The procrastinator’s guide to the (new) Facebook.
Facebook pages have undergone quite a makeover in recent months, but the Granddaddy makeover of them all happens tomorrow, March 30, when Facebook automatically migrates all brand pages to its new “Timeline” format.
There are two notable changes page administrators will need to be aware of: the elimination of custom tabs in favor of a brand-created “Timeline,” and a new layout that allows you to place a page-wide “Cover” photo or image at the top of your page.
This post will give you a quick-and-dirty primer on the whole Cover concept. For insights into how to best take advantage of the Timeline itself, we’ll address that in a soon-to-come post.
While these changes may seem a bit off-putting to those of us who’ve grown accustomed to all pages looking and navigating pretty much the same, in many ways the new look offers a huge improvement to the user’s experience. First off, because pages can be more customized, there’s a huge opportunity to create a visually stunning page that will make a positive statement about the brand. And second, the Timeline format allows a brand to do some meaningful “storytelling” rather than rely on boilerplate “Info,” “Photos” and “Friend Activity.”
In short, Facebook is giving your brand the opportunity to give your page the same appeal you’ve given to your web site.
If you’ve procrastinated redressing your page for the new Timeline format, where should you start? A great place would be to select a terrific photo for your Cover. A great reference guide to the process can be found at Facebook Pages Terms. Basically, the role of your cover photo is intended to add visual impact, as opposed to trying to incite action from visitors (no longer will you be able to post messages like “Like us” or “Share this,” include price or discount offers, or include contact information, such as your web or email addresses).
While Facebook allows page admins to choose a photo from an existing photo album, such photos are probably not best suited to give you the visual impact your brand page deserves. The best-looking cover photos will be images specifically created to take advantage of the cover photo’s unusually large size and unique shape.
Your Page’s cover photo should embody the essence of your brand. A few image content ideas that might be suitable for your brand might be: candid photos of customers using your products (be sure to get permission to use their likenesses), a beauty shot of some of your most popular product, or icons that represent your brand, such as a delivery truck, distinct signage or a group shot of employees. Or, you can get creative and create a cover that makes visitors think and might compel them to share, such as these (courtesy of Buzzfeed.com):
So rather than look at Facebook’s new page look as another barrier to overcome, try to look at it as a way to uniquely engage your customers.
As always, if you have any specific questions about how to take best advantage of the new Facebook format, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Posted by Mickey
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