Oh, Facebook! Stop with the changes for a bit. Honest to Pete. The number of Facebook posts, blog posts, and articles I have read this week about all of the recent changes just have my head spinning. And I was already at information overload, if you remember. So goes the life of this Social Media Evangelist! For those of you who haven’t been sucked into the Facebook vortex recently, then you may want to read on and get a few of the updates.
Timeline is coming to Facebook Pages, and it’s available now for those who want to go ahead and switch over. The rest of the world will see the switch on March 30th when Facebook moves all Pages to the Timeline view. Many of you may already have Timeline on your personal profile. If you do, then you understand what your Page is going to look like. For the last couple of years I have done a lot of training on how to use all of the Facebook Page custom graphic space to market your business. With these announcements, some of that is over.
Your profile picture is now a small square displaying at 125 x 125px. Prior to Timeline your profile picture could be 180 x 540px. Many businesses used the large size to include contact information, as well as a call to action. No more.
- Your new “cover photo” is a nice 851 x 315px and is solely used for branding. Again, no contact information, pricing, or calls to action. Facebook puts it this way:
- No price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download at our website”
- No contact information such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your About section
- No references to user interface elements such as “Like”, “Share” or any other Facebook features
- No call to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
- There are no more landing pages in Timeline. All first time visitors and fans will come to your Cover Photo when visiting your page. Before, you could direct visitors to another tab, such as a Welcome page. One advantage to that was the ability to like-gate that landing page, thereby offering non-fans something in return for Liking your page. That “something” was not available to non-fans. This like-gating feature is supposed to still work on your custom pages still, but you won’t be able to have visitors land on them.
- There are 4 app (application) graphic buttons showing right below your cover photo. These can all have custom graphics (111 x 74px), and these CAN include a call to action!
- Here’s a cool one! You can now Pin a post to the top of your news feed for a week, thereby driving more engagement and views of a particular post. You might want to have a weekly tip, question, or video there, or announce an upcoming event or product.
- Links to your website or other contact information is prominently displayed in your About section found right below your new profile picture.
- Fans can send your page a direct private message. This functionality was previously available between 2 friends. What a cool way to build a relationship.
- Offers – this cool, free tool allows you to share discounts with your customers by posting an offer on your Facebook page. Offers are like coupons and don’t cost anything to create. When someone claims an offer, they’ll receive an email that they then show at the Page’s physical location to get the discount.
- Premium ads: so it’s no secret that Facebook doesn’t serve up your posts to all of your fans. It uses an algorithm called “edgerank” to determine who gets to see your posts. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they have announced a new ad for business Pages. The state objective is to maximize your reach to 75% of your fans and double engagement. In fact, you get to choose what kind of goal criteria to optimize the ad with. There are 4 places Premium ads can appear.
- At Facebook log out screen
- In mobile News Feeds
- On the right hand of the Home page
- In desktop News Feeds
Over time there may be some tweaking of all of this, and certainly more changes, big and small as time marches on. Facebook is here for a while, and most of us are going to go along for that while! Overall, I like the changes that have come with Timeline. What is YOUR opinion of the changes? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you like or don’t like. Thanks!