by Alexis Karis

Earlier this year, Facebook announced plans for the redesign of its Pages Experience. It’s a major overhaul for the social media platform’s Pages tool, which allows businesses, brands, public figures and creators to connect with Facebook users.

According to Facebook’s announcement shared in a recent blog post, key new features include:

  1. Redesigned layout that’s simpler and more intuitive
  2. Dedicated News Feedto discover and join conversations, follow trends, interact with peers and engage with fans
  3. Easynavigation between personal profile and Pages
  4. Updated task-based admin controlsgiving trusted Page admins full control or partial access
  5. Actionable insightsand more relevant notifications
  6. Safety and integrity features to detect spammy content and impersonator accounts

Although this summary highlights most of the new features, it fails to mention one important update: Facebook is removing Page Likes. According to the announcement, Facebook is “removing Likes and focusing on Followers to simplify the way people connect with their favorite Pages.”

Removing Page Likes sounds like a huge change for the platform, but there are other new features here to get excited about that could lead to even more engagement with a brand’s audience.

Let’s explore a few of these updates and what they mean:

Dropping the Page Like in favor of Followers

In reality, taking away Page Likes and keeping Page Followers will streamline Facebook engagement for the community and make it much easier for brands to determine a page’s audience. As Facebook points out, “Unlike Likes, Followers of a Page represent the people who can receive updates from Pages, which helps give public figures a stronger indication of their fan base”.

Those who Like a Facebook Page but do not follow it will not be transferred as followers for the new Facebook Page, but those who already follow the account will be included.

It’s important to point out that this update doesn’t indicate that you lose likes on posts as well. It appears that feature will still be available, and followers will be able to interact with your posts and discussions on your page.

Engaging with followers is easier than ever

According to Hootsuite, The average engagement rate for Facebook posts is 0.18%.” Facebook has made a couple of updates to Pages that will allow for even more engagement between brands and their followers.

In a Facebook post’s comments section, comments from public figures will now be bumped to the top. According to Facebook, this will “make Page conversations more visible to a wider audience and surfaced more frequently in their followers’ News Feed”. Similarly, people following a conversation will also be able to follow Pages directly from the comments and posts.

Another exciting new update is the new Q&A format. Brands or public figures will be able to host Q&A sessions on their Page to answer questions directly from followers. The relationship building that can come out of this interaction with a brand and its audience will be extremely valuable, not to mention helpful for your followers in solving problems they might have.

When utilized properly, these features will help brands achieve more 1:1 interaction between their Pages and Facebook Users in a seamless and easy way.

Pages now have their own News Feed

This dedicated News Feed is a first of its kind feature for Facebook Pages. The News Feed will be customized to your brand’s Page (and separate from your Profile). This means that brands can easily:

  1. Follow Trends
  2. Follow other Pages, Groups, brands, and public figures
  3. Find and join conversations
  4. Interact and engage with people, peers and fans

This also means if you manage Pages for multiple brands, it’s now easier than ever to have a customized, unique News Feed where you can seamlessly interact with other Pages, peers and followers that align with each of your brand’s Pages.

The more your brand engages with its followers, the stronger your ability is to create meaningful connections and relationships with your community. That is, of course, as long as your brand does so in a way that is authentic. Ultimately, you are building a relationship with your followers, and the new Facebook Page experience will allow you to do just that.