Travel companies on Facebook will have to rethink their Pages’ interactivity, “look” and navigation as Facebook announced that improvements – or changes, that is — will be coming to corporate Pages by March 30.
Over the past few months, individual Facebook users have dealt with the introduction of the Facebook Timeline as the default format for their profiles, and now the new Facebook Pages for businesses and organizations similarly Timeline treatment.
Each Page gets a large primary or cover photo — 851 x 315 pixels is recommended — along with a new and smaller profile pic.
Facebook suggests that logos be used as the new profile image. This image, which will be 180 x 180 pixels on the company Page, will be reduced to 32 x 32 pixels and will appear with status updates in the news feed and also next to Facebook search results.
Companies can already get started on creating a new Page here¬†¬†or they can wait until March 30 when the Pages upgrades automatically kick in.
Here’s how American Express handled the new cover photo and profile image:
You’ll notice there is a new About section just under the American Express logo on its new Facebook Page, with information culled from the information tab, but editable, as well. And, to the right of the About section is a “Views and apps” navigation area, giving companies the opportunity to highlight and let users navigate to their Pages’ most important features, such as photos, “likes” or various apps.
You can appreciate how broad the changes are to Facebook Pages if you view Best Western’s Facebook Page, which is using the soon-to-be-retired format.
In addition to new opportunities to improve the company image with knockout photos, under the hood of the new Pages, administrators will get several new options which may be of particular interest to travel companies.
Administrators will be able to turn on the ability to let their fans send private messages to the company, which can respond to them privately, as well, notes PC Magazine.
This is a new capability for Facebook Pages and may give travel companies the ability to use their Pages as customer-service vehicles, just as many are now doing on Twitter.
This change triggers the prospect that corporate marketing and customer service departments may find themselves dedicating more employees to Facebook operations.
Perhaps a broader demographic of customers would contact companies with customer service issues on Facebook than already do on the more-geeky Twitter.
PC Magazine says Page administrators can view a new dashboard with more performance metrics and the ability to readily respond to fans who have posted comments on Page Timelines.
The new company Pages also get more social with a Friend activity area, which will highlight how friends have interacted with — visited, liked or tagged — the corporate Facebook Page.
Here’s an interactive overview from Facebook outlining the main changes to Facebook Pages.
So just when you thought your company Facebook Page was all set — it’s time to start honing your message and begin retooling.