New Facebook Fan Page Changes: Great News for “Real” Business Owners!

If you have a Facebook Fan Page for your business, you’re likely aware that Facebook recently announced some big changes to the layout of their Fan Pages.

Soon, whether you like it or not, the layout of your Fan Page will change to the “Timeline” format Facebook’s been using for their Personal Pages since last year.

While this may not seem like that big of a deal, these changes are HUGE and they have many Internet marketers and small business owners scrambling. Judging from the panic I’ve seen in some posts and e-mails, you’d think a family member had been abducted or that the world was coming to an end.

But secretly (well, maybe not that secretly), I’m pretty happy about Facebook’s new Fan Page changes, and you should be too!

So, what’s changing?

As mentioned, the layout for all Facebook Fan Pages will soon be changed to the “Timeline” format. This means:

  • You’ll no longer be able to create custom Facebook landing pages (essentially, you’ll no longer be able to use squeeze pages on Facebook to get people to “Like” your page or opt-in to your e-mail list)
     
  • According to Facebook, your new Fan Page masthead, header, or “cover” image cannot contain “price or purchase information, such as ‘40% off’ or ‘Download it at our website’; contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section; references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features, or calls to action, such as ‘Get it now’ or ‘Tell your friends.’”

Why You Should Welcome These Changes

As I’ve been saying for longer than I care to remember, successful marketing is not about building an e-mail list of 80,000 subscribers. It’s not about getting as many Twitter “followers,” Facebook “likes,” and LinkedIn “connections” as is humanly possible. And it’s not about creating “slick“ Facebook squeeze pages, finding the next Google or YouTube “hack,” or implementing the newest trick or tactic that’s being taught by some marketing “guru.”

Why? Because if your business is reliant on the hottest new marketing fad, tool, or technique, you’re not really building a business at all, you’re chasing get-rich-quick schemes.

Facebook is simply a tool, as are Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In fact, search engine optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, WordPress, and directory sites like PsychologyToday.com are all just tools. They are NOT your business.

This distinction may seem obvious. But given how often I see small business owners chasing the newest “shiny object” to come along as if it were the Holy Grail of business and marketing success, this distinction bears repeating… seemingly over and over again!

Effectively marketing your business (assuming you want to build a viable, long-term business, as opposed to some fly-by-night operation), is all about building RELATIONSHIPS.

If Facebook goes out of business tomorrow – your business shouldn’t miss a beat.

Don’t think it can happen? Remember MySpace?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to learn and use as many marketing tools as you can. But doing so shouldn’t be the focus of your marketing.

You should be focusing your time and energy on creating the best products and services possible, so you can help as many people as possible by creating as much value as possible. That’s it. Period. End of story.

So, why am I happy about Facebook’s Fan Page changes?

Because these changes FORCE business owners to focus on the stuff that matters most… Engaging with people, starting conversations, and building the relationships that lead to long-term business success. That’s what Facebook should be used for… Connecting with people, helping them, answering their questions, and providing them as much value as you possibly can. Not just growing your list and shouting your sales messages to as many people as possible regardless of their interest!

These Changes Are Just the Beginning

Whether you’re happy about Facebook’s Fan Page changes or not, these changes are only the beginning.

Google has already been actively shutting down AdWords campaigns that lead directly to squeeze pages.

These are a couple of the most popular sites on the Internet, and they’re taking steps to put an end to the in-your-face style of marketing and advertising that has become so pervasive on the Web over the past few years.

Rest assured, these sites are not alone. And they are not doing it out of some personal grudge against Internet marketers. They’re doing it because people (their customers) are getting tired of this kind of advertising and sales.

And this is great news for business owners who are interested in connecting and building valuable, long-term relationships with prospects and clients!

If you focus on helping as many people as possible by creating as much value as possible, your business will thrive.

While many Internet marketers are freaking out, and others are scrambling to figure out how to turn their new Facebook profile picture or cover image into a “Like” button, I can’t help but sit back and smile.

I’m smiling because I’m continuously rewarded for all the time and energy I’ve spent building relationships with my clients and providing them as much value as possible (and I’ll continue to be rewarded for these efforts for many years to come).

I’m smiling because my clients already understand the importance of creating value and building relationships. They know these should be the focal points for all of their marketing endeavors and Facebook’s changes don’t worry them a bit.

And I’m smiling because – well, because it feels good to be right!

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by leaving your questions or comments below… And, if you enjoyed this post, please “Like”, “Tweet”, and “+1” this using the links below or to the left.

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