Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Facebook Timeline for Pages


Facebook’s changes to both personal profiles and business pages have some people scrambling. Without putting some effort into it, people who view your page will be able to quickly determine that you have not made the necessary adjustments and will judge your business accordingly. I attended a LinkedOC event featuring Amy Porterfield, a Facebook expert, to get up to speed on the changes and how to leverage the new format.

If you don’t do anything else, at least add a cover photo. Here are the new specs for the cover photo and profile photo: 851x315 cover photo and 180px sq profile photo. No “calls to action” are allowed in your new cover photo. It should be mostly graphic (more pictures / less words). Note: you can’t have the word “like” in your new cover photo.

Once you have completed that task and you are ready to move on to the less obvious apps / tabs features, you will notice them now located under the cover photo. It appears that you can re-arrange all of them except for the photos tab and you can have up to 12 apps or tabs, however only four appear until you click on the arrow on the right-hand side.

With a free version of Lujur.com, you can pull in tweets or blog posts into one of your top 12 boxes that show up under the cover photo. It isn’t completely intuitive, but it isn’t rocket science, either. You can see an example of one I created for my Facebook page here: I don’t love it, but for a free version of something that took me less than one hour to create, it isn’t terrible. Notice, one of the new features of these apps / tabs is they have their own URLs to link to.

You have to adjust your settings on each of the tabs to change the pictures and titles of these new apps: 111 x 73 pixels for custom thumbnails on apps. There is another tab creator called tabsite.com, however I found their free version more limited or not as easy to use – however, they have more affordable paid versions worth checking out.

E-mail is still critical. One of the most important uses for one of these custom apps is to pull in your e-mail subscription form. Many times, people will find your Facebook page before they find your website, so you want to capture their e-mail address while they are there! Either create a tab that focuses on the e-mail capture or put it at the bottom of your tab page that has your best blog post. If they read all the way to the bottom, they are your best prospects.

If you are currently creating a new website or have a graphic designer who can create some of these elements for you, the best case scenario is to use these new tools to brand your Facebook page so that it looks like it belongs to your website.

Have you tried to make these changes yet? What challenges have you come across?