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It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago, only a handful of people were using online social networks. Back then, most brands and companies saw no value in using them as part of their marketing strategy, let alone dedicating a full-time position to social media marketing. But today, social media is king. Over 600 billion people worldwide are on Facebook, and four out of five Americans have a Facebook profile. These statistics don’t even take into account the millions who are on other social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and MySpace.
As Facebook has become an important tool in brand promotion, it has continually tried to update and improve its services to help marketers better connect with their customers and promote their products and services. So, it comes as no surprise that the company recently made some major changes to Facebook Pages. The previous Page features were fairly limited, but allowed companies to blast messages and communicate with followers. Now, Facebook has added new features that allow even more freedom for brands to interact with the public in the online social space.
The first change is the way Pages look. As a Page admin, when you upgrade your Page, it looks and feels more like a personal Facebook page. Photos are featured at the top and navigation links are in the left-hand column, under the main profile picture. For admins and visitors, this makes the user experience more cohesive across Facebook, which is nice. And the new photo feature forces brands to focus on providing more content than a few updates here and there–they have to start monitoring the images on their page and managing them for maximum effect.
Previously, you could only act as a Page admin when you were on the Page for which you were an admin. That has changed. You can now move around Facebook as your Page identity. For example, if you run a page for your jewelry website, you can now navigate around Facebook, commenting on and liking other Facebook pages dedicated to fashion and accessories. In that way, you can actually interact and build relationships with other brands, companies, and organizations through your brand name, connecting other brands directly to yours. This could be a great tool for networking with other brands and businesses for mutual benefit.
A natural extension of the ability to use your Page identity on Facebook is the addition of a Page Wall. It’s similar to your personal wall and it’s a place where brand managers can follow the news and updates of the Pages they have liked. So not only do the new tools allow for better interaction, but they give an easier way to stay in touch with your brand’s connections.