Facebook is constantly changing. Just when we get used to something it seems it changes. Many business owners were caught off guard when Facebook recently changed the business pages to a different layout called timeline. This happens when you do not own the platform your using for promotion. In a later post I will cover how and why not to put your eggs in one basket. For now let’s talk about how to optimize the design of our Facebook Business pages.
The most obvious change in the layout is the large banner cover that goes across the top.
Below are some things to remember when designing your banner.
- It needs to be consistent with all of your other branding.
- The dimensions for the cover are 851 px by 315px.
- Unless you are a major national or international brand it needs to clearly state what you do.
- Any text incorporated in the design needs to be legible. Carefully consider fonts and colors when designing the banner.
- It should have a professional appearance. It should not look like you just put a bunch of clip art together. It is a good idea to have a professional designer create the banner for you if you are creatively challenged.
- In the profile picture spot you can do something creative that goes with the cover or just place your logo. If you do something creative rather than placing the logo there you should place the logo somewhere in the cover photo. Just remember your business profile picture is what is seen in feeds so make sure if it’s not your logo that your audience will still know it’s your business. the dimensions for the profile picture is 180px x 180px.
- Here is what you cannot do with your cover photo per Facebook’s terms of service –
- Price or purchase information
- Contact information
- References to Facebook features or actions – No more like this page in the graphic.
They really want to make it difficult for Small Businesses. Contact Info and calls to action would be really helpful in your marketing efforts. Facebook is really starting to cater more and more to the big guys who can afford to go the branding only route. Although Big Brands such as JCPenny and GM are both stopping various marketing efforts on Facebook. JCPenny has shut down their Facebook store and GM has stopped spending on Facebook Ads. Neither one was seeing the results they expected. Facebook is still evolving and still working on figuring out how to mix social and business to the greatest benefit to both the business and Facebook user. But enough of my rant.
Now let’s get into the other elements of the Timeline. One of the biggest disappointments for me is the inability to have a custom landing page. With landing pages it was much easier to use Facebook to convert viewers into leads and customers. The layout allows you to place apps under the cover banner. Photos are automatically featured in the first spot, but you can rearrange the other apps to your liking and can have a total of 12 apps. Only four will fit in the top row. Pick the four apps that have the most value for your business. For instance if your business does a lot of videos and events. Those apps should take precedent over other ones. You can change some of the app’s thumbnail images to better match your brand. To edit any of the settings or move the apps click on the pencil icon in the top right corner of the app’s thumbnail. If you are just getting your page established it is a good idea to move the likes thumbnail onto the second hidden line.
As for the layout of your posts. Your most recent post is always first. However, you have the ability to feature a post by pinning it to the top. You should always do this with your best content. Did you have a blog post or video that received a ton of comments or views – pin it to the top. Videos and images always get more interaction than text alone. With that in mind when posting your blog posts or blog posts from others you should pick the best possible thumbnail image. You can also make certain post more visible by making them wider. Facebook refers to these as milestones – you could use this to promote important events in your company. You should take into account that with videos and images that you enlarge in this way that it is possible that they become pixelated (fuzzy for you non-techies) if they are enlarged past their original size.
Another new feature is the ability to enable messages for your business page. Think of it like allowing Facebook users to email your business within Facebook. I love this feature.
So know you have the fundamentals of designing your Facebook Business Timeline. We will cover optimizing your posts and interactions in the next blog post. I will leave you with some links to some well put together Facebook Business Timelines. These may give you some ideas.
Skittles – http://www.facebook.com/skittles
SoLatina – http://www.facebook.com/SoLatinaGroup
Ford Mustang – http://www.facebook.com/fordmustang
Harley Davidson – https://www.facebook.com/harley-davidson
Marvel – https://www.facebook.com/Marvel
and of course – Check us out https://www.facebook.com/SuperHeroMarketing and remember to like us while your there.