Better content and more engagement. That seems to be the overall message that Facebook is sending to Fan Page administrators and Community Managers.
The beat of this drum has been resounding for a while, but recent Facebook changes are putting even more focus on quality over quantity.
Timeline for Fan Pages
There’s been little information from Facebook on how or if the Timeline redesign will be rolled out to Fan Pages. Facebook did, however, announce that the Discussions Tab will be removed from Pages on October 31, 2011, in an effort to encourage more engagement directly on the wall. With this, is fair to speculate that more design changes are on the horizon. If Timeline is rolled out to Fan Pages, it will give brands a more profound appearance, namely with regard to visual appeal and the use of larger imagery. (Check out this Mashable post for some samples of how this could look for major brands.)
Real-Time Activity Updates in the Ticker
With the addition of the news Ticker, interactions with Fan Pages are published in real time, and have potentially greater reach. When someone comments on, likes, or shares a post, their activity is immediately published to the Ticker for all of their friends to see. And, with a simple scroll, the entire thread is revealed, making it easier for others to engage in the conversation. Want to show up in the Ticker? Post content to your Fan page that will make Fans (and their friends) want to engage.
To further illustrate this point, Facebook introduced new metrics to Insights for Fan Pages.
First, we see the “talking about this” number that now appears underneath the number of likes. This is the total number of people who have interacted with Page content (likes, comments, shares) in the past week. This is an obvious move on Facebook’s part to show engagement, giving this number prominent placement equal to the number of likes. It’s one thing to have 10,000 fans, but if only a handful of people are “Talking About You,” it’s clear that those fans are not very engaged. Even more notable? Since this number is public, brands now have this intel for their competitors, making it easier to do competitive analysis on engagement.
Second, Facebook has integrated this “Talking About” metric as well as others into a new Insights Dashboard that provides these analytics for each post…
“Reach” – the total number of people who saw this post (organic, paid and viral).
“Engaged Users” – the number of people who actually did something (clicked, moused over, shared) with the post.
“People Talking about This” – a subset of engaged users who specifically commented, liked or shared the post.
“Virality” – the percentage of people reached who took action.
These metrics give Page admins the ability to analyze the type of content being posted based on engagement to better inform future content.
For a video tutorial of the new dashboard, see this post by John Hayden. And, there’s a nice overview of additional Insights updates by Kammie Avant on The Social Path.
The drums have sounded, and for now, it seems Facebook is still crowning Content as King. And, crappy content isn’t going to cut it. It’s gotta be likeable.
This post is the third in a series about recent Facebook changes. See “Three Facebook Privacy Concerns Explained” and “Facebook Updates Making Your Head Spin? You’re Not Alone.”