Once again, Facebook page changes are in the testing phase (or early stages of a rollout—they’re not saying which) a new layout for business pages that could impact your social presence.
In typical Facebook fashion, the new Facebook page changes feel a bit like social media behemoth is borrowing the best of other platforms and incorporating them to make Facebook a one-stop shop. Search (Google), reviews/local (Yelp), real time search (Twitter), mobile first … But we suppose when you make $5 billion a quarter you can do what you want.
At the time of writing, some of us here at LSB see the new layout when we look at brand pages, others don’t. Here’s what to look out for if the changes roll out platform-wide:
Call to action button
The call to action button has changed from white to blue, and now lives just under the cover photo. These changes help the CTA button pop more, and may make it easier for the customer to take action.
For a little bit of background, CTA buttons for Facebook pages were announced at the end of 2014. Options included Shop Now, Contact Us, Book Now and Watch Video. The buttons were intended to make it easier for brands to boost customer acquisition or drive purchase, but in our experience, they’ve been fairly underutilized.
That fact isn’t surprising, given that CTA buttons are generally far less effective than paid campaigns aimed at specific conversion goals. We’ll be interested to see whether this new placement will improve the performance of Facebook page CTAs.
The change to the call-to-action is really a nod to one of the biggest problems for social media marketers: It’s traditionally been hard to prove ROI on social media. Providing the opportunity to get people to actually shop from social could be Facebook’s nod to helping marketers more explicitly demonstrate their effectiveness and impact on the bottom line.
The layout now features more white space and the cover photo and profile picture are separated. This layout change may give more flexibility when designing a cover photo—though this is the final death knell to those playful integrated profile pic and cover photo layouts.
The left side of the new page layout features a sticky menu, which means your profile picture and tabs will stay on the page even when you scroll. The right side features the about box, page videos, custom tabs icons, and current events. The middle column includes cover image, week insights, then timeline posts. On mobile the tabs are listed across the top for ease of navigation and increased visibility.
A search feature appears on the right-hand column and allows users to search content specific to a brand’s page. Instead of scrolling for ages to find an old post, the search button is now clearly visible. The search feature allows you to search and index your own content as well check out what competitors have posted in the past.
The new search feature provides historical insight around topics, events or products. Search results are also improving and expanding to include posts from potential influencers. Predicted search is improving to identify search items and connect users with with real-time events happening across the globe.
When viewing a page with the new layout, ads from other brands will no longer be featured on the right-hand side as before. This change is early, so ads may be added down the road, but at the moment, there are no ads featured on the new business pages.
With advertising seeing the highest click-through rates in the newsfeed, where users spend a majority of their time, it’s no surprise right-hand column ad units are no longer featured.
The overall look of the layout is much cleaner, with more of a focus on accessibility for the user. Hopefully, this will not only allow your audience to click around quicker, but also lead them to your call-to-action buttons. The design is cleaner on desktop, but most importantly, it’s cleaner on mobile, where there are 989 million monthly active users.
The bottom line on Facebook page changes
Keep in mind new Facebook releases take time. While your co-worker may have access to the new look, you may not. Don’t freak out.
Be patient and study up on how these features may affect your brand page … or just give us a call and we can help you figure it out.
The LSB Social Team