Following the rollout of the new Timeline during February, Facebook has announced that all fan pages will switch over to Timeline on 30th March. So if you have a Facebook business page what does this mean for you, and what should you do to prepare for the new layout?
The switch to Timeline will bring a host of new features to Pages. One of the most exciting is that businesses will be able to pin a post to the top of their wall for a week – it’s a great way for you to let people see your latest offer or exciting news that otherwise would quickly disappear further down the wall. Another new feature is the ability to send and receive private messages to your fans.
However, the biggest change is that all business pages will open on the Timeline by default. At the moment you can select which page you want your fans to visit, and businesses have created custom landing pages to host competitions, gain newsletter sign ups or make special offers to people who “like” the page.
From April onwards visitors will instead land on your Timeline which shows your wall posts (including ones you choose to pin to the top) and is headed by the new “cover photo”. This is a large banner-like image that stretches right across the page. A little creative thought can create a stunning-looking page but Facebook have some official guidelines about what you can and can’t use your cover photo for:
Use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.
Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
- Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.
The cover image size is 851px wide by 315px tall and anything smaller than that will be stretched to fill the space, so logos are not likely to work as a cover image – instead they can be uploaded as a square image that sits within the cover area. So what are you going to use your cover image for? You could use a panoramic photo of your offices, a collage of products, or something more abstract that conveys the feeling or theme of your business. If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, Facebook have picked out some of the best business uses of cover photos to inspire you.
Timeline for Pages is coming, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent your page switching to the new layout on the 30th March – which means you’ve got three weeks to find the perfect cover photo for your business.
If you need any help with your Facebook business page, our team of experts are on hand – just give us a call on 01793 608777 or fill in the form on the right and we’ll get back to you!