March 30, 2012 is quickly approaching – and that is the deadline for switching over to the new Facebook Page format. There are some dramatic changes to the page format, and if you don’t take steps now to switch your page over – Facebook will do it for you – and you may not be happy with the results.
Here are the steps you need to take right now to make sure your page meets the new Facebook Page standards on March 30:
1. Add a Main Cover Image:
A you can see in the example below, a new cover image will now dominate the real estate on Facebook.
The image must be 851 x 315 pixels – and we highly encourage you to use this space to your advantage! However, there are a few rules – Facebook will not allow any blatant advertising in this space so you cannot:
- Talk about Free offers or Downloads
- Ask customers to Like your page
We recommend you take advantage of image space to get across what your brand is all about.
2. Adjust your Profile Image:
In the same example above, you can see where your profile image (the Starbucks logo in the example) will appear slightly below and overlapping the main image. This image must be 180×180.
3. Fill in Your About Section:
The About section appears directly below your profile image, and allows for only approximately 90 words. This means you need to be extremely to the point about the main message you want to get across in this section.
This section still links through to your main About section.
4. Pin a Main Post to Your Timeline:
While your page wall updates will now be displayed in a new timeline format, you have the opportunity to make one of your posts “sticky” and pin it to the top of your page, so it will be the first item your fans will see. We highly recommend you take advantage of this space.
As you can see in the example below, Starbucks is using this sticky post to promote it’s latest featured brand of coffee, Kona. There is a promotional message and a call to action to click through to a link:
To pin a story or post, you click the “edit” button on the top right of the story, and select, “Pin to Top”.
You can add further emphasis to posts by using the “Star”. In the new page format, stories are displayed in two columns. With the Star function, you can make one of your posts spread across both columns to add stand out.
5. Make Use of the Promotional Areas:
You can include a total of 12 apps or tabs on your new Facebook Page and the first four will appear in a row below your cover page. In the example below, you can see that Starbucks is promoting their Starbucks Card and International Locations.
What’s new here, is that you can create images for these apps instead of simply using the default app or page images. So now if you want to send someone to a page to grab a free eBook, you can use an image to create a call to action. You simply open the page and hit edit settings and then upload a 111 x 74 pixel image that you want to represent your page. You can rearrange the order of the tabs to make the four most important stand out.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
It’s important to note that your tabs won’t work like they did before. You can no longer designate a specific tab as a “landing page” and have that page show as the default when visitor lands on your page. This means you can also no longer ask for “likes” before clicking through to your Facebook page. The main landing page will always be your main page from now on. So it’s really important that you take advantage of the promotional areas – and give your fans a really good reason to like your page or click through to download your free eBook.
It will be interesting to see how this new page format impacts businesses moving forward. Do you have a story? Share it with us here!