Much has been said since its Initial Public Offering about how Facebook (FB) could optimize its website to make it a tool for businesses to better reach their customers. For a few years now, advisors have begun to emerge whose specialty is optimizing their clients’ Facebook page to make engaging first impressions to potential customers. Recent adjustments to the user interface, however, have upended the way these advisors operate and changed the game as it comes to interacting via the social network.
Then and Now
For most of the website’s history it has allowed companies to utilize “pages” in order to create a homepage of sorts for its business. The idea behind the cover page was to be engaging and sometimes interactive. The better a cover page, the more likely that company could entice the user to “like” the page.
Companies could also utilize “tabs” to present different segments of their business and compartmentalize the parts that may be less interesting to a user. The name of the game for the aforementioned consultants was to create a page that would make a user want to like it. This would automatically cause further information to pop up in the news feed regarding a particular company. However, just as companies were getting used to this model to market themselves, Facebook changed the game.
Here is an index comprised of the top nine companies with the most "likes" on Facebook.
Timeline changed the way pages were presented by no longer including a base cover page for a user to see when he visits. Rather, companies now have to continually update their profile with timely activity in order to hold consumers’ attention and create the appearance that their firm is a place where big things are happening.
On the Bright Side…
Brands can no longer rely on a flashy first impressions to gain consumers attention, and for both parties this is probably a good thing. By also reducing the prominence of the tabs feature, companies can no longer compartmentalize the different aspects of their business but rather are forced to engage with users.
In the end, it is much more likely that under this new model substance will triumph over style.
Use the Compar-O-Matic to see changes in FB's market cap compared to industry competitors:
Use the Tubro Chart to compare FB's performance against the S&P 500 index
Written by Dan Connelly