On March 30th 2012, Facebook is changing the layout of fan pages. This quick overview will walk you through the changes so that you are not caught flat footed when the change happens. Here is what you need to be aware of:
- New cover image: Think of this as the header for your facebook site. The maximum dimensions for the cover image is 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. Facebook is making the timeline page the default landing page for all traffic. You will no longer be able to have a custom welcome page where you can “fan gate” your traffic and show a welcome message enticing visitors to like your page before landing on your wall. It seems that Facebook is trying to get advertising to be the main method of fan growth—probably not a bad idea if you are launching one of the largest IPOs in history.
- A new, smaller profile picture: Instead of the robust 540x180px profile pics, the new timeline design is limited to 180×180.px. This will also be the full image that displays on your timeline with your posts. If you like your current wall pic, it is best to make this your facebook profile pic.
- Highlight what’s important Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first. The about section is more prominently displayed as well. It will look different depending on whether you are a local business or have no physical location.
- Local businesses: If your timeline is associated with a physical location, then it will look like the first image on the right. This lists the subcategory, address, telephone number and hours of operation. Fill out any of the missing information by clicking on this area.
- No physical location: If your timeline features a brand without a single physical location, then it will look the second image on the right. The section lets you add a description of up to to 255 characters. It’s important to be extremely clear and concise, giving first time visitors a clear understanding of what your timeline is all about.
- Review your Page timeline Hover over a story and click on the star ( star icon ) to make it wider, or on the pencil ( pencil icon ) to pin it to the top of your Page, hide or delete it entirely.
- Manage everything in one place: Keep track of your activity on your Page from the admin panel. Respond when people write on your Page timeline, and view your latest insights.Visit your activity log to review all your posts and activity
- Respond privately with messages Now people can contact you privately using messages. Notifications about new messages will appear right in your admin panel.
All of these changes will mean an adjustment in strategy for marketing your business on facebook. Do you have any thoughts or questions on the new facebook timeline layout for fan pages? Do you like it or hate it? Let us know in the comments below!