Facebook recently sent out a notification to all page owners warning them on the upcoming changes to its layout. As of the 30th March 2012, Facebook will be launching its new timeline design on personal and business pages. It's nothing new that Facebook is making changes and there's sure to be plenty of criticism directed towards it but as we have no choice, it's time to learn about the new features and get your business page ready.
The timeline itself has changed a lot with posts now been shown side by side alongside a vertical line in the centre. You are now able to pin posts of your choice to keep them at the top of the page for a week at a time. This can be very handy for important announcements to your followers and customers. You can select any post to pin at the top irrelevant of when you have posted it. As you scroll down you will also notice that older posts are loaded without the need to click, "smart phone app style". There is also the ability to make your posts take up the full column width, great for giving posts extra exposure.
Facebook now also allows you to show a "mini timeline" of your own business over the years and recent months on the right hand side at the top. This is great to provide followers with a quick history of your business.
Cover Photo and Profile Picture
What is most interesting in my opinion, is the design aspect and the ability for you to customise your page much more than on the old layout. Now there is the ability to have a large cover photo at the top of your page along with your profile picture. The cover photo is a great opportunity for business to capture their visitor’s attention with a large image with dimensions of 851px x 315px. The profile picture should be 180px x 180px. This should be your logo/icon or some sort of symbol that is used in your brand. Facebook has strict guidelines for designing the cover photo which are as follows:
Ideally you should use your own original images here to catch the users attention and gain their interest.
For businesses who have made the effort to build themselves a nice landing page, there is good and bad news.
The bad news is that Facebook does not allow pages to land on these tabs by default to people who have not liked the page. This is why it's important to have an appealing cover photo and profile picture as this will be the first thing all users see on a page.
The good news is that you can still have your custom tab and now Facebook has given even more room to work with. Previously these custom tabs were only 520px wide but now we have 810px of space to work with. Before, we only had a small icon to represent these pages but now Facebook has given large icons which almost resembles a website navigation and adds more design capabilities to your page
Now businesses have the potential to customise their Facebook similar to a website. Whether it's a work portfolio, catalogue of products or a slideshow of images, there is plenty of opportunities to engage with potential customers more than ever without even leaving your Facebook page.
Bear in mind that if you had a landing page it may look a little lost in the centre of this new, much wider space.
At the top right of your business page you will notice a button to access your admin panel. This will show you your latest like, page analytics and notifications. There is also one new feature that's been requested for a while, the ability to send messages to and from business page.
Following some original disappointment on the fact that the great looking landing pages we have recently done up would no longer be used exactly as intended, never mind fit perfectly into the spaces provided by Facebook, we were quick in the office to see the many advantages that this new layout would bring to businesses. It did not take long for us to warm to the idea and all come to the conclusion that this new looking "Facebook for businesses" was far better than the one we are leaving behind.
Now that Facebook has made it mandatory for all users to land on the wall by default, it will force businesses to work harder on coming up with better content for their users and engage with their audience better.
Should you require assistance in setting up or customising your Facebook page we would love to hear from you.
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