If you run a Facebook Page – and most hotels nowadays do – you may have been asked to upgrade to the new page layout when logging into the admin view.
Taking the tour may have given you a few ideas but what really is this upgrade about and what does it mean for you in terms of online marketing?
1. Your Facebook page becomes a profile
First of all, the overall page layout has changed making it look more like a Facebook profile. Facebook is now allowing features that users have enjoyed on their profile pages before.
You can comment and interact with other pages as hotel rather than yourself.
‘Likes’ and comments on your Facebook page will be displayed in the notifications bar, allowing you to manage them and react instantly. Email notification on page activities can also be activated.
If you are an administrator of your hotel’s Facebook page you can now choose to use ‘Facebook as page’.
While this is necessary to be able to interact as hotel page rather than yourself, it also bears a huge danger in case you don’t remember to switch back. It is easy to imagine someone forgetting and commenting on a friend’s wall in the name of your hotel.
2. The layout changes, too
Please, click on the image to enlarge:
The most important change to the page layout is the disappearance of navigation tabs.
Instead, if a user wants to explore the contents of your page, they will have to follow the left-hand side links, just like on a profile page.
In my opinion, the larger blue tabs above the page content were much more prominent. While this change may make sense for frequent Facebook users, others might be in danger to miss the left-hand side links and this may disrupt traffic to some areas of your Facebook page.
The navigation tabs have been replaced by an image banner at the top of your hotel page just like on profile pages. The banner displays pictures from your albums. Note that these seem to appear in random order. However, images can be removed from the banner as well as reinstalled.
Rather useful is the new featured ‘Likes’ function which can be accessed via ‘Edit Page’ > ‘Featured’. Tick the ‘Likes’ you would like to appear when a user opens up your page. That way you could promote associated partner pages or simply just control your hotel’s image.
In an effort to make wall posts more relevant, Facebook now doesn’t seem to be ordering them chronologically anymore. Instead the ‘most interesting’ posts are listed at the top.
How Facebook decides what qualifies as ‘most interesting’ is unclear but most likely the deciding factor would be interaction. This means, it becomes more difficult for marketers to manage wall posts. For example, if you receive a negative comment on your Facebook page, followed by a longer interaction, this post could jump to the top of your stream.
Whether you decide to upgrade your Facebook Page now – and some of the above speaks against this – it is most likely that at some point you will have to. Just like with profiles, Facebook normally doesn’t roll changes back.
However, you could – and probably should – wait with the upgrade until bugs have been fixed and marketers have had a chance to give Facebook feedback on features that aren’t beneficial, such as the new order of wall posts.
1st March 2011: Facebook just announced that the pages upgrade will become effective for all pages on 10th March 2011.
1. Be sure you want to upgrade your Facebook Page before hitting the button as the upgrade can’t be turned back!
2. Make it your routine to switch back to your profile when leaving your (hotel’s front) office.
3. Make sure you manage the left-hand side links and keep the most important ones clearly visible. For example, if you feature an online booking form on your Facebook page – such as Hotel Facebooker – this should be among the top 3 links.
4. Always think of your hotel’s Facebook Page like of your hotel’s lobby!