being  deprecated  and  replaced  with  timeline,  a   new  format  for  brand  pages.  Timeline,  currently  visible  on  user  profiles  and  select  brand  pages,  is   available  now  and  will  be  implemented  on  all  pages  by  March  31st.  This  new  format  creates  new   content  and  creative  needs,  and  provides  new  tools  for  messaging  and  marketing.     Custom  Applications  –  Custom  applications,  a  staple  of  Facebook  marketing,  can  no  longer  be   selected  as  the  primary  landing  page  for  new  fans.  This  means  “Welcome”  tabs  that  ask  users  to   “Like”  a  page  for  access  will  become  obsolete.  This  will  change  the  strategy  of  fan  acquisition   completely.  In  addition,  custom  tabs  are  increasing  in  width,  to  810  pixels,  providing  greater  real   estate  for  developing  custom  applications.     Premium  Ads  –  New  Facebook  ads  use  content  posted  to  your  wall  as  the  basis  for  ad  units.  This   means  that  content  you  create  to  communicate  with  your  fans  can  be  amplified  to  increase   visibility  and  reach  via  ad  spend.  Advertisers  will  be  able  to  pay  to  ensure  particular  posts  appear   in  all  fans’  News  feeds;  a  welcome  new  way  to  propagate  messages  and  ensure  visibility  of   updates.     The  rest  of  this  document  expands  on  these  changes  and  includes  points  to  consider  when   evaluating  their  impact  on  your  program. 15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  2. 2. Facebook Platform Changes Overview         Introducing Timeline   Facebook’s  timeline  layout  has  been  available  for  user  profiles  since  last  year  and  is  now  available   for  pages.  All  pages  will  be  transitioned  to  the  new  design  by  March  31st.    The  timeline  view  is   significantly  different  from  the  current  page  design.  It’s  not  hard  to  notice  the  radical  difference   when  compared  to  the  current  page  layout.     Current  Page         15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  3. 3. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     Timeline  Page         Here’s  a  quick  tour  of  important  new  timeline  page  elements:     Cover  photo     The  cover  photo  is  a  visually  stunning  element  of  the  timeline  layout.  Use  it  to  showcase  your   company,  product  or  brand.  The  cover  photo  should  be  updated  regularly  to  maintain  a  fresh,   visual  appeal  for  visitors  to  the  page.         RedBull’s cover art 15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  4. 4. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     Facebook  prohibits  the  use  of  marketing  messages  in  the  cover  photo.  Text  that  says  things  such   as  “Like  this  page  now!”  or  “Save  40%  at  our  bi-­‐annual  sale.”  are  against  Facebook  Terms  of  Use.       Here  are  a  few  examples  of  pages  using  timeline  for  ideas  on  the  types  of  images  that  work  best  for   the  cover  photo.     Profile  image     The  profile  image  has  changed  as  well.  Previously,  the  profile  image  size  was  malleable  and  could   be  used  to  promote  marketing  initiatives.  Now  the  profile  image  is  a  fixed  size.  Facebook   recommends  that  the  profile  image  be  your  logo,  and  that  the  image  remain  the  same  so  that   people  can  identify  updates  from  your  brand  easily  in  the  Facebook  News  Feed.       Tiffany’s Profile Image     Tab  bar     With  the  new  page  layout  tabs  have  been  moved  to  below  the  cover  photo  in  the  upper  right-­‐hand   corner  of  the  timeline.  Only  four  applications  can  be  featured  at  any  one  time.  The  first  is  always   Photos.  The  other  applications  can  be  displayed  in  the  order  specified  by  the  page  administrator.   Application  icons  are  also  new  and  can  be  set  for  each  tab.       If  your  page  has  more  than  three  custom  applications  they  will  appear  under  an  additional  drop   down  to  the  right  of  the  featured  applications.   15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  5. 5. Facebook Platform Changes Overview         The Application Bar     Timeline     The  timeline  itself  is  how  content  is  displayed  on  your  page.  The  timeline  shows  content  in  reverse   chronological  order,  with  most  recent  activity  immediately  below  the  page  header/composer  area.   Previous  posts  made  to  Facebook  will  automatically  be  added  to  the  timeline.  Posts  appear  on  the   left  and  the  right-­‐hand  side  of  timeline,  as  decided  by  Facebook.     Items  pre-­‐dating  your  first  activity  on  Facebook  can  be  added  to  your  timeline  to  provide  a  richer   experience  and  understanding  about  your  company  for  visitors.  Coca-­‐Cola  and  Barack  Obama’s   page  both  make  clever  use  of  this  new  capability.       15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  6. 6. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     Composer     The  Composer  is  where  you  post  content  to  your  timeline.  It  retains  the  standard  posting  options,   and  adds  one  new  option:  Milestone.  Milestones  are  important  events  in  your  company  history;   such  as  the  day  the  company  was  founded,  dates  key  products  were  introduced  or  dates  of  key   decisions  that  materially  impacted  the  company.       Starred  posts     While  most  posts  appear  on  one  side  of  the  timeline,  page  administrators  can  star  a  post  to  give  it   greater  visual  prominence.  A  starred  post  expands  across  the  entire  width  of  the  timeline,  creating   a  powerful  call  out  among  the  regular  status  updates.  Posts  can  be  starred  and  un-­‐starred  at  any   time.     Here  is  an  example  of  a  starred  post:         To  star  a  post,  simply  click  the  pen  icon  next  to  the  original  post  to  access  the  drop  down  menu  of   post  options.  Select  “Star  Post”  and  the  post  will  automatically  be  resized  across  the  page.   15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  7. 7. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     Pinned  posts     Page  administrators  can  now  pin  posts.  Pinned  posts  appear  at  the  top  of  the  timeline  for  seven   days.  Only  one  post  can  be  pinned  at  a  time.  This  post  will  remain  at  the  top  of  the  page  even  while   newer  content  is  being  added  to  the  page.  After  seven  days  the  post  will  appear  on  the  timeline  in   chronological  order  based  on  the  date  it  was  originally  published.     Here  is  an  example  of  a  pinned  post.  They  can  be  identified  by  the  orange  banner  on  the  post.           To  pin  a  post,  simply  click  on  the  pen  icon  next  to  the  original  post.  From  the  drop  down  menu   choose  “Pin  post.”   15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  8. 8. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     Friend  activity     Your  connections  to  the  page  through  your  friends  will  be  more  prominent  with  the  new  timeline   view  of  friend’s  activity.  If  you  have  a  friend  who  likes  that  page  and  has  made  a  comment  on  the   page,  that  activity  will  appear  at  the  top  right  of  the  page.           That  is  timeline.  It’s  a  radical  departure  from  the  previous  page  design.         Things to Think About: • What artwork will you use for your cover art? • What company facts and milestones will you populate your timeline with? • What types of content will you star or pin? • What additional custom application pages are needed to fill in gaps caused by timeline?       15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  9. 9. Facebook Platform Changes Overview         Custom Applications   Custom  applications  are  undergoing  significant  changes  as  well.  The  two  major  changes  are  the   size  of  the  tabs  and  their  visibility.  These  two  changes  will  impact  existing  tabs  and  popular  fan   acquisition  strategy.       Existing  Applications     New  application  pages  have  increased  in  size  to  810  pixels.  This  is  nearly  40%  wider  than  existing   page  designs.  This  increased  real  estate  will  allow  your  applications  to  use  a  larger  space  to   engage  with  your  fans.  Existing  applications  will  be  centered  in  this  new  layout,  which  may   present  a  sub-­‐optimal  user  experience.           Tiffany’s old Welcome page is broken and narrow on the new page layout.      Things to Think About • Do you have existing applications that need to be rewritten or resized to fit the new page size? 15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  10. 10. Facebook Platform Changes Overview       Welcome Tabs & Like Blocks   Page  administrators  will  no  longer  be  able  to  specify  the  default  landing  page  that  non-­‐fans  first   view  when  arriving  at  a  page.  This  is  a  significant  change  that  effectively  eliminates  the  very   popular  “Welcome  page  /  like  block”  strategy  as  a  way  to  gain  fans.       For  those  not  familiar  with  this  strategy,  it  worked  like  this:  non-­‐fans  were  directed  to  a  branded   landing  tab  on  the  brand’s  Facebook  page.  The  welcome  page  tantalized  users  with  content,   specials  or  other  incentives.  In  exchange  for  accessing  the  incentives  users  had  to  ‘like’  the  page.   These  pages  drove  fan  growth  number  by  funneling  new  people  through  the  ‘Like’  process  prior  to   accessing  the  brand’s  wall  and  content  updates.  This  strategy  was  nearly  universal  among  brands   and  is  now  obsolete.     Typical  Welcome/Like  block  page:       15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  11. 11. Facebook Platform Changes Overview     This  is  a  significant  change  that  eliminates  the  ’Like  block’  strategy  for  gaining  fans  through  a   gated  welcome  page.    Welcome  pages  will  lose  relevance,  as  all  users  will  automatically  land  on   the  timeline  view.        Things to think about: • Do you have existing welcome tabs that may be impacted by this change? • Can they be updated to be more informational and featured in the new timeline layout? • Should they be sunsetted? • Do you have custom application pages to tell the most important parts of your business story?         Premium Ads   Ahead  of  Facebook’s  IPO  the  company  has  focused  on  maximizing  revenue  through  advertising.   One  out  of  every  four  ad  impressions  served  on  the  Web  is  served  on  Facebook1;  but  Facebook  ad   performance  has  been  typically  poor.  In  response,  Facebook  is  launching  a  series  of  new  ad  units   that  are  designed  to  be  more  social,  more  engaging  and  appear  in  more  places  –  like  your  news   feed  and  Facebook  mobile.     How  the  Ads  Work     Facebook  Premium  ads  take  existing  posted  content  and  turn  them  into  an  ad  unit  that  reaches   more  fans  and  a  larger  audience  on  the  site.  The  new  ad  units  let  brands  take  content  created  for   their  page  and  amplify  it  through  ad  units  that  push  that  status  update  or  content  to  a  broader   audience.       To  create  a  new  ad,  brands  simply  create  a  page  post  and  then  turn  it  into  an  ad  via  the  Facebook   ad  manager.  Supported  content  types  include:     • Photo  posts   • Video   • Question/Polls   • Status  updates   • Event  invitations   • Links                                                                                                                     1   15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  12. 12. Facebook Platform Changes Overview       New  Sponsored  Ad  Units       New Premium Ad Units       These  ads  differ  from  existing  ad  units  by:     • Larger  visual  foot  print   • More  social  for  friends  of  fans   • More  engagement  points  per  ad  –  users  can  like  and  comment  directly  from  ad  unit.     Why  This  Matters     This  is  big  news  for  brands  that  are  looking  to  reach  more  of  their  target  audience,  and  their  fans   on  Facebook.  Right  now,  only  16%  of  fans  see  a  typical  daily  status  update.  By  turning  posted   content  into  an  ad,  brands  can  reach  3  –  5  times  as  many  fans2.       The  new  ads  are  reported  by  Facebook  to  deliver:     • 40%  increase  in  engagement  rate   • 80%  more  likely  to  be  remembered   • 16%  increase  in  fan  rate     At  Oak  Creek  Trail,  we’ve  been  experimenting  with  social  content  ad  units  and  have  seen  increase   in  click  through  rate  (CTR)  on  the  order  of  40  –  100%.    We  believe,  that  this  new,  larger  ad  unit   will  drive  significant  increases  in  performance  of  Facebook  advertising  campaigns.                                                                                                                   2  Facebook  Premium  Ad  Overview  presentation   15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.    
  13. 13. Facebook Platform Changes Overview         Things to Think About • Could larger, more social ad units make Facebook ads relevant for your business? • Is your target audience on Facebook? Could you reach a niche audience on Facebook? • Are you creating content that could be made into ads to reach a broader audience?             Conclusion     The  recent  changes  to  the  Facebook  platform  have  a  wide-­‐ranging  and  material  impact  on  how   brands  connect  and  engage  with  users  on  the  social  network.  With  the  new  timeline  design  and   social  ad  units,  Facebook  has  made  content  the  clear  priority.  High  quality  video,  imagery  and  text   content  will  create  a  powerful  brand  representation  on  Facebook.  Brands  without  these  assets  will   have  a  timeline  that  fails  to  create  significant  fan  engagement  or  interest.       The  new  application  pages  and  bar  will  provide  greater  visibility  to  existing  applications  and  allow   brands  to  create  calls  to  action  for  users  to  explore  the  applications.  However,  popular  like-­‐ building  tactics  such  as  gated  Welcome  pages  have  been  relegated  to  obsolescence.  Brands  will   need  to  create  application  pages  that  provide  valuable  content  and  experiences,  rather  than   simply  building  landing  pages  that  drive  likes.     These  changes  usher  in  a  new  era  of  paid  awareness  on  Facebook.  Brands  can  now  buy  access  to  a   wider  range  of  audience  members,  and  amplify  the  visibility  of  their  status  updates  with  new   social  ad  units.  Combined  with  advanced  targeting,  these  social  ad  units  will  make  Facebook  ads   more  effective  and  more  relevant  to  a  wider  range  of  advertisers.     The  one  thing  that  remains  constant  with  Facebook  is  that  they  will  continue  to  change  and   innovate.  It  is  incumbent  upon  brands  to  recognize  this  reality  and  be  prepared  to  adjust  strategy   and  execution  as  necessary  to  find  continued  success  on  the  platform.  If  you  would  like  more   information  about  any  of  these  changes,  or  want  to  explore  how  to  leverage  them  to  your   advantage,  please  contact  Morgan  at       15721  Bernardo  Heights  Parkway,  Suite  B-­‐505,  San  Diego,  CA  92128.