By now you’ve probably heard from someone (a Facebook friend, most likely) that Facebook is going to change over our fan pages into the new look of Timeline on March 30, 2012. Late last year, Facebook did the same thing to our profile pages. Don’t wait until the end of March to changeover: be proactive and do it now.
“We’ve found that people have a better experience viewing your timeline when they see a cover that is as unique and individualized as you are. This helps people learn more about you. ” – Facebook Help Center.
Thank you, Facebook, for urging business owners to think more like a marketer, telling a story about her or his brand. A picture is worth a thousand comments these days.
I love the Toyota USA cover image because it’s not about the car: it’s about the experience.
Here are the most important things I think you should know before you hire a web designer, graphic artist or photographer to create your company’s cover image and the tab images below it:
1. The cover image must be at least 720 pixels wide. I’ve read articles about this that have different width dimensions but this 720 pixels wide is what Facebook’s help section says the minimum size in width should be.
2. Follow the rules. Facebook has rules about the cover image. Here they are:
All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
Covers may not include:
i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
3. Facebook is thinking like a good marketer: it wants you to emotionally connect to your audience with your cover image. Here are some examples:
Notice the excellent photography and creativity at work here. Can’t you just SMELL the coffee?
Makes you want to go shopping, eh? Notice the red and white knick-knack on the book shelf – echoing Target’s logo.
See how clever this is? Toyota PR is an electric car, obviously. Plugging into its own logo – clever!
Don’t do what Macy’s did. They put a picture of their building. Can you get a social crush on this? Big fail, Macy’s. I wish Macy’s would, instead, show us a mom and daughter happily shopping inside the store.
BAD EXAMPLE: DON’T DO THIS:
Bad example of a cover image. Can you emotionally connect with a building?
4. The tabs that are on the left side of the old fan page will now become big tabs underneath your cover image. Use these to have calls-to-action. After brainstorming your strategy, you can direct your designer to create images for these tabs. Depending on what you link them to, you can increase your revenue. For example, link a tab to your subscription form for your newsletter and build your list from your fans. Or link a tab to a landing page that has your video. In your video, you should greet your fan and give them something of value – whether that’s some free advice or something else that’s free. Be creative. Whatever your customers need, you should give it to them. So, though, I chastised Macy’s for its cover image, I think they did a great job with their tabs: There are customized images with calls-to-action to click on (“Win a Million!”).
Macy’s did a great job with their tabs. There are customized images with calls-to-action below them.
5. Be sure to move your “Likes” tab away from the top row of tabs if you prefer that people not see your fan page stats. Just click the small tab editor button (far right of tabs) to reveal all tabs in “edit” mode; and hover over the tab to reveal the “move” tool and drag it down. The “Photos” tab is staying there for now, thanks to Facebook. You can’t move it. That tells us that Facebook loves it when you use photos. In a future post, I’ll share my strategy for how you can get more engagement with the use of photos and videos.
6. Create “Milestones” for your company in your new fan page. A Milestone is in your status box. I added a red arrow to this image:
Next: click on “Milestone” and follow the simple instructions. Create a Milestone for when your company was founded; for when you opened a new location; for when you had an A-ha! moment and implemented a new product…the sky’s the limit but you should make sure they are important events that happened in the history of your company. You should be doing a few of these now, before Facebook switches over.
7. As the user of a fan page, you can now send messages to the fan page:
8. HOT SEO Tip: In the “Company” section: use keywords that describe what you do and include a link to your website or blog:
That’s really all you need to know about your NEW Facebook fan page for now. In the future, I’ll write more about the strategy of the types of posts you should be creating every day, several times a day to reach and connect with your community of fans, friends and followers. Just remember that you’re building a community. It takes time to build relationships. Serve your fans with solutions that help them become successful.