12 Most Timely Things to Know about the Facebook Page Redesign
Oh no! Facebook is changing! Wait, doesn’t that happen all of the time?
Okay, so maybe this change is a little more substantial than usual. Nevertheless, as the Facebook Timeline is rolled out for “Pages,” there is cause for excitement as much as there is fear. The new layout provides a fantastic opportunity for professional branding and storytelling.
Much has already been written about the change, but my hope in this post is to give you all of the most important points about the transition in one spot. Coincidently, there just so happens to be twelve…
1. Custom landing page?
This is probably what is freaking everyone out the most. When people go to your Facebook Page, the layout is going to look the same as every other Facebook Page. You can no longer create a customer page for them to enter into. You’re stuck with the timeline, whether you like it or not. But it’s not as bad as your think. Nate Riggs offers some great advice on how to make the switch. After reading the rest of the items below, you may come to the conclusion that you don’t really need a landing page anymore.
2. Cover photo
Just like for personal profile timelines, the “pages” will now be implementing cover photos. The maximum dimensions for such photos are 850×315 pixels. The downside to the photo is that you cannot include any kind of “Call to Action” within the photo. It’s just a photo—there’s no space for custom code. However, it does create a powerful opportunity for branding. You can use some sort of action scene that explains the value you offer, or you could even use it to share some sort or a message.
3. Profile image
The profile image hangs down on the left-hand corner of your cover photo, and it is the picture that “fans” will see on their newsfeeds. The dimensions for the profile photo must be 180×180 pixels. Obviously, the image to use as your profile photo is your logo or something that people will be able to recognize you by when they see your updates on their newsfeeds.
4. About box
The “About” box rests immediately below your “Profile Image” and contains, well, a statement about who you are and what you do…or whatever you feel compelled to write in it. When people viewing your page click on the “About” box, they are sent to a page with all of your information. As easily as this page is to access, it’s more important than ever to make sure your information is completely filled out so that, when people do click-through to your information, they aren’t left looking at a bunch of white space.
5. Tabs to Apps
“Tabs” have been replaced by “Apps.” They have been moved from the left side (in a vertical column) to the right-hand side of the “About” box, immediately below the cover photo. The “Apps” show images are 111×74 pixels in size and have a title beneath, both of which can be edited. You can also rearrange the order of the “Apps” (except the “Photos” App, which you’re kind of stuck with). When entering your page, the first four “Apps” are shown to your viewers and they must select a drop-down box to see the rest. A maximum of twelve may be used (arranged in three rows of four). Obviously, you want to include your three most important “Apps” on the top row, because it is immediately visible to viewers. You can use “Apps” that Facebook provides or you could use a service like Shortstack to create customer Apps (Calls to action). Andrea Vahl gives a phenomenal explanation on how to use “Apps.”
Any of your status updates that you deem important can be “Pinned” to the top of your wall for seven days. This means that it is the first thing your viewers will see on your page’s timeline. Very important! You “pin” a post by hovering over it, clicking on the “pencil” and selecting the first available options from the dropdown menu—“pin to top.”
Highlights are a great idea for any kind of visual post, like an image or a video. When you “highlight” a post, it spreads the post out across the entire timeline. (The timeline is, by default divided into two columns with posts on either side). You “highlight” a post by hovering over it and clicking on the “star” icon. “Highlighting” posts every so often is a good idea, because it reduces the monotony as viewers browse your timeline.
“Milestones” are a way for you to literally tell your company’s story. Whenever there is a significant event with your brand, you can make a note of it on your timeline. To do this, simply click on the appropriate spot in the middle of the timeline (you should see a “+” symbol where the cursor is). A pop-up menu with give you several different options: milestone is on the far right. Select it and you can add a title for the event, write a story (or description) about it, and include a photo. Fantastic way to keep people interested in content on your timeline!
9. Private messaging enabled
With the new layout, fans of your page will be able to message you directly instead of simply posting on your wall. Right underneath the cover photo, to the right-hand side of the page’s title is the “Like” button and the all-new “Message” button. This is a very cool feature. If a fan wants to ask about a product or service you provide but don’t want the world to know of his or her curiosity, you can now share a conversation privately.
10. Facebook Offers
Currently, Facebook Offers are being used by a select group of Pages deemed worthy by Facebook. There are rumors, though, of the program being rolled out in a larger scale with the new redesign. “Offers” enables Page owners to post offers (coupons, discounts, incentives) for products or services. If a fan claims the offer from his or her newsfeed, that fan will be sent a coupon via email that may be redeemed at the Page’s physical location. Obviously, if this thing opens up to all business pages, it will be a huge driver of location-based traffic.
11. Facebook ads
Facebook ads may just be getting a little more appealing. With the new layout, Ads will enable you to place a like button within the advertisement. This is beneficial because it enables people to “Like” your page without even having to click through the ad. Perhaps a potential fan is browsing his newsfeed and sees an ad for something interesting but doesn’t want to navigate away from the page. With this new feature, he can “Like” that thing of interest and continue browsing.
Industry estimates tell us that, with the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what its users want to see on their newsfeeds, only 12-15% of your “fans” will see your updates. How the redesign will help with your EdgeRank is this: your timeline itself is a visual goldmine that has great potential of attracting viewers. Right now, Pages look just like newsfeeds. Boring. With the new timeline, it’s a little easier on the eyes. And, naturally, when fans land on your Facebook timeline, they are very likely to “Like,” “Comment,” or “Share” something they see.
There is, of course, a lot going on with Facebook right now. Was there something I missed? What are your thoughts about the new timeline. Are you freaking out… or are you geeking out? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image screenshot of Mari Smith’s Facebook Page.