What We’ve Learned About the New Facebook Pages

FacebookThe dust is finally settling on the Facebook pages for companies and organizations.  The new pages were supposed to go live March 11, but the transition seemed to take a few weeks.  Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the new Facebook pages:

  • Status updates (aka What’s on your mind?) are definitely posting to the organization’s Wall and showing up on fans’ streams. Fans can indicate if they like a post, they can comment, and they can share the update.
  • Only native Facebook applications are showing up on fan’s streams. In the past, we brought in photos and videos from Flickr and YouTube via RSS.  You can still do this today, but these updates do NOT show up in fan’s streams.  For example, if you want your fans to know that you posted a new photo album, you have to use the native Facebook application.
  • Sending an update to fans does NOT trigger an e-mail. Instead, these updates show up in fan’s Inboxes, in the Updates tab.  These updates also exist in View Updates in the left navigation of the company pages, but only if you click More.  It took us forever to figure this out and I’m convinced that nobody is reading our updates because they have no idea these updates exist.

  • Suggest to Friends sends a personal e-mail from your personal Facebook page. A company can’t actually send invitations to fans to people who are NOT fans, but individuals can send a recommendation to their friends.
  • Where Facebook pages used to be fairly static pages, they are becoming more like blogs and Twitter.  Companies need to have a content strategy that covers what and when to post.
  • It is darn near impossible to figure out your company’s Facebook page address. As near as we can tell, the addresses use this syntax: http://www.facebook.com/pages/company-name/number/.  For example, the Matrix Group Facebook page address is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matrix-Group-International-Inc/48658676723 Keep clicking on the profile link and the logo, remove extraneous referrer codes to figure out your Facebook page URL, and keep trying until you figure it out.

Here is more information about the new Facebook pages direct from Facebook.  How about you?  What has been your experience with the new Facebook pages?

8 thoughts on “What We’ve Learned About the New Facebook Pages

  1. I have a message in to FB asking them to add the comment and “like” options to fan posts on a company’s page wall. The omission of this functionality is a significant impediment to fans (i.e., customers/clients/leads) being able to dialogue easily on the page wall, but worse, it prohibits the company from being able to answer questions that fans post to the wall. The only way for a company to answer a posted question – or respond to a posted comment – on its wall right now is via status update, which is awkward to say the least. The only place on a company wall where the comment and “like” options are available currently are on the company’s own posts and on photos and links that are posted. This is a serious deficiency that I hope FB will fix soon!

    Additionally, the update process that you describe above – which does not generate an email to each fan’s FB inbox – is less than optimal, as you pointed out.

    But in general the FB company page has the potential to be a very dynamic forum for interacting with customers/clients and potential customers/clients.

    Also, a footnote to your last point about Facebook page addresses… check this out:

    http://www.facebook.com/lancearmstrong

    Ditto, just as a sidebar, http://www.facebook.com/ashtonkutcher

    So there is some discriminating – or perhaps I should say favoritism – going on!

    Thanks as always for interesting & valuable info/insights.

  2. Thanks for your comment! You are right, that is a huge omission!

    I love the new Facebook pages because it means that companies and brands get to interact with their fans in a more dynamic way. The old pages were just way too static. I have confidence the pages will get better.

    Re: your last point about the URLs, here is a post on the Facebook forums about vanity URLs. It seems only companies and orgs that have “partnered” with Facebook get to have them.
    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6802152230&topic=4976

  3. Re: FB vanity URLs, ahhh. You’re good ;-)

    Wanted to add one thing, which is that I realize there is an air of delusion about the statement, “I have a message in to Facebook.” However, sometime back I got hooked up with a dedicated FB support person when my account was temporarily suspended because I had registered as “Stefanie at Brown Estate,” which they eventually determined to be a “fake” name. After going back and forth with FB support for several weeks to prove that there is a “real” me & get them to reinstate my account, I connected with a person there who I realized actually was reading (albeit on a delayed basis, understandably) my communiques. So now I do have the illusion (not the delusion!) that I can whisper in FB’s ear and be heard :-)

  4. Thanks for outlining the changes; it’s very helpful.

    Out of curiosity, what does the Matrix Group see as the greatest benefit of its Facebook page? I mean, how does Fb enable your organization to communicate that’s different than, say, Twitter or the blog?

  5. Hi Katie. You ask a good question about our Facebook page. We have tried hard to create a different user experience for our followers on the blog, Twitter and Facebook. While there is a lot of overlap in followers, our Facebook audience is different.

    We see our Facebook page as the place where fans get a more intimate look at what’s happening at Matrix Group. We post events, photos from around the office, blog posts, etc. For example, you get a different feeling from the photos uploaded on Facebook than photos on our Flickr feed. And yes, our FB page repeats some stuff from the blog, but the blog is all about commentary on what’s happening around the Web. Facebook is for what’s happening at Matrix Group. Hope that makes sense.

    BTW, like most organizations, we get tripped up by staff and time constraints and we can’t populate our pages as regularly as we would like, but we do have a strategy and it seems to be working well for us. Good luck! And thanks for the comments. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Hi Joanna

    I have read the forum comments at the link you posted above on FaceBook for Vanity URL’s. It looks like there is alot of debate and confusion, including me! So are businesses able to get a Vanity URL and individuals can not ? Is that the problem? Or are businesses also locked out, meaning that no-one can get a Vanity URL at the moment??

    Cheers
    Francesca

  7. Pingback: Getting Started with a Facebook Page For Your Organization – Part 1 | The MatriX Files

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