In typical Facebook fashion, they’re giving you about 4 weeks to ponder how you feel about the new Fan Page layout. Then, on March 10th, they’ll upgrade your page whether you “like” it or not. And while many of the updates are positive for page admins, there is at least one change that has the potential to rob you of control over your brand image. We’ll call it Fan Page Photo Roulette. And although it can be scary, there are ways to survive.
Back in December, Facebook updated personal profile pages with a strip of featured photos at the top of your wall. This led to hours of entertainment for people who managed to manipulate this new feature into something pretty cool:
But Facebook doesn’t seem eager to allow the same creativity on its Fan Pages. As a result, admins now have limited control over what images people see when they visit a Fan Page. Here’s what’s happening:
- The 5 images displayed are the 5 photos most recently added to your Wall Photos album (aka posted to your wall) by an admin of your page.
- Images in the photo gallery strip display in random order.
- Despite contrary reports, it appears that images posted to your wall by non-admins do not populate the photo gallery strip.
Here are a few examples of what early adopters are experiencing:
PCWorld Magazine calls this the “worst new feature of the page makeover,” and I have to agree. None of these image galleries are particularly compelling. In fact, some are just downright odd. A mishmash of duplicate images, out-of-context graphics and random puppies? This is hardly the image you want to portray to potential Fans of your news organization (or any brand for that matter). Furthermore, Fan Page wall photos often include images of other products. This can be especially clunky:
I certainly doubt News 12 Long Island wants to use its page to promote the new Pepsi can, yet it has become a prominent visual on their wall because they recently posted a news update about it.
So, how can you regain control and avoid becoming a victim of Facebook’s Fan-Page Photo Roulette?
- Think critically about images you post to your page and how they may appear out of context.
- Routinely monitor your wall and delete any images from your Wall Photos album that are unappealing in the photo gallery.
- Implement a Custom Landing Tab so that new users who visit your page are greeted with a message you control (Check out WJXT’s tab designed by my company SocialNewsDesk).
Kim Wilson is the founder of SocialNewsDesk.com, a social media solution for newsrooms. The company creates technology to help newsrooms manage and profit from their social media efforts. Her blog, www.KimWilson.com, focuses on trends, tips and resources for improving social media in journalism and news. Kim is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism, serves on the UF Advisory Board to the College of Journalism, and is currently an adjunct professor in the UF Journalism College. Her course, “Entrepreneurial Journalism,” focuses on innovative ways to create revenue and new business opportunities in the journalism industry. Follow Kim on Twitter @kimberly_wilson and @socialnewsdesk or become a fan of SocialNewsDesk on Facebook.