How to Handle Facebook’s Changes


A couple years back, Facebook did an upheaval of its platform and caused quite a ruckus. With the addition of the timeline and cover photo, brands struggled to find their footing on the new playing field.

But now, after working with the new platform for some time, most have a strong grasp on how to succeed with the changes. Until, of course, Facebook decides to change everything again. And they will. You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think Facebook will reinvent itself again. Facebook is a business, just like you.

Even if there’s not a major overhaul in our near future, Facebook is constantly tweaking. Continually transforming the ways companies are able to interact with customers. Whether it is changes to the platform or rules and restrictions, you need to stay on top of your game to succeed in the ever-evolving game known as Facebook.

Here’s how.

Watch the big players

Before Facebook switched brand pages to the new timeline, they gave some national brands early access to the site’s new design. Those brands – which included the likes of Coca-Cola, Red Bull, The Today Show and Ford – gave everyone else ideas on how to do it when they got their turn.

Coca-Cola and Red Bull created stunning cover photos. Coca-Cola was one of the earliest brands to have its cover photo and profile picture play off each other. Ford took the timeline seriously, filling in its history back to 1903. It even included fun facts, such as that the first Model A sold for $850. While you likely won’t be able to do everything their big media departments are able to pull off, they can give you a great jumping-off point.

Watch the news

A couple weeks back, readers of this blog might remember, we gave you a look at what blogs we read to keep up on social media trends. Here’s where doing your homework comes in handy. Keeping tabs on those in the social media know will keep you from being blind-sided by Facebook’s changes. If there’s a change in store, the blogosphere will certainly know about it. A prime example: News of Facebook’s timeline changes were a topic of discussion long before they were ever a reality for brands.

If you want just the facts and not all the commentary, bookmark Facebook’s developer blog page: They’re the ones making the changes, so they’d be a good group to keep your eye on.

Watch your insights

Shortly after Facebook made the timeline switch, a panic wafted across the blogosphere. Brand managers keeping a close eye on their pages’ insights were noticing sharp declines in fan engagement. Many were quick to the blame the new layout, but they later learned of Facebook’s new algorithm. It became clear that brands didn’t know how to optimize the site’s equation for distribution of content.

It goes to show that every change brings a new battle, and if you aren’t watching your insights as these changes are being made, you’ll never know if you’re winning. You also won’t know that you’re losing.

Watch your attitude

It’s very easy to get frustrated with the barrage of changes coming from Facebook. Maintaining a brand’s social media presence is hard enough without the constant curve balls. But be mindful to not allow that frustration to dictate your approach to change.

If you approach the latest change to Facebook as a chore to overcome, you’re already fighting an uphill battle. Instead, approach each change as a new opportunity to better communicate with and engage potential customers. If you can do that, you’ve already won half the battle.

Thanks for reading,

Drew Larison

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