I have never been one that has been good with change, but as we all know – it is a huge part of life. Changes mean growth and an opportunity to become better both personally and in business.
When Facebook first changed the personal pages over to the Timeline layout, I had a hard time getting used to it. But, I’ll tell ya, I never thought they would change the Fanpages over to the Timeline layout. But low and behold, a client emails me and fills me in on the news. So, starting March 30th, all Facebook Fanpages will automatically be switched over.
Well, at first I thought… OK, the cover photo would make a cool place for a business to showcase their contact info and call to action for people to like their page or check out their custom tab. I was thinking of so many creative ideas, until I came across this – https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498
Yes, there are now RULES that Facebook wants you to follow. Cover graphics are only aloud to be images / photos and they cannot contain any of the following:
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”
There are still ways to be creative, but the world of fanpage profile banners will officially be gone on March 30th. As a designer, I loved creating them so I am super dissapointed about it. It makes me sad to have to remove them from my portfolio.
Here is an example of a cover photo that Coca-Cola put on their page that is really creative. So, though we are now very limited with what we can put on our pages – there are still opportunities to be creative.
Check out some more creative examples of Facebook Timeline Cover photos here: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-facebook-timeline-covers/
Default Landing Pages
Pages can no longer display custom applications / landing pages as their default landing tab that non-fans first see when they visit a page. It was a powerful marketing feature that let businesses urge people to like their page, subscribe to their list or promote special events or products, etc.
Without default landing tabs, non-fans have to actually click on one of the app tiles underneath the cover page photo. Many will not do that and it will definitely cost marketers Likes as well as email signups, contest entries, and other key performance indicators. Many businesses are not happy.
Let me reiterate… you can still have custom pages and apps. (Facebook is now referring to all apps as tabs). There will no longer be an option to those pages as your default landing page. All of your current custom tabs will still exist. You just need to think creatively about how to market them from here on out.
Here is an example of the way the tabs will display.
So if you have something to promote, you can create a custom page tab and then share the link on your timeline. Here is an example of that:
As you can see there are no longer page links. Instead there are boxes up at the top where your apps will be located. Only 4 boxes will display at a time, but there is an arrow where you can scroll over to see other tabs. Keep in mind that you can move the tabs around, but the “Photos” tab is automatically in the first spot and cannot be moved.
The one good thing is that you can customize the images that represent the tab or app. Those images can be used as the “Call to Action”.
With the new Timeline option, people are now able to send private messages to your page. This opens up a new avenue of customer service for you and your business. It also keeps things more private so that people are not leaving concerns or even complaints on your public page for all to see. Please note that you can also turn off this option.
Pin Important Content
Pages now have the option to “pin” posts to the top of their timeline for up to 7 days, highlighting the more important content that has been posted so that it has the opportunity for more exposure. This can be helpful for showcasing things like upcoming events, announcements, new projects, blog posts, etc.
A “pinned” post will have small ribbon in the right hand corner to signify it as such.
Facebook Changes – Good or Bad?
I read one article where the writer had mentioned a good point, that Facebook is just a tool, it should not be the main focus of your business. Though this change is upsetting for many of us, it forces you to focus on the real substance of your business and to explore other avenues of promotion and marketing.
I also read in another article that default landing tabs only drive 10% of the total Page app traffic. 90% comes from published links and ads, which still function the same without the default landing tab capability.
So, even though this is definitely a big change, we will get through it. I am happy to answer any questions that you might have and if you are looking for ways to “creatify” your cover photo, I am here to help. Let’s make the best of this .