Facebook announced it’s intentions to roll out the new Timeline layout for business pages as well, which has been a much anticipated change for pages. This will significantly change the format of the business page, with cosmetic changes as well as some functionality changes that require some shifting of gears to maintain an upward performance trend on Facebook. Make no mistake, you need to act fast on this one as Facebook is making this change for you on March 30th, 2012, so you need to get in the game now.
Once you log into Facebook using the account you usually use to administer your page, go to your Page. At the top you will have a notification from Facebook about this change. It will also invite you to take the tour and play with the new layout prior to the March 30th cut-off date. Once you start the tour, you’ll be able to preview how your page will look with the Timeline layout and start making changes that are visible only to admins.
Updating Your Cover Photo
The first things clients see is the new cover photo that spans the top of the page. Sooooo much better than the old profile picture so make sure to use this new real estate for a fantastic picture that says something about your brand. This might be a photo of a popular service, your latest photo shoot, a picture of your team or even your business. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.
Keep in mind that your cover image must be at least 399 pixels wide it’s in a panoramic format, meaning wide and not-so-tall. It is surprisingly hard to find a picture that fits that description, so you may have to experiment. Keep in mind that you cannot commercialize this image with any information such as:
- Price or purchase information, like “Book Now”
- Contact information (the About Us area is just below and allows for more characters anyway)
- Reference anything about Facebook, like saying “Like Us” or “Share this page”
- Calls to action, such as “Call us now”
Adding a New Profile Image
The next element to update is the profile image. Where you used to have a larger area to play with, you now have a thumbnail; however this is less relevant than it used to be as you have the larger cover image that follows you and tabs are now full screen anyway. So, for example, when you click on ‘Photos’ you will see your photos on full screen with the thumbnail at the top, where the old format used to keep your profile image on the left side.
Keep in mind this is only 180 pixels wide and a square, so try to pick something small and concise – like a logo.
Rearrange Your Tabs
Before your applications and/or tabs were placed on the left-hand side underneath your profile image, now they are featured as larger squares underneath your cover image. That’s because applications will be playing a much larger role in the Facebook experience going forward. You can select up to 12 total to be displayed, but keep in mind that there’s only four displayed without clicking to see more and ‘Photos’ is a required first position…..leaving you with three more spots to place your most important apps in.
Review Your Activity
Your activity is now displayed in chronological order, but you do have some control over what you make prominent and what you can hide. Go through your posts and ‘star’ the posts you want to appear wide on your page and then edit the post to either hide the post completely or perhaps ‘pin’ it to the top. This pin is temporary, but it does allow you to feature your most important posts at the top of your timeline to get more attention. With this feature, think ‘engagement’.
Check Out the New Admin Panel
The next big change is the new administrator panel for pages, which is accessible from the upper right-hand side of the screen by clicking ‘Admin Panel’. Once you click that option, the admin center is expanded at the top of the screen. Taking up most of this section, you’ve then got an overview of your latest notifications from your page and a list of your latest messages from Facebook users (yes, we can now receive messages on Facebook – make sure to update this setting in your page options). In the upper right corner is a series of buttons titled ‘Manage’, ‘Build Audience’ and ‘Help’ where can access a range of options that are probably familiar to most of you.