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Doing it by the ‘Book

Marketers are used to feeling out of control these days, so Facebook’s recent announcements should be water off a duck’s back.

If you’re using Facebook as part of your marketing mix you will need to relearn how to use the platform following its announcements this week.

The good news: you’ve got about a month to prepare your new Facebook presence. The bad news: both tactical and aesthetic changes are required, so you might want to get cracking...

The new pages look a lot like the personal Timeline pages rolled out recently, so anyone used to them will be at an advantage. You’ll need to think of an attractive cover image that works in the space provided, and you’ll need to decide what you want people to see as they travel back in time through your history. Adding in milestones (filling in gaps) from the past is a good idea.

Ultimately, after the hassle of setting up the new page is over, you have a more flexible space in which to communicate what’s unique about your proposition.

Another key feature of the ‘new Facebook’ is that everyone directed to your Facebook presence is going to see the same thing; your ‘homepage’. Tabs and multiple page options are no longer really an option. This means whatever appears at the top of your Timeline requires careful consideration. This is perhaps best seen as both a challenge and an opportunity. A new feature allowing marketers to pin content to the top of their pages is likely to become a favourite.

On its detail-light introduction page, Facebook also highlights that you’re now able to ‘See and respond to your recent activity and private messages right from the top of your Page.’ The word ‘private’ is the most interesting part of that sentence, as marketers have finally been given the ability to reply directly to people interacting with their brand. You may need to pen a new paragraph in your ‘Social Media Rules of Engagement’ document to cover this.

These are arguably the three most significant changes. There are a few other things you may need to get your head around, but paying a bit of attention to this trinity should serve as a good start.

In truth, the changes aren’t that scary. They represent an opportunity to personalise your presence on Facebook, which should mean you’re better able to express your brand’s proposition. Facebook has made these changes to reaffirm its importance in the marketing landscape, after all.

How do you feel about the changes? Are you seeing new opportunities or merely an expanding to-do list? It is likely marketers leaning towards the former are going to be better positioned to make the most of the next era of Facebook marketing. Everyone likes a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Is now a good time to talk about Facebook’s new advertising proposition..?