Facebook Changes – Is Your Business Ready?

If social media was a group of basketball players hanging out at the court, Facebook would be the 1,092,731 foot tall player.  To say Facebook is BIG is about as redundant as saying green is a good color to wear on St. Patty’s Day.  As such a big player, businesses should pay attention to ongoing changes at Facebook.  Rather than stay static, Facebook is always undergoing changes.  Sometimes these changes are tweaks (look, a new way to post a photo!), while other times the changes are more far reaching.  All of them represent opportunities to make sure your business is making the most out of its Facebook promotion and marketing opportunities.

It’s a good idea for businesses to keep up on the latest Facebook changes, at least the big ones.  Over the past few months Facebook completed some larger changes to how Business Pages work.  This provided an opportunity to highlight a few key notes for Facebook business pages as well as these changes…

1)  If your business is on Facebook, make sure it’s under a business page, NOT a personal page. Once upon a time, Facebook did not support business pages.  That meant that businesses and events created personal profiles for these subjects.  People friended the page just like they would a person.  Since Facebook introduced pages for businesses and organizations, they have been clear that all businesses should switch over from personal profiles to business pages.  No one has been erased as of yet, but Facebook could do that at any time.  Once your page is gone…it’s gone, so make sure you’re switched over.  On the positive side, unlike personal profiles, pages support analytics (Facebook insights) and can have unlimited likes.

2) As big as graphic as possible. A common mistake on Facebook business pages is to have a small avatar of your business.  Facebook allows up to 200 x 600 pixels for your business avatar.  That’s room to make sure your name is prominent, a website link is included, and other key information.  Make sure your page is taking advantage of that valuable visual real estate.  There are services available to get you a quick avatar for as low as $25.

3) FBML is going away. FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language.  In non tech geek speak, it allows for deep customization of business pages.  Clickable images, scrunched website display, and other things like that.  FBML was very useful in helping your business page stand out…until recently.  Facebook will no longer support FBML and unless you have it installed as an application on your page already, you can no longer add it.  Instead, Facebook has switched to something called “iframes”.  The easiest way of thinking of Iframes is to imagine them allowing your business to frame a shot of your main business website nested within your Facebook business page.  The effect is rich and interactive, but much more complicated for the average business to spend time working on.