Watch, learn and move on: how to respond to Facebook updates

A minor tweak in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm or the way insights can be used by businesses can impact travel brands. Ritesh Gupta investigates

When the social networking giant recently chose to introduce a streamlined look for Facebook business pages, there was a predictable flurry of analysis.

But what does it actually mean:

·        One of the highlights is the updated page timeline design. Earlier posts by a brand were shown in two columns. But now this content is displayed in a one-column format, on the right side of business pages. The other column, on the left-side, features information about a business. Scroll down and it shows other apps (Pinterest, Twitter and so on), photos and videos in chronological order.

·        The Facebook team has attempted to simplify navigation about alerts and insights. Alerts pertain to ‘likes’ and comments on the page. Insights are largely an assessment of the overall reach and the engagement rate.

·        Within the ‘insights’ section, the team has opened up a ‘pages to watch’ feature. So brands can compare the performance of their respective pages and posts with similar pages on Facebook.

 New design

Old design

Achmad Alkatiri, senior community strategist and social product manager at travel search engine, highlights three specific issues that travel brands should take note of in the new look.

1.   A more noticeable profile: The ‘about’ section in the page is becoming a stand out feature. “Marketers should use this space with a killer one line sentence about their brand,” recommends Alkatiri.

2.   Less distraction: For Alkatiri what seems to be a possible rethink of the commercial tone. “I haven’t confirmed it with Facebook, but it seems like they’re removing the Right Hand Side (RHS) ads on each page timeline, which is really good since users who visit one page will focus on the timeline contents and have no distraction at all,” he says.

3.   Better font, better display: The updated font on the page is an improvement. “Actually they just updated all the newsfeed with this font and it looks much better,” he says.

Any change on a business page requires a brand to revisit its overall creative strategy. But Alkatiri argues the latest update doesn’t call for any major change. “I don’t think much adjustment is needed, since all the creatives/ graphics on the page (covers, profile pictures, app thumbnails) still use the same size as previous design,” he says.

Undoubtedly, changes on Facebook, which may require a shift in budgets or reconsideration of organic reach, will continue. But for seasoned marketers, who regularly test and improvise to achieve better results, this is nothing new.

To sum it up Lucas Schumacher, Fairmont’s regional online marketing manager says: “Continual education and study as well as trial and error is a way to improve upon posts and campaigns.”

At Fairmont, there have been instances where the team shares what it believes to be engaging and interesting content, but it simply falls flat. “So one learns and moves on,” he says.

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