Facebook and The Fighting Zucks are always changing something. I’m not mad at them. Most of their changes benefit their business. People (the users) might initially throw little hissy fits at their platform changes, but they eventually get over it.
This time Facebook fan pages are getting a facelift. Facebook fan pages are being forced to take on the new timeline design. The mandatory switch will go down on March 30, 2012. I suggest getting it over with and making the switch now. There are some marketing tactics that I’ll cover in a separate piece. Today I’m going to focus on providing you a few design nuggets for the new timeline pages.
Design your cover
Facebook gives you the option to add a cover image to your profile page. This is very important real estate. The dimension for the fan page covers is 851 pixels x 315 pixels. If your chosen cover image is smaller than this, Facebook will stretch out your image to fill the space. This could cause your image to appear distorted and pixelated. Your main profile image overlaps your page’s cover on the left side so be sure it doesn’t cover up anything important. There are specific rules for what you can put on your cover image:
All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
Covers may not include:
i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Your profile picture
Your profile picture should be a perfect square and at least 250 pixels x 250 pixels. The minimum width required by Facebook is 180 pixels. Since Facebook will proportionally scale down your image to fit into the profile picture area, I like to make the picture is larger than the minimum requirement. Facebook will crop your image so that it fits into the square window if it’s not a square, and that’s just plain ugly. Lastly, choose a profile picture that goes well with your cover image in terms of color and style.
Upload some additional photos to fill out the window to the left of the new like box. Facebook will put your most recent uploaded image in that window so be aware of what you’re uploading. Also, your recently uploaded images will be automatically added to your wall’s stream so be sure to hide the post if you don’t want the image in your stream. Lastly, Facebook will crop the image that shows up in the section. Make sure the cropped result is to your liking. The dimension of the window is 109 pixels x 73 pixels.
Welcome page and like gate
Every fan page must have a welcome page that greets people who don’t like your page. These pages must pop and be compelling enough to drive up likes. Here’s the catch… no longer can you have the welcome page be your default landing page. Facebook wants traffic driven to their new timeline pages and they are forcing traffic there. So anyone that finds your page via Facebook search will be directed to your timeline page. Welcome pages and like gates aren’t dead though. It’s on you to direct traffic directly to the URL of the tab that hosts your welcome page and optional like gate. For example, our client, Golf Ball Unlimited’s welcome page is at the following URL: https://www.facebook.com/gbultd/app_354735101237930. I will cover this more next time in my marketing piece.
Pinning your post
Do you have a graphically stimulating image in one of your recent posts? More important than that, do you have any content that you want to make sure your fans see? Be sure to pin your post to the top of your timeline page. Your pinned post will be “stuck” to the upper left of your page. This is prime real estate for important content and stunning images. You can only have one pinned post at a time and pinned posts stay in place for 7 days. This will be covered more in my next post about timeline page marketing tips.
Call on Nao Media and Consulting if your business needs help transitioning to the timeline design.