11 March 2014 | Team Tamar

5 ways that Facebook’s page redesign completely misses the point

The team over at Facebook Business have just announced the details of the latest redesign for pages, with a number of major changes to the layout and functionality included.

The changes are apparently designed to make the page more streamlined, allowing users to find what they want to know more quickly and helping admins to monitor the effectiveness of their activities.

You can see a screenshot of the new page design below, which highlights a number of the major changes:

facebook-pages

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s new in the streamlined layout:

  • Your page’s posts are no-longer full width, now occupying the right-hand column of the screen. This echos the most recent layout for personal profiles, and also means a more consistent look-and-feel when it comes to your main Facebook news feed.
  • The left-hand column now contains most of the content that used to occupy the first right-hand chunk of your page – information about your business, how many people ‘like’ it, website URLs etc. As one wag in my timeline summarised “Facebook has moved all the buttons I use from the left to the right
  • Admin tools are summarised in the top-right, hovering next to your cover photo – giving you easier access to stats about your page/content without having to dive into the more detailed admin screen
  • The new ‘Pages to Watch‘ feature (only recently rolled-out to all Facebook pages) has received a thorough redesign, adding a lot of new functionality to this tool

The expansion of the ‘Pages to Watch’ feature is probably the most interesting thing to note from the new design. If you haven’t added any competitor pages to your PTW list yet, I urge you to do so now, in anticipation of this new roll-out.

You can see a screenshot of the feature below, and as you can see Facebook are now presenting you with a lot more insight in to your competitors’ Facebook pages. Details like how many new ‘Likes’ they’ve got in the past week, how many posts, what ‘engagement’ they got and their total ‘Likes’ are now displayed in a handy table.

pages-to-watch

As I alluded in my title for this blog, the ‘Pages to Watch’ feature shows how keen Facebook are for you to compare yourself to your peers – presumably with the aim that you’ll feel inadequate and decide to spend some of your hard-earned cash on promoting your posts or building your audience.

As I’ve discussed a number of times on our blog – particularly in relation to our TouchScoreâ„¢ tool – measuring hard metrics like ‘Likes’ and ‘reach’ is all well and good if you’re keen to measure basic growth – but it doesn’t give you any indication as to how well you’re actually utilising your social community. It also encourages you to ignore a multitude of more useful insight – insights like:

  • Sentiment – what are your audience actually saying about you?
  • Advocacy – do your audience like you more than your competitors?
  • Visibility – how easy is it for your audience to find you?
  • Traffic – how many of your audience are coming to your site?
  • Involvement – what percentage of your audience are truly involved with you?
  • Potential – how big could your audience actually be, in an ideal world?

As well as encouraging users to engage in ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ navel-gazing, the new redesign fails to address a number of other issues that Facebook page owners are stressing-out over these days. Issues such as:

  • Ineffective ads – with reports of Facebook ads suffering from click-fraud and fake fans circulating on a daily basis, why should page owners pay to expose their content when they have no guarantees anybody real is actually seeing it?
  • Search – how can you optimise your page to ensure it comes up in the Facebook search box when people type your brand name in? Search is useless at present!
  • Location Pages – why can’t Facebook make it easier to manage the location pages of brands with multiple (and often global) locations and presences?
  • Visibility – why are sites like Buzzfeed and Viralnova throttling the visibility of smaller pages, despite Facebook’s clear disdain for them?

Obviously it isn’t in Facebook’s interest to bombard you with too many metrics – after all, they are a platform first-and-foremost, not an analytics company. But when you play around with these new features, ask yourself the question – is measuring these simple metrics enough to know how effective my social strategy really is?

And if it isn’t, maybe you should start to investigate more effective tools for social measurement…

Team Tamar