For me, Facebook is a way to stay connected to family, friends, and also important, my clients. To be honest, I love it, even with the constant changes and updates. Change is inevitable, just as it is in life, and not always a bad thing. And now, the newest update on Facebook is that pages will be changed over to the new timeline structure on March 30th. What does this mean for businesses who have a Facebook page?
And just as important, the cover photo guidelines. There are ALWAYS rules, aren’t there? Well these official Facebook rules, you can find right here. Now that that messy business is out there, on to the fun stuff.
If you haven’t checked out Timeline before now, you might not know that the layout changes completely. A cover photo, much like a blog header, is now displayed at the top of your page. For photographers, this isn’t a bad thing, really. I think it provides a prominent location to display our work. And since “landing pages” are a thing of the past, it’s even more important to use the space wisely. The exact measurements (as I have found them to be) of the cover photo are 851 pixels by 315 pixels. Along with this, your profile image is now limited to 126 pixels by 126 pixels. However, I would continue to keep photos over 700 pixels in their original uploaded size, so that individuals can view the photo larger when clicking on it.
You can download this free Facebook template here to help with the process and display your work.
One of the first things I noticed (more like a big smack of confusion at first) is the admin panel. When you go to your page, at the very top is an admin panel. Depending on your screen size, you might not even SEE your page until you scroll down past this. The admin panel shows your current messages, notification, recent “likes”, insights and page tips. All helpful information which leads me to my next point.
Facebook now has given us the option to let others contact the PAGE directly via message. No more sending messages to your personal Facebook account. While this is a fantastic improvement, there is also a little notification problem associated with it. Currently, there is no way to be notified that you have received a message except to check your page directly. No text notification, no email sent to you personal inbox, nothing. So, if you are worried people will email you and you don’t check the page often enough, you can simply turn this little gem off.
Since landing pages no longer work, this will be exceedingly helpful in keeping your current promotions at the front of the line. Let’s say you’re running a 15% off special for the week. You want that to be the first thing people see when they go to your page, right? And since you can’t put information like that in your cover photo, the option now is to pin it to the top of your posts. Post the information on you timeline as an update, then click on the little pencil on the right of that post to change the settings. Click “Pin to top” and voila! Until you change that setting, that will be the first post at the top of your page.
One of the awesome things you can now do on Facebook Timeline, in addition to pinning a post to the top, is to highlight that activity. That little star thing. Click on the star icon on the post you want to highlight, and voila! It is added to the top of your page, BELOW the pinned post at the top. Now, you CAN highlight what someone ELSE posted to your page, through the following instructions… Go to your Admin panel (at the top of your page) and under “Manage” go to “Use Activity Log”. Here you can view all posts, but click on “Posts By Others” (the default here is just “All”). Now you can use the little settings drop down on the right side of each posts to highlight, hide, delete the posts, etc.
Get creative! Change happens every day in our industry. Trends change and client’s move forward and want the next greatest thing, but with the same great quality they’ve come to expect. If you use Facebook to connect with your clients, make sure your page conveys exactly what your business is all about.
I would love to hear from you! What do YOU think about Facebook Timeline for pages?