Facebook has been very busy this month. Last week they released the new design of Profile pages and yesterday we got an accidental glimpse at the future of Fan Pages. What do these changes mean for your business?
The Facebook advertising model allows you to reach your audience by using targeting options such as location, likes, interests, connections, education, workplace and other personal demographics. However, advertisers can not target their ads to those who don’t take the time to update their information.
The new Profile Pages are now easier to read and update. Profiles have become more visually compelling and personal information is now more prominent. Facebook has found a way to encourage users to supply valuable personal information and give them a reason to keep it up to date.
We were able to get a sneak peak at the future of our very own Fan Page when Facebook accidently made some pages public for a brief period of time.
The most significant changes we noticed were the following:
The new design will also integrate features from Facebook Places, which is a noteworthy feature for businesses with a brick-and-mortar location. The number of check-ins will be displayed below your ‘Likes’ and your Facebook wall will now display a map of your location above the comments.
The new design of both Pages is more engaging and informative than previous versions. Providing more complete personal information on Profile Pages has the potential to increase the size of relevant audiences while new Brand Pages will offer potential Fans easier navigation and location maps. Facebook is always working on improving the experience of users while providing companies new ways to market to them effectively. We can be sure that 2011 will bring more opportunities for you to be successful in this channel.
The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook was further strengthened this week when the two announced that there would be increased integration of social media into Bing’s organic search results.
Facebook has already been using Bing Maps as the default for Facebook Places, their location check-in feature which launched a couple of months ago. The relationship continues to strengthen as Bing improves “people search” by displaying profiles of users with whom they have a mutual connection with. When searching for people’s names, Bing results will include information from matching Facebook profiles, complete with links to add them as a friend right from search results.
In addition, people who search on Bing will have access to their friends’ recommendations. The Facebook blog shows an example of results that are generated when a user searches for the movie “Iron Man”. “Likes” from the user’s connections are then displayed on the results page below.
This new integration is a small step toward capturing Google’s market share. It may not be enough to make those loyal to the search giant switch search engines; however when searching for movies, restaurants or any other topic where opinions matter, Bing seems to be taking steps in the right direction.
The Foursquare mobile application caters to a very specific group of individuals; highly engaged users who usually live in major cities, have a significant amount of friends, are socially active and have a desire to discover new places on a regular basis. With big players like Facebook and Yelp releasing their own versions of “check-in” features this year, Foursquare is trying to ensure continued growth by expanding their network.
Last week, the company announced the roll-out of Foursquare 2.0 which focuses more on pulling in information of what’s around the user than pushing out information of where they are.
The below screenshots highlight how “Tips” and “To-Dos” now have their own section in the interface.
(Image from Foursquare.com)
By making these features more prominent and more of a focus within the application, Foursquare has the potential to increase their audience. “Tips” have evolved from entrée recommendations at a nearby Italian restaurant to traffic alerts from local news channel. “To-Dos” serve as another useful organizational tool that allows a user to save reminders about a particular location. With Foursquare 2.0, the application is positioning itself as more than a social check-in service and can now reach those who are looking for a hub of useful local information.