Make the Most of the New Facebook Pages

Facebook is revamping its primary offering for organizations—including associations—this year. Here’s what’s coming and how associations can benefit.

A fundamental part of the social media experience for brands is changing this year. Facebook is reimagining Pages, its primary business-focused feature, and the changes could improve exposure of the pages and support pages that are managed by multiple people.

Because many associations rely on Facebook Pages, their social media teams should take the time to understand those changes now before they’re caught off guard.

Tracking the decline in organic traffic on Facebook Pages has been something of a sport in the association space over the years, and it can be challenging to figure out an effective Facebook strategy, especially if an association’s page isn’t paid.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes that are expected to hit Facebook Pages this year and what they mean for associations:

No more “Like” button. Likes are still very much a part of the platform, but Facebook had added a separate feature, “Follow,” for users who simply wanted to read updates from a page. Eventually finding this duplicative and confusing, Facebook will de-emphasize Likes in the redesign. This could be a good thing for Pages, as it may mean readers are likelier to see the content, explains Social Media Today. “While people who like a Facebook page are increasingly likely to see posts from that page in their news feed, it’s not as strong an indicator as a follow, which ensures that you’ll be alerted to all (or most) new updates from that page,” writes Andrew Hutchinson. (Facebook says the follower count also “helps give public figures a stronger indication of their fan base.”)

A dedicated news feed for Pages. If you’ve ever wanted to interact more with other pages using your association’s voice (or a voice connected with your brand, such as a CEO’s), the new platform organization will make it easier to do so. It’s creating ways for pages to follow other pages and comment on discussions happening on Facebook. (One perk: Pages will surface higher in comments than regular users.)

A new Q&A feature. Are you a fan of the Reddit-style “ask me anything” approach? Facebook now has a similar feature that could help make a page about more than sharing links. The platform will offer a “Host a Q&A” option that lets page owners answer questions from fans—helping to build engagement along the way. The offering is a text-based alternative to something like a livestream, and it could encourage users to stick around.

Better administration offerings for large pages. If you have a popular page, you know that many elements go into managing it—planning paid posts, setting up a schedule, and doing some light (or heavy) content moderation. That may mean a lot of team members have access to things they probably shouldn’t. Facebook’s new page management offerings will allow admins to define levels of access for specific tasks, including Insights, Ads, Content, and Community Activity & Messages, which could help improve security.

A stronger focus on safety and integrity. Facebook says it has improved its ability to stop spammy content, along with different types of offensive content, from appearing on its platform. Additionally, the company is further emphasizing verified accounts, so messages impersonating others in the comments section are easier to detect. “A verified page’s comment on another page’s public post may appear higher in the comments section and be visible in news feed,” the company states.

The new Facebook Pages will minimize use of the Like button as a measurement of reach. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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