|Facebook Business Pages - New format, New look, New Rules|
|Written by Kaare Long|
|Thursday, 08 March 2012 09:58|
Just when you think maybe you have gotten used to the new time-line look for personal pages, Facebook rolls out the mandatory shift of the Timeline for business pages.
Before you start bemoaning, remember, change is good. And this is just the way Facebook rolls. We will adapt, and the power comes with the knowledge of how to utilize this new, and different tool for businesses on Facebook.
Some of the changes to note:
Cover Photos - as with the personal pages, you now have a significant amount of prime real estate to get creative with images you would like to present to your fans. No longer are you limited to the side bar area, even though many businesses never really used the amount of space available on that side bar, you now have a full mid page space, dimensions: 850x315 pixels. This, as well as the smaller image space on the left hand corner to place your logo or picture: it is 180x180 pixels in size.
The important thing to remember about this fantastic real estate is to utilize it wisely. Make this space about a visual message, keep it simple and visually appealing. Do not hard sell, or use this space to advertise, as tempting as it may be. You will have more success if you subtly engage your fans with a pleasing and engaging image. Facebook has some guidelines for this space here.
No more wall - A few important things with this change. There will no longer be the option to create a specified landing page for your company. However, the new timeline will allow you far more creative license to share with fans important aspects of your business. The timeline is much more visual, you can prioritize and create a very welcoming environment. A good example is this page for Ben and Jerry's icecream.
As with a blog, you can also now create 'sticky posts' so you can keep a particular post at the top of your page as long as you want it to be there. STARing a post is also another new bit you can do. It will ensure that post stays much longer. Significant milestones or dates for your company would be prime posts to 'star'. Images are best posted at 845x405 pixels for the STAR function, this will ensure FB doesn' crop or change the image at all. You can also STAR video content.
Custom Tabs - You can have a custom tab created for your brand to a nice big area, 520x810 pixels of space. Currently there are two types of designs being used: FBML or iFrame.
iFrame - These you will be familiar with. They are the custom design sections of your page that appear on the left sidebar App list. These have been maxed out size wise at 520 pixels wide, NOW you can have a larger space with about 810 pixels. It doesn't seem to be as neat and tidy, and your information just seems to sit in the middle of this big space but I'm sure we will adjust.
FBML - This was the previous way to build Facebook pages and they are not as common as the iFrame. They will work for awhile, but FB has said as of June 1,2012 they will be no longer available. So it is probably a good idea just to embrace the iFrame tab and learn to love it!
Ability to Direct message people who like your page - no longer will you have to address ALL your fans when addressing one question or query. Now you can contact people directly for customer service. The interesting thing about this is all customer queries can now be funnelled directly to Facebook rather than any other form of contact. This is a great way to promote happy customers on your page. This feature will need to be utilized with moderation though, too many messages to a customer or client can defeat the purpose and alienate and annoy if used to frequently.
Admin Management - some changes to page management are coming. There will be an admin panel, a dashboard type area where page administrators can see new likes, notifications, direct messages and who is engaging with the page. It will also provide some analytics to show what postings are working well. There will also be levels of administration available, so that if you share management of a page with many people, they can have different types of access and control.
All in all there are some pretty hefty, but positive changes for businesses to really start utilizing Facebook as a marketing and customer relationship building tool. We advise that you start creating your new time-line before the mandatory launch so that you are prepared and have a good face for your brand up by that time.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:56|