Facebook's annual developer conference took place today and if you missed it, Mark Zuckerberg announced a big ol' overhaul coming very soon to profiles (you may have noticed our "quick & dirty f8 highlights" on Facebook today). And of course, all this happens around the same time Google+ opens its social network doors to everyone (oh the drama).
Check out the Google+esque, feel-good video introducing the soon-to-be-launched Facebook profile layouts, called Timeline.
The big announcements today (ie Timeline) had more to do with Facebook profiles (which are designed for individuals, not companies, brands, or organizations), but as we've seen in the past Facebook has been known to imitate profile layouts and features on pages. So it's safe to assume that Facebook pages are in for some ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges. In fact, a few small ones have already been rolled out. Have you spotted them yet?
Although sharing isn't new (when someone reposts a link, photo, etc. on their own profile for their friends to see), the ability to see how many people shared something is. You may have seen this "View Shares" link below a post recently:
Likes and comments have been great engagement measurement tools so far, and this new feature is another fantastic way to see what people are saying about your business on Facebook. So don't ignore that little button!
Many people have been speculating that today's announcements mean the "like" button will have less power in the future, which could be a challenge for marketers. Could the addition of the "View Shares" feature also be hinting at this?
Usernames for New Pages
Waaay back in the day, a Facebook page had to have 1000 fans to qualify for a vanity URL or username like this:
Then it was dropped to 100 fans, and then 25 likes. Now there isn't a minimum for new pages. So if your business name is available the day you set up your page, you can claim it! You can access this setting through the back end of your Facebook page (click edit page) or by going to facebook.com/username. But as of right now, these usernames cannot be changed. So if you make a typo, choose something inappropriate, etc. you're stuck with it. So choose wisely!
Updates No More
Facebook pages have been able to send out "updates" to everyone who likes the page, which appear a lot like messages. However, this functionality is getting the boot as of September 30th.
What does this mean exactly? Basically that you should get used to sharing information by posting it on your page's wall (which has always been the more effective method anyway). There are new tools like post targeting or geo-targeted sharing that can make your posts more effective now though!
So what do you think about the latest changes to Facebook pages? Or the just-announced changes to Facebook profiles? How do you think it will affect the way you use Facebook (for both business and pleasure)?
Still a little fuzzy on all these changes or want some advice on setting a username for your business's Facebook page? Need some help reaching your market on Facebook, Twitter, or another social network? We can help! Better Mousetrap is a full-service marketing firm serving clients in Courtenay, Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, and the Mainland. Contact us today to learn more about our social networking packages or consulting services.