Starting on March 30, Fan Pages on Facebook will be undergoing big changes, and if you aren't sure what's going to happen to your Fan Page you should know that the changes are pretty significant. I've asked our Facebook expert Amy Porterfield to share some insights into these changes.
First up, Amy can you tell us what the biggest difference is with the new Fan Page changes?
Here's the thing, it is no longer about the number of Likes. Just because you have a lot of Likes, a lot of fans, doesn't mean you're going to have success on Facebook. If you want bottom-line results you must create ways to keep fans coming back for more, collect leads from quality fans and get them to take action inside and outside of Facebook.
With all the new changes, Pages are now more visually stimulating, which means that you can actually get more engagement just by the fact that there's a new layout on your Facebook page. To couple that with some of these strategies we'll talk about in this blog post, you'll have some surefire ways to get more action from your Facebook fans.
A lot of people are concerned that their Welcome Tab is going away and there's a new cover photo that some businesses are already using, can you tell us about that?
You bet. First let's go over the Timeline Cover Photo. Here are some specifics about these changes. As you probably know, on March 30 your page will change to the new timeline cover layout. You can change it over now or you can wait until March 30. What's going to happen is when you do change over to the new timeline layout you're going to have a big cover photo on the top. That big cover photo is a great opportunity for you to brand your business.
First of all what you need to know is the specs for that cover photo are 851 x 315 pixels. I know 851 is kind of an odd number but the closer you get to that, the crisper your photo is going to be, it's not going to be blurry or it's not going to be stretched too much or whatever.
Also, you have a new profile image. Here's an example of Coca Cola's page where you see the little profile image on the left. That image is 180 x 180 pixels.
Here's the frustrating thing about these new timeline covers for pages. There are a lot of restrictions. You can see these right on the Facebook Blog, too:
- Facebook says that you cannot include price or purchase info, such as 40 percent off or Download it at our website, you can't put that type of information on your cover photo.
- You also cannot include contact information such as web address, email, mailing address or any other info intended for your About section on your Facebook page. You know we all have that About section where we can give details of how to reach us. They don't want that type of information on your cover photo.
- In addition, you cannot reference a user interface element. What that means is you can't say "Like" or "Share" or any other Facebook site features. They don't want you to say Like our page or Share our information on Facebook on that cover photo.
- No calls to action, which is the hugest bummer. You can't do "Get it Now" or "Tell Your Friends" or "Sign up here" or "Go here to get more info," you can't do any type of call to action.
- Facebook says that the cover timeline photo is not meant for promotions, coupons or advertisements.
- They also say that the cover photo should not be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else's copyright.
As you can see, these timeline restrictions are pretty strict. There are a lot of things that we cannot do on the timeline cover. Here are some examples of what other companies have done with their cover photo:
- www.facebook.com/social.fresh: They have a really cool image, it's colorful, it catches your attention and it makes things interesting on their page. You could just go with an image and do some type of creative branding like they've done here.
- www.facebook.com/CaptainMorgan: Or you can do what Captain Morgan does, and they've basically expanded their brand.
- www.facebook.com/AmyPorterfield: With mine, I set it up to be more of a list building opportunity. I will say I know that I'm walking the line with this experiment here. I promoted my webinar on my cover photo. I've heard that they have taken people's cover photos down and you've had to fix them and replace them. I haven't heard anybody losing their Facebook page over this but do what you feel most comfortable with because I don't want to get you into any trouble.
Along with the timeline cover photos being a huge change on Facebook, Facebook has also changed how we use tabs. Tabs used to be on the left column of our Facebook page -- now tabs are called Apps. Tabs and Apps -- those words are pretty much interchangeable right now. It's your custom page that you can create inside your Facebook page. The specs for these custom apps are now 810 pixels wide which really allow you to do so much more with your custom pages inside Facebook than you ever could before. I'm going to show you some examples of this.
In addition to that, Facebook has also allowed you to create thumbnails to highlight your different applications. You can create thumbnails that have an image on top of them. That image could be 111 x 74 pixels, kind of a weird number but trust me, these are the best dimensions to make your images look really great.
You cannot have thumbnail images on top of photos, videos, notes, Likes and events. Those application boxes cannot be changed. Also you can move around your thumbnails and you can have up to 12 applications on your Facebook page.
If you go to my Facebook page, right below my cover image you'll see my applications and you'll only see the top four unless you click that button on the right, then it will be a drop down and you'll see the other four. What's cool about this is I was able to create custom thumbnail images for the three you're seeing right there on top and the two on the bottom; Social Media Updates, Free Video Series, Webinars, those are all thumbnails that I created. I created the jpeg image, then uploaded it.
There are some strategies for thumbnails that I want you to think about:
- Create a reason to click inside your thumbnail -- as you saw, I have Social Media Updates, Free Video Series, these are things that I know my ideal audience will find valuable.
- Get strategic with the three apps above the fold -- those three that you saw next to the big thumbs up; those three you can move around. Make sure those are the best three you have on top because until someone clicks that blue arrow to the right that I showed you, they won't see the ones below it.
- Rename the app itself, and you should think in terms of getting your fans to take action.
There's a lot you can do with the Applications or Apps, and we'll talk about that in part two of our Facebook Fan Page Marketing strategy session with Amy Porterfield.
About Amy: Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and a Social Media Strategist for entrepreneurs and small businesses. With 12+ years marketing experience, Amy has worked with mega brands like Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, along with Tony Robbins International where she oversaw his content marketing team and collaborated on multiple online marketing campaigns. She currently creates online programs to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to leverage social media to gain greater exposure, attract quality leads and turn their fans and followers into loyal customers. To learn more about Facebook and social media for your business, check out Amy's blog. www.amyporterfield.com.