Did you wake up this morning and notice your Facebook business page looked a little different? Maybe even a bit swankier, dare we say?! Or perhaps your Instagram now has this funny little row of twirling circles at the top? It’s probably not the first time you’ve gotten the hang of a social platform and it’s done a 180 on you. But don’t panic! Change is good.

If there’s one constant in the world of social media, it’s that there are no constants! Evolving with and embracing change is one of the key ways our organizations can flourish. In the end, we’re equipping ourselves with more tools we can use to save the lives of the animals in our care.

 

Let’s start with Facebook. This shiny new layout will roll out to business pages gradually over the next few weeks, but here’s a peek behind the curtain over at the HeARTs Speak page:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 10.05.25 AM

Pretty neat, huh? After spending a short while relocating all the important stuff and wondering how those Facebook wizards even make this techno-magic happen, your first impression might be that this is one very sleek-looking page! That was mine. And even if you’re still working through the stages of grief for the last layout you came to know and love, I think we can all agree that not having the cover photo obstructed in any way is a tiny miracle in and of itself. No more awkwardly arranging important info around other important info! It’s the little things.

 

Here’s what else we’re looking at:

  1. Your profile image is now prominently placed on a little social media throne above the main ‘menu’ of apps! All hail your most excellent, lifesaving organization!
  1. Furthermore, that entire left-hand column remains static as the visitor scrolls through your feed. It’s early to say, but I’m going to predict that this improved user experience will invite a boost in interactions on your page, and increased activity within those menu/app items.That being said, the menu now shows every app you’ve activated, even the ones that were buried in the horizontal drop-down prior to this change. Now is a great time to optimize this menu! Remove any apps that you don’t use regularly, and emphasize the ones that really support your brand and organizational goals, such as the events, photos and videos tabs, by moving them up the stack.Here, you can also invite your fans to visit your other social media platforms, thereby building credibility and excitement for your cause. Link up your Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts (or any other platforms your organization is active on), and they’ll populate right there within your feed.
  1. A clean, tidy, cover image. It’s like watching a meteor shower from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Swoon.
  1. The new layout also incorporates a handy little snapshot of your week’s page activity. As an admin, you can get a quick glance at your website clicks, post reach, any activity with your call-to-action button, which makes adjusting your content or diving further into insights much easier. Speaking of….
  1. You have your donate button set up, right? Yay! (And it’s ok, if not. Good things take time. Visit this link to get started and begin accepting donations right through Facebook.) This bigger, brighter iteration means this oh-so-important feature is now getting the fanfare it deserves. It’s colorful and quite large. Like a multi-colored elephant. Just like donate buttons should be!

 

Of course, dimensions for these newfangled profile and cover images would be super helpful. Once we have recommended measurements, we’ll update this post. In the meantime, it looks like the existing images have carried over pretty well!

 


 

So, what’s up with Instagram?

IMG_4194Business accounts:

If you manage an account for your shelter, you may have noticed the option to switch to a business account. This is a good move for a couple of reasons:

  • You can add contact information in a separate tab of your account, freeing up the precious few characters for your ‘about’ section. This, in turn, means your visitors can now go from just casually enjoying your witty, amazing content to actually acting on a desire to adopt. It elevates your organization to more of a resource and a real-life destination, vs. a somewhat nebulous feed of super adorable photos.
  • Insights! Next to the options cog, you’ll see a little bar graph, and that little bar graph will now give you a lot of very valuable information! See your top-performing posts for the past week, and learn about your follower base, including the distributions of male – female, the main age range, and where they’re located. All of this helps you tailor and tweak your posts to appeal to your audience, meaning more likes, which means more eyes on your cause!

Instagram stories:

Instagram was already our favorite platform for showing the human (and furry!) side of your organization, beautifully facilitating a behind-the-scenes view of your day-to-day through which to rally your fans. Now, with the introduction of the ‘stories’ feature, Instagram takes on a real-time capability.

If you’re familiar with Snapchat, I know what you’re thinking! Yes, it’s similar. Almost questionably so. BUT, as the social media giants do war on the battlefields of our screens, we reap the rewards in the form of a fun and engaging way to interact with our supporters. Use stories to capture the moments of your day, infuse humor and celebration into your organizations social presence, and build an even larger engaged following. Feel free to get super creative — they’ll disappear in 24 hours!

 

Hannah Pearman

Hannah Pearman

Hannah, an unabashed guinea pig enthusiast, grammar fanatic, and cat video aficionado, is HeARTs Speak’s Director of Communications. She fearlessly welcomes the challenge of a character limit, and if she’s not whipping up blog posts and pitching stories, you’ll probably find her sipping Earl Grey tea and wondering what the weather is like today in her homeland of New Zealand.
Hannah Pearman

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